All Reader Reviews of...
132 E. 61st St., New York, NY, 10065
nr. Lexington Ave.
Good atmosphere, bad food
By davidespittler on 3/7/2011
This restaurant has a lovely airy and whimsical atmosphere. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is a facade to the overpriced, below-average food. I ordered one of their specialties, the Feijoada. For $26, I thought that the black bean stew would be quite flavorful with braised meats and sausage served with rice, collard greens and farofa. The stew reminded me of something one could order from a street vendor, a street vendor who would charge a fraction for this peasant dish, and blow away Circus' version of Brazil's national dish. The braised meat in the stew was dry, overcooked, and unseasoned. The stew itself was unseasoned, and the sausage was a step below Jimmy Dean's frozen varietals. The stew was served in a pot alongside a rectangular plate that had me scratching my head. Three orange supremes were pointlessly added in the center, and just to the left were not collared greens, but some sort of an inedible chiffonade of greens. At 12 o'clock was the forofa, I guess, which was a molded heap of garlic flavored bread crumbs, which I can say is the most pathetic accompaniment to any dish I've ever had. On the right side of the plate was the rice, which was under seasoned at best. Everything on the rectangular plate was superfluous. The national pride and joy of Brazil, Feijoada, was an overpriced, borderline nasty take on Rio de Janeiro barrio food. Save yourself the money and order tacos from a street vendor.
By casabda on 2/9/2009
As a frequent traveler to Brasil and married to a Sao Paulo native I think I know authentic Brazilian dishes when I taste them. The feijoada presentation was the real item right down to the sauteed 'coave' or collard greens. Laced with garlic and still green and crunchy. The black bean stew was perfect and the plate finished off with 'farofa' and orange wedges. The Camarao na Maranga shrimp dish was excellent and delicately seasoned. Topped off with a 'Pudim de Leite" flan and a dish of 'Doce de Leite' ice cream and I was transported to my mother-in-laws Sao Paulo dining room on a lazy saturday afternoon. Reasonably priced and attentive service. Well done and muito obrigado.
One of the best!
By jag137 on 1/3/2009
This restaurant is not only one of the best on the UES, but one of the best in the city. The service is welcoming, courteous, and doesn't rush; the decor is fun; the food is amazing! Everything tastes fresh and perfectly seasoned. Definitely worth many visits!
No spits of meat here!
By ChaineChevalier on 1/30/2008
Nowadays, when you say "Brazilian restaurant", most of us think of a churrascaria, the all-you-can eat place in which waiters come flying out of the kitchen with individual spits of grilled meats. Circus is a cut above all those without the three ring shenanigans. My wife had Palmito, a salad of hearts of palm, tomatoes, string beans and blue cheese. She also had Sopa de Camarao "dende": shrimp bisque hinted with dende oil, a bright orange palm oil. Both were excellent. I had a Snapper Ceviche: slivers of red snapper marinated in fresh citrus juices, herbs, red onion and malagueta peppers. Fantastic. Also, I had Casquinha de Siri: lightly warmed peekytoe crab with a lime, coconut and chive emulsion. Lovely. Lastly, Rabada "shepard's pie": layers of braised oxtail and yuca puree, avocado, cilantro dressing. This would make a great entree. Total bill was $180 (without tip) and we felt it was well worth it, but bargain hunters might well enjoy the $21, three course, prixe fixe lunch.
By ShanghaiLil on 1/10/2008
I loved the atmosphere and the back table we got. The smells and the setting was just great. We had great reasonably-priced wine and there was no rushing. I really felt like I was in Europe enjoying my evening long dinner. The food of course is the main draw and I absolutely loved everything. A few items were a bit on the salty side but the flavors were in wonderful combinations and will prompt a trip back soon!
Good food, but too stuffy
By Uplange on 3/24/2004
We went there on a Valentine's day afer a friend strongly recommended it. I must admit I was expecting a more down-to-earth place and I found it too stuffy instead.. and the clientele is + late 40's.. Nevertheless, food was really good and service very attentive.
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