‘Party place’ Patria gets two stars

Patria Restaurant and Mixology Lounge received a fairly positive review from The Star-Ledger/nj.com earlier this month. It was described as “fun and savvy, a smart, stylish mix of urban culture, food and music.”

The review gave kudos for some “exciting concepts” as far as the menu — watermelon mojitos and crab cake sliders — and big thumbs up to the desserts, but “for the most part our dinner seemed like a gentrified version of Latin cuisine. It was fine enough, but not as fiery and exciting as the place itself.”

But it’s not without its drawbacks: “As night falls, Patria becomes less a restaurant and more a club. (Which means departing dinner guests run smack into that line of eager dancers. Which also means there will likely be a wait for your car; it’s not easy to retrieve a vehicle from the too-tiny kennel out back.)” That it’s more a club than restaurant is not a drawback, but it’s that there have been issues regarding double parking and illegal parking in the neighborhood, as well as some complaints about late-night noise.

Patria opened in December after much of the year was spent renovating the West Main Street space formerly occupied by El Bodegon restaurant. There are two reviews of Patria on Yelp and has been rated on Open Table as well. If you’ve paid a visit, let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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In other restaurant news, in case you hadn’t noticed (since it can be difficult to pinpoint the location), Little Portugal is open for business. Technically located at 1507 Main St., the restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by The Back Porch (and later The Original Nile), behind the River Place apartments and accessible by an walkway from Main Street.

While we’re on the topic of restaurants, The Rail House 1449 last week started serving lunch, and Friday is the annual Taste of Spring at the Recreation Center.