F&W':s roundup of the best restaurants in Sao Paulo, from a counter-only joint that offers big portions of traditional Brazilian dishes to a glamorous hotel dining room. For more great restaurants, check out our guide to the world's best places to eat.

October 17, 2011

Restaurants

Arturito

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 havelong—and often complex—preparations, like the pork ribs that are marinated for severaldays before being cooked in a hearth oven.
We loved: Lulas crocantes (crunchy calamari), farro risotto withporcini mushrooms, asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Carlota

Slightly off the restaurant circuit, this restaurant in a small, simple house showcases chefCarla Pernambuco’s excellent cooking. Dishes reflect her training at the French CulinaryInstitute in New York and her Portuguese and Italian roots.

Consulado Mineiro

Near the lively antiques market, the Consulado Mineiro restaurant serves flavorful, homestyledishes from the nearby Minas Gerais state like feijão tropeiro, a bean stew with porkfat, bacon and manioc flour. The dining room is small and brightly colored.
We loved: Leitão à pururuca, crunchy-skinned sucklingpig.

D.O.M.

Chef Alex Atala incorporates the city's diverse ethnic influences—includingJapanese, Portuguese and African—in his nouveau-Brazilian cuisine. Many of his dishes featureexotic Amazonian ingredients he cultivates on his own herb farm in Macapá, on the banks of theAmazon River.
We loved: Foie gras with wild rice and sorbet de cambuci (a sweet-sourlocal fruit).

Eñe

At brothers Javier and Sergio Torres's modern warehouse–like space, every dinnerstarts with free Iberian chorizo and ham before New Spanish dishes like salty cod with agarlic-olive oil emulsion and seafood with tomato jelly. The wine list has bottlings from some 15Spanish regions and includes impressive labels like the Marques de Riscal Reserva and Vega SiciliaValbuena.
We loved: The $65 Gran Menu Degustacao (grand tasting menu) withscallops in parsley foam, oyster tartare and foie gras terrine.

Fasano

The Fasano family has owned Italian restaurants in São Paulo for more than a century, andsix years ago they went into the hotel business with this namesake restaurant on the ground floorof their glamorous hotel. Fasano chef Salvatore Loi makes lightened versions of classic Italiandishes for a clientele that often includes visiting celebrities such as Yoko Ono and NaomiCampbell; 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 risottowith green olive pesto).

Mani

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 incorporatenative ingredients into modern Brazilian dishes like beetroot and heart of palm risotto.
We loved: Couverts polvilho, an addictively crunchy flatbread madewith manioc; "Mani" caipirinha made with passion fruit, star fruit, pineapple andmango.

Mercado Municipal/Hocca Bar

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, asmall crocodile. Hocca Bar's counter restaurant has been offering big portions of traditionalBrazilian dishes since the 1950s.
We loved: The famous mortadella sandwich; bolinho de bacalhau (codfishcroquette).

Templo Da Carne Marcos Bassi

Marcos Bassi's high temple to beef centers on his specialty cuts like the Costela doContra-Filet (sirloin attached to the ribcage). The wine list features some 200 European andSouth American labels and an exceptionally generous price policy: Diners purchase bottles at theimporter's price. The 120-seat space is high-ceilinged and luminously elegant.
We loved: Bisteca florentina, an almost-two-pound cut of beef withbone; Palmito pupunha, a whole, roasted heart of palm cut tableside and dressed with oliveoil, salt, lemon and mustard.
Insider tip: Marfrig—one of the biggest meat purveyors in Brazil—sells Bassi'sbranded line of meats.

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