A few eateries on two blocks of Alum Rock does not necessarily make an ethnic hub, but a new restaurant in Little Portugal is attempting to address the gap in San Jose’s food offerings. Newly opened Adega takes the place of the long-standing Sousa, adding sophistication to the entire block.

With a clean and charming interior reminiscent of a Napa Valley restaurant, Adega boasts a menu consisting entirely of Portuguese dishes, including imported wines and desserts.

The wine list covered various regions of Portugal and was extremely enticing, but they were no match for the Sangria Branca and Tinta (white and red sangrias for $7 each). The fruity yet strong drinks were very refreshing. We sipped and wet our appetites with an ornate arrangement of complimentary fresh baked bread, marinated olives, house-made hummus and softened butter. The menu is written in Portuguese with English translations, making our decisions easy. I had the monkfish and the gentleman had the duck; but first, our appetizers.

Morcela com Maca Verde ($10) comes with three fried wonton raviolis, stuffed with blood sausage and green apples, on a mixed greens salad. The green apple was undetected while the blood sausage was perfectly rich and minerally. I personally prefer a pasta to a wonton wrapper, but the blood sausage is really the main point and it is done well here.

The Creme de Marisco ($12) came in an intricate soup bowl served via table-side pouring. It was a very satisfying seafood bisque with lobster and raw oysters, delivering creamy texture and concentrated lobster flavor.

The rice in my Arroz de Tamboril ($22) was cooked in monkfish broth and it turned out to be an enjoyable soupy consistency with bits of cilantro. However, the seared monkfish was probably not the right fish for my palate. This was my first time having monkfish filet and I found the flavor to be fishy and the texture a bit chewy. Thinking this was prepared similarly to bacalhau, which is rehydrated dried fish, I asked the waitress who confirmed that it was actually fresh fish. I will have to reserve my opinions on monkfish after more experiences.

My gentleman’s Arroz de Pato ($22) was the favorite dish of the night. Fatty seared duck breast over chouriço sausage and a similarly flavored shredded duck rice made for a filling entrée. No complaints here about great duck and great flavor.

Chefs David Costa and Jessica Carreira prove that it’s not their first rodeo, as the two both have experience at one-Michelin star restaurant Eleven in Lisbon. Adding to the quality of the dishes is the top-notch service and a carefully curated wine list, with an option for a wine membership. After all, Adega means “wine house” in English. And because I’m a fan of dinnerware, everything served here was in beautiful plates and bowls with unique shapes.

All these elements, along with complimentary valet parking, help Adega provide an amazing experience, despite being located in a city where little is known of Portuguese cuisine. The older, sophisticated crowd it attracted seemed unlikely to have come to this part of town for any other reason. In fact, an issue with coming down to Alum Rock for dinner is that there is little else for entertainment before or after a meal. Perhaps Adega can spark a movement in changing both the Alum Rock area and increasing the popularity of Portuguese cuisine in San Jose.

1614 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose.