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South American Restaurant with Decent Atmosphere?

It seems that most South American restaurants I know of are either primarily takeout places, cafeteria-style dining spots, or hole-in-the-wall restaurants, which is all well and good, but I was wondering if there are any that have a more mid-level to upscale atmosphere. Brazilian would be preferred, but I would be ok with Venezuelan, Chilean, or any other South American cuisine. Thanks!

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    1. Doubt it's exactly what you're looking for but: Taranta in the North End, the cuisine of which is "a marriage between Southern Italian Cuisine and Peruvian Cuisine" is very good. I've always enjoyed the food, and I'd describe it as upscale casual.

      Cafe Brazil in Allston is not really a hole-in-the-wall. I thought it had a pleasant atmosphere and great food.

      1. Midwest is nice enough. And the new space for Macchu Picu (sp) in Union Sq. And Orinoco of course.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Joanie

          Hmmm, maybe I'll look into Machu Picchu. So the new digs are pretty nice there?

          1. re: Joanie

            I also thought of Midwest Grill in Inman for Brazilian. It always seemed pretty nice when I used to walk by. Hiddenboston, have you been there? I never have been, but I've heard good things. I've also heard good things about Oasis, never went there either (don't know how that could be, but it's true). Not sure how "nice" it is though.

            I think there are some nicer Brazilian places in Framingham too. Maybe Brazzille like Alice mentioned below. There might be others too, but I'm not familiar with them.

            For Colombian food, El Cafetal and Camino Real in Allston are both okay....I wouldn't call them "hole in the walls" but I wouldn't say they are at all upscale either. So it doesn't quite fit your request, but I have eaten in both and thought they were both good.

            Dave MP

            1. re: Dave MP

              I've tried to go to the Midwest about 10 times now, with something coming up each time. I hope to get there on a Friday night in the next few weeks with a few buddies of mine.

          2. Am I the only one who thinks Rincon Limeno has a sexy as hell atmosphere? Guess so.

            Ole in Inman or its now ex-cousin in Arlington are both nice-ish. Granted, that's Central, rather than South American cooking....

            How about Tango in Arlington? An Argentinean steak house with good steaks and better than average food.

            I'm drawing a blank on mid - upscale Brazilian; sorry.

            2 Replies
            1. re: gini

              Did RL ever expand into the bar next door? I was there before this & we were elbow to elbow in this little, nondescript storefront.

              1. re: Taralli

                Don't think so. I was there a couple of weeks ago, on my way to the airport, and it was just a little storefront with a couple of Peruvian families (you can tell by the Inka Cola :) at Formica tables. I agree with gini, though, that this is a fantastic atmosphere but not, I think, what hiddenboston had in mind. Ceviche was damn fine too, although I would have liked a little more potato or sweet potato to go along with it as a foil for the lemony goodness of the fish. There was a lot of liquid so I'm not sure if it would make it through airport security...

            2. Brazzille in Framingham(?) Heard good things from someone at work. Sounds a bit more upscale than the usual Churascaria.

              2 Replies
              1. re: a l i c e

                Brasileria, I think...Same atmosphere as cafe Belo, steam tables, serve yourself, and plywood paneling on the walls.

                1. re: galleygirl

                  Oops, sounds like you're talking about a totally different restaurant, after reading Ituanas's post below...sorry for the mix-up....

              2. My favorites are Machu Picchu for excellent Peruvian, Muqueca for great Brazilian with a heavy seafood emphasis, and La Casa di Pedro.

                1. Midwest Grill is pretty decent for a slightly more upscale work dinner or going out with the guys. Waiters in uniforms, ok decor, music 7 days a week. Bit loud for going out with a date. Its also a bit inconsistent -- I think its probably a better bet on weekends with more turnover on the buffet and more meat being grilled.

                  Churrascaria Rodeo in Woburn does Midwest Grill a little fancier -- white table cloths, mixed drinks, wine list etc. They have music at least Thu-Sun. What they lacked was the selection of Midwest on the buffet, but might be a better date location.

                  Brazzille was supposed to take Framingham a bit more upscale (and downstairs at Ipanema is fairly nice too) -- its a partnership between the owner of Barriga Cheia and an American I believe, with function rooms. But I haven't been, so its hard to suggest it.

                  I wouldn't call any of Cafe Brazil, Muqueca, or Oasis upscale... although they each have their charms. Cafe Brazil has good music, but old carpet and pizzaria type photos on the wall. Muqueca warmly painted, but a bit sparse and no wine/food. Oasis has a function room.

                  As noted in other threads there isn't anything here like Porcao, Plataforma, etc.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: itaunas

                    itaunas, thanks very much for the info. What do you think of Machu Picchu? Have you been there? I know it's Peruvian, so the cuisine is obviously different from the above restaurants you listed, but it sounds pretty interesting...

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      I like Machu Picchu, although I haven't been in a couple of years and there are several folks who have checked out more of the menu than me (I have mostly stuck to ceviche and the lomo). They picked up a stage when they moved into the Lino's space and I think have music on weekends. Hopefully the service has improved too. They probably don't have too much in the way of mixed drinks, but I think they do have a liquor license so you can probably now get Pisco Sours there :-)

                      I have looked in on the new Casa de Pedro and its pretty fancy , but I always preferred some of the waltham offerings (mi tierra, etc).

                      1. re: itaunas

                        I like Machu Picchu but I haven't been in the new space yet. Has anyone been? Maybe hiddenboston can take one for the team and check it out....

                  2. Oh, and forgot to add you can check out the Taranta's menu and pictures of the food on bostonchefs.com. It's definitely upscale, and delicious. The cozy romantic atmosphere would be perfect for Valentine's Day.


                    1. Don Ricardo's in the South End isn't exactly upscale, but it would be mid-level. Brazilian/Peruvian.