It took Paola Carosella more than a year to turn a lengthy corridor into this dimly lit,
dark-wood-paneled setting for her French and Italian–inspired menu. All her dishes have
long—and often complex—preparations, like the pork ribs that are marinated for several
days before being cooked in a hearth oven.
We loved: Lulas crocantes (crunchy calamari), farro risotto with porcini mushrooms, asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Slightly off the restaurant circuit, this restaurant in a small, simple house showcases chef Carla Pernambuco’s excellent cooking. Dishes reflect her training at the French Culinary Institute in New York and her Portuguese and Italian roots.
- Go List 2009: World’s Best Food Cities
- Go List 2009: Twenty Rising Stars
- Go List 2009: Best Hotel Restaurants
- Go List 2009: Best Bites Near Sites
- Go List 2009: 7 Best Bars
Near the lively antiques market, the Consulado Mineiro restaurant serves flavorful, homestyle
dishes from the nearby Minas Gerais state like feijão tropeiro, a bean stew with pork
fat, bacon and manioc flour. The dining room is small and brightly colored.
We loved: Leitão à pururuca, crunchy-skinned suckling pig.
Chef Alex Atala incorporates the city's diverse ethnic influencesincluding
Japanese, Portuguese and African—in his nouveau-Brazilian cuisine. Many of his dishes feature
exotic Amazonian ingredients he cultivates on his own herb farm in Macapá, on the banks of the
We loved: Foie gras with wild rice and sorbet de cambuci (a sweet-sour local fruit).
At brothers Javier and Sergio Torres's modern warehouselike space, every dinner
starts with free Iberian chorizo and ham before New Spanish dishes like salty cod with a
garlic-olive oil emulsion and seafood with tomato jelly. The wine list has bottlings from some 15
Spanish regions and includes impressive labels like the Marques de Riscal Reserva and Vega Sicilia
We loved: The $65 Gran Menu Degustacao (grand tasting menu) with scallops in parsley foam, oyster tartare and foie gras terrine.
The Fasano family has owned Italian restaurants in São Paulo for more than a century, and
six years ago they went into the hotel business with this namesake restaurant on the ground floor
of their glamorous hotel. Fasano chef Salvatore Loi makes lightened versions of classic Italian
dishes for a clientele that often includes visiting celebrities such as Yoko Ono and Naomi
Campbell; the wine list is full of boutique New World and Old World bottlings.
We loved: Risotto con bacala e pesto di olive verdi (salt-cod risotto with green olive pesto).
After years working at the two-Michelin-starred Celler de Can Roca in Spain's Catalonia,
husband and wife Daniel Redondo and Helena Rizzo opened this simple dining room. They incorporate
native ingredients into modern Brazilian dishes like beetroot and heart of palm risotto.
We loved: Couverts polvilho, an addictively crunchy flatbread made with manioc; "Mani" caipirinha made with passion fruit, star fruit, pineapple and mango.
Open since 1933, this majestic outdoor food market has clean, orderly kiosks peddling spices,
produce and meats from every corner of Brazil, including rarities like jacaré, a
small crocodile. Hocca Bar's counter restaurant has been offering big portions of traditional
Brazilian dishes since the 1950s.
We loved: The famous mortadella sandwich; bolinho de bacalhau (codfish croquette).
Marcos Bassi's high temple to beef centers on his specialty cuts like the Costela do
Contra-Filet (sirloin attached to the ribcage). The wine list features some 200 European and
South American labels and an exceptionally generous price policy: Diners purchase bottles at the
importer's price. The 120-seat space is high-ceilinged and luminously elegant.
We loved: Bisteca florentina, an almost-two-pound cut of beef with bone; Palmito pupunha, a whole, roasted heart of palm cut tableside and dressed with olive oil, salt, lemon and mustard.
Insider tip: Marfrigone of the biggest meat purveyors in Brazilsells Bassi's branded line of meats.