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Dec 14, 2000 09:42 AM

Consensus on Cabana Carioca/Little Brazil best?

  • j

Ok I need a tasty dinner locale A VERY SHORT WALK from City Center 8 pm Sat night. Im thinking about Cabana Carioca as one option, and I will need to make a reservation. Any thoughts on whether CC would be a good current choice or whether there would be a better choice nearby? Ive noted recent posts that feijoada is a no-no (boo!) and shrimp is good at CC.

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  1. Jen, I have had a couple of not-so-good meals at Cabana Carioca--this goes back a little, like August, maybe. It just seems to have gotten sloppy and almost Theater-District-y. There was a distinctly unpleasant odor there, too, the last time I went, like garbage. Cant give you a comparison to Little Brazil, but have come to much prefer Ipanema. Good food and a nice caipirinha.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Deb Van D

      I'm with you...but only re: the tables. You gotta go to the bar, which is a separate menu, simpler, more reliable (esp. the chicken...though, as I said to Jen, it can be dry)

      I suspect you sat near the bathrooms...they use an AWFUL smelling deoderant, and it permeates the restaurant.

      1. re: Jim Leff

        So is it safe to conclude that the lunch buffet ought to be avoided? Someone once praised it highly to me, but I when I stopped in recently it didn't look too great, and I bailed out without trying it.

      2. re: Deb Van D

        Where is Ipanema?
        You don't mean the bar on 14th Street, do you?
        I go there almost every friday for drinks but they don't serve food.

        1. re: Ari

          No, I was in 'Little Brazil' in my mind in mid-town when I posted, not downtown. Ipanema is on W 46th I think, really just off 5th, north side of the street. It is dependable and I like it fine.

      3. Do Cabana Carioca only if you sit at the bar and only if you order chicken. It may be incredible, it may be dry. But it'll only cost you five bucks (with a huge mound of rice and beans plus fried potatoes). this was a truly great restaurant once, and it's now running on fumes, but sometimes they're real good fumes.

        The other advantage of the bar is that it's the only place, other than PJ Clarke's and maybe Milano, where strangers in NY habitually talk to each other. it's fun.


        1. A Chowhound has pointed out to me that I meant town hall, not city center, in my original post. I must dine within a short walk from there (6th Ave - low 40s) , thus the question on LIttle Brazil. sorry, and thanks for all the advice so far.

          1. Our offices are across the street from Cabana Carioca and no-one ever eats there. They have a lunch buffet which is the most expensive (though cheap) on the first floor and progressively cheaper on the second and third floors. Our conjecture (though purely speculative) is that the food just moves upstairs each day until disposed of. Osteria al Doge or Virgil's or St. Andrews on 44th Street might be better options near Town Hall.