June 12 is Valentines’ day in Brazil (Dia dos Namorados) and those who don’t book in advance stand no chance of dining out at a nice place. Be warned: if in town, call today to reserve or settle for eating at home or the hotel room...
I’ve selected a sampling of the myriad Valentines’ menus on offer. Here goes:
Chef Fabiana Caffaro, at restaurant Anita will be offering a R$ 69 per person Valentines' menu which includes a glass of bubbly. Appetizers: Ceviche or tomato and goat cheese Terrine or a creamy mandioquinha soup with fish roe. Main course: fish with lemongrass or roast beef with root vegetable mash and balsamic reduction. Dessert: Chocolate pavlova with crème anglaise and berries.
Anita: Rua Mato Grosso, 154 - Higienópolis – Tel.: (11) 2628-3584
Balneário das Pedras
At fashionable Balneário das Pedras, owned by chef Cássio Machado, there will be two Valentines’s menus. The first has green salad with buffalo mozzarella as an appetizer, almond-crusted beef tenderloin, and capuccino mousse for dessert (R$75 per person). The second menu is a bit fancier: greens with brie and smoked salmon followed by lamb tenderloin with Port sauce and, for dessert, apple pie with vanilla cream and berry sauce. R$ 85 per person.
Balneário das Pedras: Rua Lisboa, 191 – Pinheiros - Tel.: (11) 3082-7904
At the beautiful Cantaloup (pictured above), the Valentines' menu has more choices. 3 apps: terrine of foie gras with Port jelly; fish carpaccio wiht mango, shiso pesto and king crab; octopus salad with young greens. The 3 mains are: beef tenderloin with Carmenère wine sauce and potato gratin; saffron-crusted robalo fish on heart of palm (pictured below); risoni with brie fondue and sautéed mushrooms. Desserts: pistachio milles-feuilles with raspberry coulis; gratin of seasonal fruits with Muscat sabayon; banana mousse with doce de leite and shavings of white chocolate. The price is R$ 140 per person.
Cantaloup: Rua Manuel Guedes, 474 – Itaim - Tel.: (11) 3078-3445
Dalva e Dito (pictured at the top of the post)
Alex Atala’s much talked-about Dalva e Dito also has a Valentines’ menu on offer. Zuchini salad with sprouts and flowers to start, shrimp served in a pumpkin (moranga) as a main course and flambéed strawberries for dessert. R$ 110,00 per person.
Dalva e Dito: Rua Padre João Manuel, 1.115, Jardins - Tel: (11) 3064-6183
Read more about Dalva e Dito here.
Le Poème Bistrô
French restaurant Le Poème Bistrô is offering a Valentines’ menu at R$ 179,00 per couple. Appetizer is foie gras with balsamic reduction and pear mousseline. Main course: grilled fish with purée of mandioquinha and white truffle oil or rack of lamb with thymne and rosemary and couscous. For dessert, banana and cardamon crèpe with cinammon ice cream or gianduia tartlet.
Le Poème Bistrô: Rua Joaquim Antunes, 98, Pinheiros. – Tel: (11) 3083.6016
At Lola Bistrot, lovers will be given complimentary welcome drinks and a gift made by an artist. Chef Daniela França Pinto’s Valentines’ menu has two choices of appetizers: cream of mandioquinha with truffle oil or civet of rabbit. For the main course, lamb ragout or fish with ragout of mushrooms and champagne. For dessert, white chocolate milles-feuilles with berries. R$ 125 per person.
Rua Purpurina, 38, Vila Madalena - Tel: (11) 3812-3009
Even the São Paulo outpost of New York’s PJ Clarke’s will offer a Valentines special. For R$ 38,90 you get four oysters Rockefeller and a mini-bottle of Chandon rosé bubbly.
PJ Clarke’s: R. Dr. Mario Ferraz, 568 – Itaim – Tel: (11) 3078 -2965
Read more about P.J. Clarke's here.
One of the best deals in town is Shimo’s Valentines’ menu, at R$ 80 per person. Appetizers: mixed nikkey ceviche nikkey mixto and flambéed shrimp and white fish roll. Main course: Mini seafood tacu tacu or sushi-sashimi combo with 10 pieces of sashimi, 4 niguiris and rolls. For dessert, mango and ginger sorbet or Três leches of lúcuma and pisco with chocolate ice cream.
Shimo: Rua Jerônimo da Veiga, 74, Itaim Bibi. Tel: (11) 3167-2222
And more about dining in São Paulo:
- Index of all the restaurants in Itaim, in alphabetical order
- Kinoshita, the best Japanese restaurant in São Paulo
- New restaurants, February 09: Dalva e Dito, Millesapori, Vito, Na Cozinha, Arturito
- A review of my first lunch at Vito, owned by chef André Mifano
- Maní, one of São Paulo's best restaurants
- Where to eat Brazilian food: Maní, Brasil a Gosto, Capim Santo, D.O.M., Dalva e Dito
- Quintal do Bráz: São Paulo's best pizza
- Dui, Bel Coelho's new restaurant, opens in May in the Jardins district
- Second outpost of P.J.Clarke's set to open in the Jardins district
- Tappo Trattoria, one of São Paulo's top Italian restaurants
- Gaston Acurio is set to open a La Mar Cevicheria in São Paulo
- Forneria San Paolo in the Daslu megastore: a disappointment
- La Casserole, classic French Bistro in the Old Downtown (Centro)
- Aizomê, voted by Veja São Paulo's dining guide best Japanese in town
- Alex Atala serves Amazonian ingredients to Spanish chefs at D.O.M.
- Interview with chef Alex Atala
- Dalva e Dito, Alex Atala's new restaurants in the Jardins district
- Full report of my lunch at Dalva e Dito, with photos