Sun-Mon, 11am-10pm; Tue-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight
C, E at 50th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
40th St. to 60th St., Fifth Ave. to West Side Hwy.
It's true that rice-and-beans are the staple at this Brazilian hole-in-the-wall, but to say they're the chef's specialty would be an understatement. Traditional Brazilian cuisine is infused with Portuguese and African influences, represented in dishes here by the intense flavors of garlic, onion, tomato, palm oil, and coconut. The delicious picadinho carioca, or beef stew, has tender sirloin cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and red wine. Don't skip the feijoada, Brazil's national dish. It's a casserole of black beans with pork loin, sausage, bacon, spare ribs, and beef, with a scorching homemade hot sauce. Except for the uninspired appetizers, portions are big enough to share. The place itself is cozy—so small it only fits 19, and you have to cross the kitchen to get to the bathroom. The walls are wood-paneled, and hung with colorful paintings by Brazilian artists and autographed pictures of American and Brazilian celebrities. While you eat, Bossa Nova music plays quietly in the background.