Rhode Island maintains a large Portuguese population. This population influences the Rhode Island culinary scene with rich seafood flavors and bold use of spices. Finding a good restaurant serving authentic Portuguese food can be a trip into wonderful flavors. Faial in Smithfield boasts authentic Portuguese flavors with an American influence. Their menu boasts a heavy influence of seafood and a healthy amount of 'Faial sauce' (a spicy and garlicky sauce they serve with almost everything on the menu).
The restaurant's interior was very nice. It boasted a classic American design with some 'under-water' themes spread throughout. The waiters wore crisp white and blacks and each table featured similar dressing. The restrooms were also clean, giving an inviting dining room and attached lounge.
The biggest fault to our meal was service. The waiter just seemed a tad antagonistic and did not give an air of professionalism that an establishment like Faial would convey. Long wait times also complicated things. The service hurt a meal that was otherwise nice.
I ordered the 'bief di casa' (beef of the house), which was a 14 ounce sirloin topped with the Faial sauce and served with their seafood rice (a mix of paella and rice pilaf) and Portuguese potatoes (fresh cut potato chips). The sirloin was well cooked and the flavors mixed well. My wife ordered a more American filet minion with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. The beef was unfortunately overcooked. She ordered medium and it came out close to well done, a travesty. The sides were decent, but it could not make up for overcooked protein.
Faial produced a nice meal, but not worth the price (over 20 dollars an entree). The service also hurt the experience.
Rating: B -