Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mani (Jardim Paulistano)

Rua Joaquim Antunes, 210
Jardim Paulistano

May 16, 2009
So cute. One of my student's mother's took Janhavi and me to this super-sweet restaurant just south of Jardims, where I am looking for a new apartment for next year. I've probably passed this street a million times, but I thought it was just a commercial area. Turns out there are restaurants there, too.

It's a very Brasilian restaurant...codfish appears on the menu (that's the "is it Brasilian?" test. Heart of palm, beets, risottos, gnocchi, and "mani"oc are all there. I had the beet risotto...I was chocked when out same this bright pink bowl/plate of mushy rice. BUT, it tasted delicious. It was like nothing I have ever eaten before. Sheyla and Janhavi had the Bacalhau a Braz. The presentation of the dish itself was absolutely stunning...and it tasted even better.

Dessert won't be able to choose. We tried the "espuma de nutella" (accompanied by ginger ice cream that HAD to have been homemade)...but will definitely try "o ovo" next time.

But really, you can't beat the atmosphere in this restaurant. Cozy, warm, bright.

Can't wait to go back for dinner.

February 7, 2010

My friends and I finally made it to Mani after talking about it for ages. They are open for lunch on Sundays from 12-5 and we decided to meet there around 6. When I got there at 3, there were tons of people and we were told it would be over an hour. Considering that it took us so long to finally coordinate this outing, we were in for the long haul.

That wasn't so bad for us, actually, as it gave us the chance to do one of the things we do best...people-watch. And this is a great place to do it. It's VERY chic, and this is where you can find some of the most beautiful people in SP. It also gave us a chance to try some of their special caipirinhas. I tried the Caipriroska Mani, which tasted like a beach drink. Flavors like passionfruit, pineapple, mango, and starfruit with Absolut. I drank the whole thing, and usually I am not such a huge drinker. The other flavors were hit or miss...there's a pepper-red fruits caip that Janhavi said tasted like cough syrup and everyone pretty much agreed. But she traded it for a "special lemon-lime" caip and that was delicious.

It was really tough to decide what to get b/c everything looked so good. In the end, Cristina and I ordered the root vegetables in coconut milk, Janhavi ordered the lamb, Mary ordered the roast beef, and Andrea ordered the fish of the day (they were out of tuna...why is Sao Paulo always out of tuna? we lamented). Each dish was great...the roast beef and the lamb probably coming out on top. The potato crostada side that came with the fish was delicious. Our root vegetables, while tasty and hearty, paled in comparison to the other dishes on the table, especially the lamb, which CAME with root vegetables.

For dessert, we were so full that we couldn't bear to order one more thing. But we did anyway. We opted for what they called the "chocolate flan", but was really more like a mousse. It came in the cutest presentation (a small jar with a Mani sticker on it.).

I'm glad we went, but I definitely didn't appreciate the long wait. The service was friendly, but slow. That just might the case for all the tables all the time, but we were definitely ready to eat and feeling it. Next time, I would try to go with a reservation.

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