Sunday, December 13, 2009

Plantains, guavas and passion fruit

I’ve been in Sao Paulo since Thursday (working) but I had all of Saturday to myself. Being a lazy bum as always and got out of the hotel around 2pm, granted it rained for about 40 minutes before that so I was waiting it out.

I walked over to the Jardins area and Rua Oscar Freire, got a bunch of Havaianas as presents (also waited out the next rain shower there) and then went to Brasil a Gosto which was profiled in the NYT (I swear I didn’t remember what the reporter ordered, my order just happened to be very similar) for a late lunch. Whenever I ask “fala ingles?” they usually say something in Portuguese, which means that no, they don’t speak English. Here, they got one of the maitre d’s / managers (not sure who he was, but he definitely wasn’t a waiter) to take my order and pretty much wait on me hand and foot, but the servers brought my food out, and practiced their English on me. Good times!

I ordered a passion fruit caipirinha. How could I be in Brazil and not have a caipirinha? They also had caipiroskas (with vodka) and whatever a caipirinha made with sake is called. I always forget that passion fruit has seeds, which I don’t know how I feel about yet.



I was thinking about doing the 5 course tasting menu but was told it might be too much food for me, as it was an amuse bouche, appetizer, fish, meat and dessert. I decided to agree with that and order a la carte.

To start I had banana-da-terra (plantain) canapés on a bed of cream cheese and topped with pepper jam. I had to discipline myself to not eat all 8 of them (I don’t think this was meant for one person) but well prepared plantains are always fantastic.



Since their specialty is fish, I went with the grilled sea bass with baru crust, banana (I think it was really plantain) puree, and lima orange vinaigrette. Apparently baru nuts are native to Brazil and really creamy, kinda between a cashew and a peanut. My sea bass was a little overcooked but the accompaniments more than made up for it.



I couldn’t decide what I wanted for dessert. I was debating between cream cheese with guava (Brazilian cream cheese is different) and a baru cake with a molten center, shredded toasted coconut, hibiscus ice cream and caja sauce.





I couldn’t pass up on the Jamaica, JP :)

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