LAKE COMO, NJ — For quite some time, Maria Costa has wanted to open her own restaurant. But since she and her husband, Dario, have been busy raising three children, she’s had to push that desire to the back burner of her life.

Now that her children are grown, they are helping to make her realize that dream — a milestone being marked today, August 8, with the grand opening of Churrasqueira Costa at 1621 Main Street.

“This has been a dream for my mom for a while. After my brother and I finished college and now that my sister has finished high school, she wanted to do something for herself,” said Vanna Costa, who along with brother Dario Jr. and sister Sarah are all bringing their own restaurant experience to this new venture.

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As the eatery’s name reflects, it has certainly been a family affair for the Costas. They have spent the past five months getting the eatery’s kitchen specially designed for what it will do best — Portuguese barbecue, or churrasqueira.

The result is a spacious dining area with a full-view kitchen, where Maria and her staff will be preparing home-style meals, sandwiches and salads, many boasting the full and smoky flavors of fire-roasted or grilled chicken, pork, sausage and seafood.

For Lake Como, Churrasqueira Costa is a welcome addition to its quaint downtown area, making it “something new and different” in a culinary mix of dining spots in the borough and neighboring Belmar.

In fact, family members, friends and borough officials gathered on August 5 for a “soft opening” of the restaurant featuring a buffet with selections from its menu. It was a flavorful tasting of Costa’s signature dishes that did not disappoint, based on the response from the guests who filled its dining room.

There were trays of tender and juicy chicken, pork ribs and garlic shrimp, accompanied by sides of black beans, a black bean salad, rice and, to the delight of the youngsters, french fries.

Churrasqueira Costa’s regular menu boasts plentiful platters of whole chickens, pork ribs, a half-chicken and pork rib combination, pork steak, garlic shrimp, grilled Portuguese sausage, a “house specialty” grilled steak, grilled cod fish and mixed picadinho — a medley of pork cubes, shrimp and sausage. Platters can be ordered in full or half sizes, with a choice of two sides dishes.

In addition to offering chicken, pork and Portuguese sausage sandwiches, the lighter side of the menu is rounded out by mixed, chicken and shrimp salad selections.

Churrasqueira Costa is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Diners can eat in or take out. For more information, call 732-749-7425.


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