Showing posts with label Sao Paulo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sao Paulo. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

D.O.M. by Alex Atala-São Paulo, Brazil ***

Here is my last post about São Paulo, for now anyway.  Brazilian chef Alex Atala is well known for transforming the Brazilian culinary scene by applying French and Italian methods and recipes to showcase unique and native Brazilian ingredients in his contemporary dishes.   Atala started his career at 19 years old in Belgium, worked in various Michellin stars establishments. In France he worked at Jean Pierre Bruneau’s Michelin 3-star restaurant, and staged at Hotel de la Cote D’Or with Chef Bernard Loiseau.  He did a stint in kitchens in Montpellier, France and Milan, Italy. His restaurant D.O.M., situated in the best neighbourhood of São Paulo - Jardins,  was rated the 7th Best Restaurant in the world by S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant in 2011 and holds Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In South America.
I couldn't  miss the opportunity to eat at D.O.M.  It was one of those Oh.My.God. moments in life, worth every single penny and even better we met the charming Atala in person. That day he came to every single table, meeting and greeting all customers and he signed his very big and heavy book for sale at around £100 a pop for one customer. The restaurant deco is modern and yet classical with added simplicity in places and elegance. The  staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and discreet. I opted for the 4 dishes tasting menu at R$280, around £100, and my friend who suffer from many food intolerance opted for two dishes on the menu suggested by the maitre d'. Note: the staff were very accommodating, dealt with my friend's requests in a polite and cordial manner. Nothing was a problem and we felt very welcome, indeed. A visit to D.O.M. is  a gastronomic  experience of a lifetime. You won't find this kind of refined and unique dishes anywhere in the world. If you were wondering the meaning of D.O.M. : it's is an acronym for Deo Optimo Maximo, which means “God is Optimum and Maximum”
The restaurant - around fifteen tables downstairs and a room for private gatherings upstairs
My tasting menu:
Hors d'oeuvre: Sweet potato and smoked garlic pate served with pão de queijo

Below, first course, not on the menu, compliment of the chef - Brazilian Catupiry cheese with fried cassava, reduction of Port and chives. Matching drink : Jabitucaba liquor

Suggestion of wine and some of the wine list: my glass of chardonnay was £20. Steep! 

Below, brioche breaded oysters with tapioca (sagu) and salmon roe marinaded in soy sauce and olive oil:  AMAZING!

Chibé, below right, is a hydrated cassava flour, usually made from the pulp of cassava and manioc - mass extracted from fermented cassava, native of the Amazon. A bit like couscous served with prawns and scallop, lime juice, coriander and wild flowers and herbs - fresh and light.  Below left, Mushroom consomme with wild flowers - my friend's gluten, diary and wheat free choice - Fabulous!
Mushroom consomme

streak in butter with lemon thyme, smoked cassava, broccoli and  peanuts foam  and Palm heart fettuccine carbonara - wow I want to make this at home!
Ribs slow cooked in Malbec  served with cassava bras (small fried strips) with Malbec foam, full portion for my friend and my tasting menu portion - below. The meat melted in the mouth and the strips of cassava were to die for. The best dish in my tasting menu. I love meat!
Aligot - a smooth and elastic texture cheese dish, traditionally eaten in the Pyrenees, France - made from mashed potatoes blended with butter, cream, crushed garlic, and the melted cheese , they use gruyere (French cheese)  and fresh Minas (Brazilian cheese)- The waiter comes from across the room playing with the fondue-like mass between two spoons and places it on your plate -  It's pure theatre - a show stopper!  Delicious!!
Sweet green papaya ribbons, yogurt snow and bacuri (Brazilian fruit typical of North, Northwest of the country) garnished with wild white flowers.
I love the yogurt snow - the texture of snow and taste of natural yogurt works really well with the sweetness of the green papaya. Festival of textures and flavors.

Best desert ever?  At this point I was already full. However, the chef sent an extra desert and
to date this is the best desert I've ever eaten.  Thank You Atala!
Very light sponge cake of cashew nut served with Jack Daniels ice cream, dark chocolate sauce, sprinkled with salt, black pepper and curry powder, garnished with wild rocket.  Matching drink: another Jabuticaba liquor. I can get used to it! 
We finished our meal with Capim Santo infusion and a variety of petit fours

right : my favourite childhood sweet - Dadinho - sweet peanut paste in dice form

The bill:  1 tasting menu (4 dishes), 2  dishes, 1 glass of wine, water, tea and parking.
well I had more then 4 dishes, actually.... who's counting?
One of Atala's books

In the kitchen with Atala
Unforgettable experience! A 'must' if you ever find yourself in São Paulo.
D.O.M. : Rua Barao de Capanema, 549 Jardins, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Reservation: +55 113 088 0761

D.O.M. (2011) from Ale Melo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Mocotó - São Paulo, Brazil

Mocotó is a bar,  restaurant and cachaçaria situated in hilly Villa Medeiros, a working class borough in the very North of Sao Paulo city . Mocotó is the term used in Brazil for cow's feet and for the stew prepared from that meat. The restaurant serves food from northeastern part of Brazil.  It was opened in the 70's by José de Oliveira Almeida aka Seu Ze, a former migrant worker from Pernambuco. At that time,  it was small space selling ingredients from North of Brazil.  Only a few people knew about this place. Nowadays, young chef Rodrigo Oliveira, Seu Ze son's, has carved himself a niche in Sao Paulo's competitive culinary scene in this most unlikely area.  Another gem completely off the beaten path.  I've been to Mocoto before and met Seu Ze and I can say hand-on-heart it's one of the best foodie experiences I had in ages. This notable and simple eatery draws many foodies to the area in search of a culinary adventure. Using fresh, local and all Brazilian ingredients the menu showcases the 
best of the Northeastern cuisine and it's products.  The service is  charming and friendly and attention to detail is key to this establishment.
Rodrigo and his lovely and very welcoming father Seu Ze
 Cachaçaria, a place to taste cachaça from all over the country. Cachaça is the Brazilian distilled alcoholic beverage, also know as pinga, branquinha, aguardente and many other names. Cachaca somellier is Leandro - he knows everything there's to know about it. 
What strikes me about this place is the service, the cleanliness and  pleasant mannered staff. I had the feeling that they feel part of the family business.

Amazing caipirinhas

Caipirinha de seriguela

This is mocotó - broth of cow's feet and for the stew prepared from that meat. Ingredients include beans, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, spring onion and coriander.

tapioca dice served with sweet and sour dipping sauce, the tapioca is cooked with cheese and deep fried.

 below: catfish with tapioca  deep fried served with lemon mayo and lime

Lots of cachaca was tasted! I think that makes more than five.... Rodrigo in the kitchen

Carne de sol with manteiga de garrafa, bico pepper (red round, sweet pepper) with roasted garlica and roasted pumpkin

Rapadura pieces and rapadura ice cream with catuaba sauce

Tapioca and burnt coconut pudding a feast of flavors and textures

Rodrigo in his office and test kitchen above the restaurant
The bill came to around R$ 150 for 2 people, sorry I lost the receipt! Anyway, worth every single penny! Fantastic experience.

Check the website for opening hours:
Avenida Nossa Senhora do Loreto 1100
Vila Medeiros, São Paulo - SP
Phone: 55-11-2951-3056

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