See some of the best restaurants with famous chefs in Brazil
Based on the list of 100 Best Restaurants in Brazil, by Casual EXAME, we highlight which ones have celebrities in the kitchen
And who said it was necessary to stamp your passport to know the recipes of the best chefs in the world? After all, there is no shortage of famous names – even internationally – in charge of kitchens here in Brazil. Therefore, Casual EXAME listed some of the restaurants led by super chefs among the 100 Best Restaurants in Brazil. Check out!
The House of the Pig
restaurant of the couple formed by thechefsJanaina and Jefferson Rueda became synonymous with impressive numbers — and queues. It occupies the 17th position in the rankingThe World’s 50 Best Restaurantsand 11th in Latin America. The house, which received 31 votes from the jury formed by EXAME, has the sanzé pork as its flagship. More than 12,000 sanzé dishes are sold monthly, which forces the Rueda to roast 60 pigs a month. The debt accumulated in the most critical phase of the quarantine is also impressive: it was almost 3 million reais. “We could open two more Casas do Porco”, calculates Janaina.
Initially, she thought it would take four years to cover the hole, which involves both the restaurant and the couple’s other businesses: Bar da Dona Onça, Hot Pork snack bar and Sorveteria do Centro. Apart from the back taxes, however, which were paid in installments, the debt will be fully paid off by the end of the month. And the expectation is that the business will return to profit now in June. “We did not imagine that our homes would come back with such force”, says Janaina, who does not reveal how much the group makes – with delivery, launched in the pandemic, it is almost 400,000 reais per month.
She credits the quick recovery to obstacles to international travel, which boosted national tourism, and to the economic crisis, which would have made the not-so-expensive menus, such as those at Casa do Porco, even more attractive — the sanzé cost 79 reais at the beginning of May. “The challenge now is to swallow the rise in inflation so as not to alienate customers with price increases”, adds the cook,cheffrom Casa do Porco since 2018 — Jefferson is now dedicated to raising the animals that supply the restaurant and the Porco Real meatpacking plant, which the couple opened last year.
Rua Araújo, 124, República, São Paulo
There are those who visit the discreet restaurant in the Pinheiros neighborhood, in São Paulo (SP), because of Paola Carosella – who became a true celebrity in the world of gastronomy after participating in MasterChef. But, although the relationship between creator and creature is difficult to separate, this is not the only reason to visit: the menu with respect to ingredients and minimal intervention is a spectacle on its own. Proof of this is the ricotta gnocchi with pork sausage ragu (89 reais), made in-house. By the way, during the week, lunch has dishes (52 reais) that change daily.
Rua Artur de Azevedo, 542, Pinheiros, Sao Paulo
It is likely that any restaurant with 27 years of history has become a classic. And what to say when, in charge of the kitchen, is the sought after Carla Pernambuco? In fact, there is a combination of factors that justify the success of Carlota – including the charming townhouse with white bricks in the heart of the São Paulo neighborhood of Higienópolis. But the whimsical recipes are the main highlight, from the Wellington fillet with coalho cheese risotto (140 reais), considered the house classic, to the impeccable flat iron with a crispy crust, aligot of cassava and demi frosting (125 reais).
Rua Sergipe, 753, Higienópolis, São Paulo
It is impossible to separate Alex Atala from the new Brazilian gastronomy. With refined technique and the use of typically Brazilian ingredients, some of which are unusual, DOM was the first Brazilian restaurant to earn two Michelin stars and was even elected the fourth best in the world by restaurant.
“What makes the menu even more authentic is the absence of so-called ‘delicacies’, such as Foie gras”, says critic Arnaldo Lorençato. The list of innovations includes Amazonian ants, edible herbs and flowers, mushrooms collected by the Yanomami people in the mountainous areas of Roraima. The tasting menu, at 640 reais, also proposes to combine the experience with wines and even beers.
The result of long learning is not only in the dishes that come out of the kitchen. “I look at the pandemic, especially what has passed, as the most expensive MBA I’ve ever done in my life. When difficult times come, everything can fall apart and the dream can end, or solidify with an aggregating spirit”, says Atala, who still plays Dalva e Dito and Bio, in São Paulo. For the restaurateurthe last few months have only served to strengthen the team’s unity.
Rua Barao de Capanema, 549, Jardins, São Paulo
It is likely that the recently opened Donna has brought the best version of André Mifano, with a menu inspired by the Italian-Paulista culture, full of authorial touches and certain bets. This is the case of the pork knee risotto with toasted corn, grape reduction with truffles, icing sauce and crackling (79 reais); beef jerky ravioli and curd cheese with pumpkin and honey (78 reais); fried cheese bread (five units for 33 reais); and fettuccine with ragu bolognese (62 reais). And the atmosphere is equally pleasant: there are few tables in the lounge and the modernist decor guarantees the intimate finishing touch.
Rua Peixoto Gomide, 1815, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo
The entire Evvai experience is based on trust: customers only discover Luiz Filipe Souza’s creations as the 13 stages of the tasting menu arrive at the table — this is the only option, for 611 reais. “We propose something that is expensive and that creates high expectations. So, we make something that stays in the memory, with the concern of personalizing each dinner and each table”, says the chef.
It took just two years to earn the first Michelin star, in 2019. But that wasn’t even the biggest challenge for the 32-year-old, who had to put projects on hold during the pandemic and dedicate himself to an agenda full of commitments outside the kitchen. In the end, it all worked out. “For me, it’s the best tasting menu in São Paulo”, says Adriano Lopes, from the Gordo Profissional page.
Strongly inspired by Italian cuisine (although it always has references from Brazilian culture), the menu undergoes constant renovations and reinventions. So don’t be surprised if a favorite dish disappears between visits. For Luiz Filipe Souza, one of the current highlights is the moqueca with fish of the day and nero di seppiaa key ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine.
Rua Joaquim Antunes, 108, Pinheiros, São Paulo
Considering the artwork created at the counter by Jun Sakamoto, presented to just eight diners, it’s no surprise that the restaurant is almost as hidden as the bank vaults – even if, in this case, it’s a discreet townhouse. For those who get the disputed reservation, 13 pieces are served, which can vary between delicacies, hokkigai, sea urchin and fish of the day. And so much mystery is why the tasting menu (500 reais) follows the philosophy omakase, which leaves the choice in the hands of the master. And there are other menus: from Ryuzo Nishimura (450 reais) and at tables (400 reais).
Rua Lisboa, 55, Pinheiros, Sao Paulo
It may even seem strange that a successful recipe, such as that of Lasai, from Rio de Janeiro, receives profound changes after eight years of collecting awards — and even a Michelin star. But that’s exactly what happened: Rafa Costa e Silva and Malena Cardiel started serving eight clients a night; there were 40 people before. “We work with the utmost care, attention and care”, says the chef.
Not even the four months of closed doors because of operating restrictions put an end to the tasting menu, which was sold semi-ready at the emporium during the pandemic. The endeavor was successful and the store should be resumed at some point.
Available only with tasting menu, the experience costs 725 reais. “Rafa manages to transform vegetables from the garden into protagonists and squander flavor on the dishes”, says journalist Daniela Filomeno. But it’s worth emphasizing: this is not a vegetarian restaurant (nor is its proposal). Examples of this are house dishes such as oyster with radish, lemon, caviar and honey, and clams in leek broth.
Largo dos Leões, 35, Humaitá, Rio de Janeiro
Chef Helena Rizzo, who runs Maní, Manioca and Padoca do Maní, entered the quarantine with enough cash to face three months of closed doors. Among the partners is, for example, the presenter Fernanda Lima. The mantra that guided the conduct of business at that time was this: profit, for the time being, is not having a loss.
After the hardest phase of the pandemic, the chef became a judge on the MasterChef Brasil program in 2021, replacing Paola Carosella. Her new job forced her to take a break from the daily routine of Maní, which boasts a Michelin star. But with a clear conscience. The house remains a success, like the other establishments, and the chef Belgian Willem Vandeven, who was already seconding her, has delivered the message with praise.
Launched in April, Maní’s new tasting menu, at 580 reais, serves as a proof. Conceived by Rizzo and Vandeven, it was inspired by the work of the modernist Mário de Andrade. With 12 stages, it includes dishes such as roast kid dipped in a broth enhanced with kombucha porcini — turmeric and marinated shitake complete the creation. Another highlight, which has already been on the menu at Maní, is the feijoada transformed into small spheres, served with pork feet, fried cabbage and orange cubes.
Rua Joaquim Antunes, 210, Jardim Paulistano, São Paulo
There is no lack of awards that validate Manu from Curitiba – considered the best restaurant in the southern region and a recognized figure among the most recognized in Brazil. And who is in charge is chef Manoella Buffara, responsible for authorial (and unusual) combinations, such as bok choy with orange, peanuts and chicken liver mousse. But it’s no use being attached: the menu changes annually, as if marking the evolution of the creator, and always with a tasting menu (430 reais). For those who can’t find the address, just look for the property with bee breeding on the facade.
Alameda Dom Pedro II, 317, Batel, Curitiba
It is in a discreet mansion in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Botafogo that the award-winning Alberto Landgraf works. Nothing indicates that it is the much-requested Oteque, owner of two Michelin stars. What is the secret of a good restaurant? “For me, it’s when the customer eats and leaves wanting to eat again,” says the chef. A good team and trusted suppliers are essential in this equation.
“Landgraf is a technical cook at his peak, with precise construction of all the elements of the recipes. Nothing on the plate is by chance”, says judge Renata Mesquita, from the Paladar section. His inspiration doesn’t just come from gastronomy: the master behind the creations admits to having an interest in design, architecture and technology, for example. “I try to bring all of that to Oteque,” she says.
Back in business after surviving the restrictions of the pandemic — when it decided to close its doors, with zero revenue — the restaurant only offers an eight-step tasting menu, which can include raw tuna with caviar; crayfish with fish mayonnaise; onion with hedgehog and mussel foam; and hake, lightly smoked, in the oriental style. The menu costs 645 reais.
Rua Conde de Irajá, 581, 74, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro