The name and the rooftop lighthouse recalls a familiar theme in the Portuguese restaurant business. The nostalgia, in this case, is more authentic than you may think. It's not so much a reminder of Portugal's sailing and exploration heritage, but rather a nod to the geography of the Azores Islands and the memory that survives in this local Portuguese community.
Upon entering the Clipper, you'll find a typical family restaurant much like you'd find anywhere in southern Europe. The interior is simply decorated and with a small, but comfortable, dining hall with groups of families and friends. There is a second dining room off to the side that appears to be used for small events. I was there on a Saturday night and they were was busy - a good sign. There were several groups of four to six diners, mainly families. I had no trouble getting a table for two. No maître d' - we just walked in and found our spot.
Pasteis de bacalhau
Salt cod is an important ingredient in Portuguese culinary tradition. My favorite way of having it is in Pasteis de Bacalhau, which are cod and potato croquettes. Though they're fried, they should not be greasy because there isn't a lot of flour to pick up the oil. They arrived hot and crispy on the outside and mashed-potato-creamy inside. The onion and parsley add, what is to me, a resulting distinct Portuguese flavor.
Bife à Clipper
There are many great seafood dishes on the menu, but I general like to have a meat dish when I go out, so I went for the Bife à Clipper. It's a good size sirloin steak accompanied by portuguese fries (hand-cut, not frozen), rice, a salted red pepper and a fried egg on top. This steak really hit the spot for me. This is great comfort food.
The Clipper has a decent selection of Portuguese wines and after living in Portugal for some time, I've grown partial to Douro reds, named after the region in northern Portugal, where they are produced. This is the same area that is responsible for the world famous Porto wine. Service is generally casual in Portuguese restaurants. The staff at the Clipper were friendly and attentive. It was a great meal.