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“First Class”
Review of Valenca

Valenca
Ranked #1 of 241 Restaurants in Elizabeth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Portuguese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“First Class”
Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

Have to give this restaurant a 5 overall due to the quality of the food and value for money. Had a starter (Clams stuffed with crab) which was excellent but, given the size of the portions, it wasn't required.
Highly recommend a visit to this restaurant if you are staying at one of the airport hotels nearby.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kenny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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364 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    225
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    22
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    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Middleboro, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great food and atmosphere”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Went to Valenca on Saturday night and sat at the bar. Both my friend and I had an amazing meal. The atmosphere is loud but if feels so friendly, like you are surrounded by lots and lots of family.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank damw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Level Contributor
40 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“First experience not too memorable -- except for the awful steak”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

A really good friend recommended Valencia Portugeuse Restaurant in Elizabeth NJ for a birthday dinner for my husband. We secured a reservation at this super crowded restaurant at 7pm on a Saturday night and only had to wait to be seated a short time. With five people in our party, we ordered a variety of items and then sampled from each other's plates. The salad that was served complimentary was large enough for seconds -- and the dressing tasted exactly how my grandmother made her dressing -- with lots of vinegar. Loved it. For the future, I recommend the spicy Prawns cooked in wine sauce - it was excellent with rice, but served with the heads on -- which can be a bit unnerving, but ok, I'm not going to complain about that. While the prawns where huge - 4 in total, without the rice or salad, I might have been still hungry, but I was completely satisfied with my meal. My husband, the birthday boy, ordered a Porterhouse Steak, medium well. Unfortunately, it wasn't seasoned at all --not even salt and pepper -- and it was cooked extremely welldone on the filet side, and very bloody on the strip side. My husband ate what he could of the filet trying to make it juicier with the spicy wine sauce from my prawns, but it was practically not edible. The bloody side of the meat, was to tough to cut into. The waiter didn't seem to worried that we couldn't eat the meal or that we didn't want to take it home. My mother ordered the filet and shrimp, which came in a deep dish with the filet sitting in what looked like about 2 cups of beef soup. Again, the steak wasn't seasoned and it fell flat sitting in the beef broth. She ate it, but was disappointed that it had no flavor, though her steak was cooked the way she asked. Conversely, my cousin ordered the Steak on a stone, which allows you to cook the steak yourself on a hot stone. She said hers was flavorful because they gave you herbed butter to dip your steak into. My uncle ordered beef ribs and thought they were delicious. I'm willing to give this place another shot. I think next time we'll go on a less-busy night. My cousin and uncle have since been back 3 other times and swear this is their new favorite place to eat. My suggestion is to not order the Porterhouse if you want steak.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Darcie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
51 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Staying in Elizabeth? For a great meal let me tell you where the locals vie to dine!”
Reviewed April 13, 2013 via mobile

I have been to this restaurant a dozen times and I have never been let down. From entertaining clients at a location close to the airport or for a nice meal while spending the night at an Elizabeth hotel this is it! Portuguese food that is absolutely the best short of hoping a flight to Brazil. These people know how to cook and it shows in the quality of the food and it's preparation. Everytime I'm in the area I am excited to entice my senses with a fine meal from this establishment. Enjoy the olives as you browse the menu, I would recommend the Churrascaria Mixed Grill or the Seafood Paella. Both dishes are so large you better have a huge appetite or you might want to share. To drink make sure and have the Sangria as it is very good, or maybe one of my favorites, the Caipirinha. You are in for a dining experience so take it in and enjoy as one of my favorite restaurants becomes yours!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TheBurrowsFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“One of my stops when in the area”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Valenca has been one of my favorite stops when I am visiting NJ for a number of years.They have all of the typical Portuguese dishes- paella, mariscada, etc. The signature dish, though, is the 'Steak on the Stone'. They have different meat options, but get the filet mignon. They give you two tenderloin pieces, garlic butter and a hot stone. Pat of butter, bite size piece of steak, 30 seconds on each side, and that is it. Melts in your mouth. All of the other dishes are great also (langostinos are superb).
Only negatives- can get a bit noisy, and because of all of the steaks being cooked at peoples tables it can get pretty smokey in the restaurant.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank doclink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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