August 18, 2010
665 Monroe Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
  • Cost: $$$
  • Alcohol: Full Bar
  • Parking: Street
  • Take Out: Yes

August 18, 2010


Not far from Newark airport (the neon Budweiser brewery sign glows like a harvest moon above the treetops) in a residential section of Elizabeth,¬†Valenca is a hearty Portuguese steakhouse with big portions, great food, and plenty of neighborhood charm. The appetizers were enough for a full meal – stuffed scallops, clams on the half shell, calamari and the stand-out Portuguese Chourico – a delicious sausage served flaming at your table. The many meat and seafood entrees are all large enough to feed more than one. Valenca’s signature dish – Filet Mignon on a Stone – means the dining room fills with a buttery steam cloud from patrons grilling hunks of raw beef on individual trays with a sizzling stone, garlic butter and a lemon wedge. You can also order Tuna on a Stone. The paella and seafood Cataplana are excellent.

Valenca fills up with local families and couples; reservations recommended. The dining rooms are attached to a full bar with some banquet/catering rooms upstairs. Service is efficient, but a little slow when crowded. Headed here with family to celebrate my wife’s birthday last week (looking younger every day), and enjoyed a wonderful meal.