Bagatelle São Paulo

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So, passing a very inviting restaurant patio, and looking for somewhere nice to have lunch, we were sold on the patio alone. Not even realizing the name of the restaurant, it wasn’t until we were handed menus that read “Bagatelle” that I realized why I felt so at home, as if I were back in NYC. Bagatelle has locations from LA to St Tropez, and also Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo. 

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Trendy, and with a bit of an upscale vibe, they really do an excellent job here from service, to presentation, to food. To start, we ordered their White Sangria. It was light, refreshing, and had a nice crispness and sweetness from the fruits.

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Then, you’re brought some bread. But not just a standard bread basket, lovely, fresh French Bread with spreads (salted butter, pate, tapenade). The bread was crunchy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. I especially loved the tapenade with this. 

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For lunch, they offer a prix fixe option for an extremely affordable price of 45 R (only about $20). For my appetizer, I had a Couscous Salad. This was amazing. It was light and delicate, yet the perfect starting portion. The couscous was flavorful and tender, complimented by the freshness and crispness of the lettuce.  

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For my entree, I had the Peche du Jour (Red Snapper, zucchini carpaccio, zucchini chips). This was incredible. First off, I was really surprised by the generous portion size of the Red Snapper. Did I mention that all of this (including the dessert I’ll discuss later) was only $20? The fish was lightly fried on the outside, giving it a savory, light crunch on the outside. Inside, it was light and flakey with excellent flavor. I really enjoyed the zucchini-two-ways here too. You get the fresh version, thinly sliced, and then the crisp, crunchy, salted zucchini chips.

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Then, for dessert, I had their Cheescake a la Banane (banana cheesecake, ginger crust, banana brûlée, banana anglaise). This dessert was bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I know, old song, but this was seriously an incredible piece of cake. The cheesecake itself was rich, creamy, with the perfect density. There was an excellent banana flavor that came through, enhanced too from the compliments of the brûlée and anglaise. Not to mention that the crust was buttery and delicious. 

The Shorts:
Name: Bagatelle
Location: R. Father John Manuel, 950 – Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? In a New York Minute. I mean, a Sao Paulo minute? Doesn’t have the same kind of ring, but, just like its NYC counterpart, I would absolutely return. 
Would I recommend it? Without a doubt. Get yourself over to that patio and enjoy one of the most delightful lunches al fresco. 

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Alder

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An East Village neighborhood gem that I could return to over and over again is Alder. The restaurant’s aesthetic is sleek and minimalist, but the food is vibrant and exciting. The focus is on small plates with mostly familiar and accessible foods, but prepared and presented in a unique and special way. 

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To start off, I had a cocktail. One of the things that I think is brilliant that Alder does is, they offer a few of their signature cocktails in half portions aka, “shorts”. This is ideal if you’d like to try a couple cocktails but maybe only consume one drink total, or, if all you need is a liiiiiiittle bit more to top you off, order up shorts. I got Dr. Dave’s ‘Scrip Pad (rye, yuzu, amaro, smoked maple). It’s great, it’s a tad sweet, a little hint of fruit and smoke. It’s almost like a smokey fruit punch. 

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First off the food menu, I had the Cured Red Snapper (black garlic, fennel, timut, orange vinegar). This was incredible. The snapper is raw, perfectly sliced, tender and flavorful. The fennel is shaved into these thin ribbons, with this amazing citrusy vinegar flavor. And smeared at the bottom is a black romesco, which, I would absolutely love to purchase a jar of, it’s that good. It’s nutty, it’s sweet, a little savory and pretty ridiculous. 

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Then, I had their Pickled Beets (coconut ricotta, thai basil). The beets are a little sweet and citrusy, and go so nicely with the coconut ricotta which is textured similar to a smoother cottage cheese and slightly sweetened from the coconut. 

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Lastly, I had…sorry, I just blacked out thinking about this dish. It was, one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. I had the Octopus (chorizo, sweet potato, banana). The flavors, the textures, the way each ingredient is prepared, it’s all perfection. The octopus is tender and flavorful, then you coat it in the sweet potato puree which is delicious and slightly sweet. And then, to add another texture to the dish is the banana, which is just like a banana chip, crunchy and sweet. 

The Shorts:
Name: Alder
Location: 157 Second Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? It was not my first time there, and it will certainly not be my last.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. And please, whatever you do, get the octopus!