Though it's steps down from street level, the dining room at Circus Restaurante maintains a sunny air. Perhaps it's the circus-themed art, the lemon yellow seats, the bossa nova floating through the room that give the space its warm and tropical feel. No matter, because drifting from the kitchen are the scents of garlic and herbs, coconut and lime?all signs that delicious Brazilian cuisine is on its way. Shortly after opening, the New York Times claimed, "Circus serves the food your mother might cook if you were raised in Sao Paulo or Bahia."
Here are some classic Brazilian dishes to which Circus's kitchen gives a nouvelle cuisine touch.
New York City is a long way from the Rio Grande do Sul region of Brazil, and the wait staff at Churrascaria Tribeca certainly don’t live the rough-and-tumble lives of gauchos—Brazilian ranchers who gathered around wood-burning fires after hard days’ work to slow cook prime meats. But don’t let these discrepancies fool you. Hunks of bare prime meat are still slow cooked above wood fires at this Brazilian steak house, a faithful nod to the gauchos of days past. And the waiters still carry knives in their belts, which they unsheathe at diners’ requests—via the flip of a colored coaster—to shave off perfectly tender cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Every day, amid a parade of skewered meats, waiters march out a specialty dish, such as a roasted suckling pig towed by cart from table to table. To enjoy this spectacular parade of slow-cooked meats, it’s best to have a ravenous appetite—which is trickier than it may first seem. Each meal begins with unlimited visits to the banquet-style buffet and salad bar, where a veritable garden’s worth of vegetables, salads, and seasonal casseroles await. During meals, waiters continuously replenish sides such as fried plantains, mashed potatoes, and cheese bread, and every meal ends with the appearance of a dessert cart full of sweet and decadent treats made in-house.
There’s no questioning Berimbau chef Carlos Inacio’s intimate connection to the cuisine of Brazil when you scan his menu, a focused collection of dishes rich with traditional ingredients such as calabresa sausage, yucca, and seafood. He hails from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, an area known for its “stellar cuisine,” according to New York magazine, which also lauded Berimbau as a “pioneer” among NYC Brazilian restaurants. Berimbau is far from a common rodízio steakhouse, although there’s no lack of pork or steak on the menu. But instead of all-you-can-eat feasts, patrons select elegant presentations of distinctive dishes, such as fraldinha, grilled skirt steak served with yucca purée, sautéed collard greens, and creamy hearts-of-palm sauce. Chef Carlos continues to position his homeland’s food in a fresh, colorful context through dishes such as risotto with asparagus, sautéed shrimp, and cilantro butter. Berimbau’s wine list has been curated with pairing in mind, and the white, sparkling, and red wines—categorized as either Old World or New World—add grace notes that perfectly emphasize the potpourri of Brazilian flavors. But the beverages of choice here are the caipirinhas—Brazilian cocktails that can be mixed with passionfruit, strawberry, coconut, mango, or lime.
SUSHISAMBA park serves up a modern take on traditional sushi rolls. If you prefer to eat healthy, you'll find tons of fresh selections on SUSHISAMBA park's menu. Save a few dollars by bringing your own bottle of wine —the sushi spot is BYOB. Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — SUSHISAMBA park offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond. You won't need to get a sitter before heading to SUSHISAMBA park — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment. Have a big celebration coming up? Consider the private room at SUSHISAMBA park, perfect for large groups of revelers.
Can't get enough of SUSHISAMBA park's tasty dishes? They also offer a catering service for parties and events.
Parking is available in the lot next door, as is valet. If the lot is full, street parking is also an option.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the sushi spot, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
At Esperanto, a side of plantains will sweeten up a meal at this Latin American-infused eatery. If you're avoiding fat or gluten, you can still eat well at Esperanto, which offers a number of low-fat and gluten-free choices. Esperanto also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle. You'll find lots of space for you and the whole gang to spread out at Esperanto, which accommodates plenty of large groups. If dining outdoors is your idea of a good time, you'll love the gorgeous patio seating at Esperanto.
Reservations are offered, so call ahead to lock down your table. No need to dress up for a trip to Esperanto — the casual restaurant encourages laid-back attire.
Esperanto patrons can pull into a space on the street when searching for parking at the Avenue C location.
A visit to Esperanto will set you back less than $30 per person, so you can make it a regular part of your schedule. Esperanto has three square meals a day on the menu, so swing by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Find the best of Brazil at Ipanema Restaurant. No need to miss out on Ipanema Restaurant just because you are avoiding fat or gluten. The restaurant has plenty of options that can accommodate your dietary needs. Ready for a drink to unwind? At Ipanema Restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar. With its kid-friendly vibe, Ipanema Restaurant is a great spot for families to chow down. Ipanema Restaurant easily accommodates large groups — there's even a reserved room available for those extra special occasions.
Make a reservation to ensure your table is ready when you are. No need to gussy up for a trip to Ipanema Restaurant, where patrons dress for comfort and fun. Call Ipanema Restaurant for catering if you have a big event coming up. If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Save Ipanema Restaurant for a splurge since prices for a meal can run upwards of $50.