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Brazilian food? (not churrascaria)

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My dad is coming into town, and he's a fan of all things Brazil (is considering retiring there), so I would love to take him to a great Brazilian meal. He is from LA, where there are a few good churrascarias, so that's not really what I'm looking for. Are there any non-steakhouse Brazilian places (bonus points if they have a really good moqueca) in Manhattan? Also, any advice on finding Brazilian cultural experiences would be much appreciated.

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  1. I don't know what moqueca is, but I really like Zebu Grill, on E. 92nd Street. It's not a steakhouse, thought they do have meat, of course.

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    Zebu Grill
    305 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

    3 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Zebu Grill is the best Brazilian restaurant in the city, and it does have a pretty good moqueca (a Brazilian seafood stew). Their moqueca has coconut milk, but not palm oil. You can get grilled meats there, but they have a lot of other choices also.

        1. re: ShinjukuAce

          Palm oil is a key ingredient for moqueca - at least the moqueca Bahia style - if they are not using palm oil, they are making a stew but not a moqueca :) which can be good too.

      2. West 46th Street is dubbed "Little Brazil" for all the Brazilian restaurants it has to offer.

        1. I like Zebu Grill in the Upper East Side, but I have never had the moqueca there. The room is cute and the food is good, but the menu is a bit limited.
          My favorite Brazilian restaurant is Via Brasil on 46th Street. I love the food, although I don't like the room and the neighborhood. But it's my best bet whenever I am homesick for Brazilian food.
          Delicia in the West Village has a very good moqueca, but the service is VERY slow. If you don't mind to wait, this is a good option.
          Avoid Buzina Pop like the plague.
          There is also Circus, which I haven't been in a long time, but I had the moqueca there long time ago and it was good.
          You just missed the Brazilian Film Festival at MoMA and the Brazilian Day. So I am not sure what is going on right now. Check SOB (Sounds of Brazil) webpage to see what they have. Sometimes the Blue Note has Brazilian singers, you may want to check their webpage too.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Toot

            i will strongly second via brasil. your dad may like it b/c it's more old fashioned and has very good food.

            1. re: nativeNYer

              third for Via Brazil. My boyfriend is obsessed!

          2. Not in Manhattan, but may be just as accessible, depending where you are based, but Miss Favela in Williamsburg is atmospheric, has great food and drinks, and a very friendly staff. The place describes itself as a botequim with traditional Brazilian dishes. Web page: http://missfavela.com/botequim/index.php

            1. Casa - in the West Village.

              1. NYT just did a great piece on cultural experiences in NYC
                http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/...
                I would recommend checking out Miss Favela for the feijoada. Don't forget to write chow afterwards and tell us what it's like!

                1. I loved the moqueca at the affordable Malagueta in LIC.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: D...DF

                    cognizant of the fact that it's not on that lil ol island -- but easier to get to from most of it than east 92nd is -- malagueta is AMAZING!

                  2. Probably the most angered I was by a place this year was CASA on Bedford. I went with a Brazilian step-sister who grew up in Brasil and speaks fluently. They were really diffident and not even particularly nice, even to her. I had a chicken dish which was billed as spicy but really boring and she had some definitively Brazilian stew the name of which escapes me. She said it was a really poor example thereof. The waitress was so distracted despite a less than stellar seating, we both agreed it wasn't worth trying.I warn people off it if I'm asked directions to it. The vibe was that bad.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sing me a bar

                      I agree about Casa. The caipinhas and pao de qeuijos (cheese rolls) are good but beyond that, the food is very ordinary for the price.

                      1. re: sing me a bar

                        Ate at Casa last night. The staff was nice to us. We liked our shrimp cake appetizer and the little dish of hot stuff, but both of our entrees were boring and the room got super hot and stuffy. I wouldn't bother to go back.

                      2. i love esperanto on ave c/11th.

                        1. we just ate at CASA on bedford for the first time. it was very good. we had spent some time in brazil and craved brazilian cuisine. the only part of the meal that disappointed us a bit was the broccoli rice. it was not as flavorful as the rice we had in brazil. but both our dishes were flavorful and tasted like the food we were used to.

                          1. Ironbound section of Newark NJ, Path or NJT to Newark, ask for direction in the Station. I like Seabra.

                            1. Bar Bossa in NoLiTa is also a great option. Very cozy atmosphere and fantastic bacalao (salt cod) fritters and caipirinhas.

                              1. Casa is excellent, smaller more subdued place in the west village.. otherwise miss favela in williamsburg sits on the opposite end of the scale. a review has been posted on:
                                http://macnchis.wordpress.com/2010/06...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: deadlinepoetry

                                  A friend took me to Circus about two months ago and I had the moqueca which was pretty good, but definitely fell short of what I'd had in SP. Overall, the restaurant seemed tired although the service was quite good.