Tordesilhas, São Paulo, 9/14/19


Tordesilhas is a large place inside with an additional covered patio.  The closely spaced small tables were set with white tablecloths and paper napkins.  Lots of photos cover the walls as well as mirrors.  A slightly vaulted wood ceiling and dark wood floor accented the off white walls.  A bar area is on the main level that seemed to offer communal dining for small parties.  No music was in the background but the setting felt very tasteful.  They serve pretty traditional, homestyle food and do offer a tasting menu at night.  At lunch it is all a la carte.  Our server was friendly and helpful but had limited English. The crowd indicated that it’s a popular place and I saw a real variety of age groups in attendance. Continue reading

Restaurante Tuju, São Paulo, 9/13/19


Restaurant Tuju is a good sized modern looking place.  The large bare wood tables are well spaced on a tile floor with a wood ceiling overhead.  They are set with padded arms chairs and lovely cloth napkins.  Soft lighting is in the room and music is in the background.  An open kitchen is on one end of the room and opposite is a bar.  Spanning the two are a glass wall behind which is the plant covered wall opposite to a wall with mirrors.  It has a 2 Michelin star rating, has been open 5 years and offers 2 different tastings for 5 or 12 courses.  The menu changes every several months.  Wine pairings are available.  We chose the longer tasting and ordered our own wines.  The staff were efficient, friendly and spoke good English. Continue reading

Bar da Dona Onca, São Paulo, 9/13/19


Bar da Dona is a large place located in a striking architectural building.  One side of the interior is a bar and service area opposite of which are windows to the street.  The bare wood tables are set closely with black napkins and padded armless chairs.  The large menu is supplemented by some specials written on a chalkboard above the bar that is decorated with illustrations and lots of decorated cats.  Also above the bar were windows to what looked to be a supplementary kitchen.  People were lined up to enter before it opened and were a group varied in age and dress.  Inside music was in the background, lots of photos and other decorative items on the walls and friendly servers with passable English bustled to service the many tables.  At the entrance was an open air patio that was also filled by the time we exited. It was a great lunch or dinner, if you wanted to eat it later.  Continue reading

DOM, São Paulo,9/12/19


DOM is a small place with about 7 tables, one some being upstairs.  There is little marking of the place outside but the valet stand indicates something fancy is inside.  The front door is huge – maybe 10 feet tall.  It has been awarded 2 Michelin stars, has low lighting, music in the background and a center serving table under a decorative chandelier.  Some of the closely spaced large tables were a polished wood with linen placemats and others were cloth covered and some had bench seating while others had stuffed chairs.  The kitchen is in one corner of the room but mostly closed off from the dining room except for a small window.  They offered several different tasting menus, no a la carte, with one being vegetarian.  The menu stresses Brazil’s indigenous foods and flavors.  Wine pairing are available with the tastings.  The food has quality ingredients but mostly was underflavored for me.  This was their 20th anniversary of being in business. Service was attentive and the staff spoke good English.  Pacing and portion control were good. Continue reading

Mocotó Bar e Restaurante, São Paulo, 9/12/19


Mocotó is a big open air restaurant with a large bar area attached.  There is also seating on an enclosed patio-like room in the back.  The orange walls are decorated with colorful murals and mirrors and the staff is super friendly but speaks limited English.  The large menu is available in English as well as Portuguese and that helps a lot.  They take no reservations and people line up and wait to get seated.  The small tables are closely set or combined to accommodate larger groups.  Windows to the street are open and the ceiling is covered with sound panels to keep the noise level down.  Fans are mounted on the walls to keep the air moving.  The bar offered a number of variations on the traditional Caipirinha cocktail and we tried a couple variations. Continue reading

Maní Manioca, São Paulo, 9/11/19


Maní Manioca has a one star Michelin rating.  It is a long fairly large place with a good sized enclosed patio in the back.  Upon entering there is a long hallway for waiting that has benches on either side.  The small tables are nicely spaced and set with white clothes and napkins, however they were too small to hold the dishes if you had the breads.  The stucco walls are decorated with mirrors and art.  Music plays in the background and lighting is lowered with lots of short candles in the rooms. They offered 3 tasting menus.  The 3 course allowed you to pick courses from the a la carte menu.  Wine pairings were available with the largest tasting.  Service was friendly and helpful with passable English.  Portions were generous but pacing was a tad variable.  We ordered the largest tasting menu which was by Chef Helena Rizzo, who was named Best Female Chef of the Year by Restaurant Magazine in 2014. Continue reading

Churrascaria Boi na Brasa, São Paulo/ 9/11/19


Boi na Brasa is one large room in a corner building with open windows to the street on two sides.  Ceiling fans try and move the air in the large space.  The room had a long bar for service and cooking, no stools and a grilling area.  The closely set tables are wood with marble tops set with plastic placemats.  The menu has pictures of some of the dishes which is helpful since most of the staff spoke little English but were very friendly.  The tables have condiments and a dispenser for tiny paper napkins.  It feels very old school with waiters dressed in white jackets and providing tableside service.    The tap beers are served in hollowed aluminum mugs which are supposed to keep it colder.   Continue reading

Churrascaria Vento Haragano, São Paulo, 9/10/19


Vento Haragano is a huge place with a massive “salad bar” in the middle of the place.  The bar has about 5 counters and contains fruit, salad, ham, vegetables, cheese, breads, sushi, and salad.  It is all you can eat bonanza.  In addition carvers roam the room with skewers of different cuts of meat.  You have a coaster like thing that says stop here on one side and no more on the other.  There were supposed to be over 20 cuts of beef, pork, chicken, lamb and fish, but it seemed to have repeats of about a dozen options instead.  The large tables are spaced nicely and set with white tableclothes and napkins.  The room has a domed ceiling in the center that has beams soaring up accent the salad bar area below.  There was plenty of noise in the room and lots of big groups making a party of the meal, but it was still easy to have a conversation at the table.  Most of the guests were men (about 70% to 30% women).  The servers were all friendly. Continue reading

A Casa do Porco Bar, São Paulo, 9/10/19


A Casa do Porco is Portuguese for House of the Pig and this good sized place is all about pork.  They even offer a pig tasting, which features pork in all 9 courses (some just one bite),  that takes about 2 hours and an a la carte menu.  Pacing of the tasting was good as was the portion control.  A small newspaper is at your seat which describes in detail (in Portuguese) the pork tasting.  If you have the opportunity I highly recommend the place.  A large open kitchen is in the back of the space and there are pig decorations everywhere.  Music was in the background and the lighting varied depending on where you sat.  They did have good air conditioning, the bare wood tables had a red checked mat like in the center and the cloth napkins were the size of  dish rags.  The place quickly filled with people, in fact there was a line outside to get in when it opened.  Service was friendly but with limited English.  One interesting thing was that the bathrooms had dental floss dispenser – which was totally handy after a meal of meat. Continue reading