NYC
Updated June 17, 2022, Posted December 8, 2018

Back in 2018, I wrote, “The food was surprisingly good, and it’s not pricey at all. They give you free sides of rice and beans, so no worries about ordering that.” Now that I am working out of Midtown and fairly close to some of these Brazilian restaurants, I’ve been curious to try some of them again especially after the pandemic. I don’t recall the decor being as “fancy” before, but the menu looked more refined and sophisticated in a good way. We also did not take pictures the last time we were here, so we thought about trying this restaurant again even though we usually try to not repeat restaurants.

Ambiance

The interior felt like it was redone compared to the past. If you look at the Yelp pictures, you can see that the decor didn’t really have any snazzy appearances to it. It felt like a normal restaurant. Now, they’ve added some more flair to it, such that you feel like you were in some popular Latin-fusion Miami restaurant.

Our waitress was fantastic and was very attentive to our meal.

Food

The HelĂ´ ($18 - left) came with raspberry infused bourbon, chardonnay, dolin vermouth blanc, and Peychaud’s bitters. It tasted like a smooth Manhattan with berry essences in it.

The Tea of Ipanema ($12 - right) was a mocktail and came with mate tea, honey, lemon, lime, and lemongrass. It was also pretty good, and definitely more on the tart spectrum.

The Sopa De Bacalhau ($18) came with fresh cured cod, manilla clam bisque, and trout roe. I thought this was pretty good, but nothing really amazed me. However my partner loved this as it brought them back to when they were in Brazil. The cod itself was fresh, and the bisque had a clam chowder texture (albeit leaning towards more watery) to it.

The Picanha ($38) came with a Brazilian cut picanha, port bordelaise, tomato vinaigrette, and farofa. The picanha was pretty good though this was not quite how I was imagining it would be served. I had a few pieces of this, and I think it’s probably best as a shareable platter for the table than a standalone meal for one. The picanha was perfectly cooked medium rare, though I think for this price it’s a little expensive for what you get.

The Feijoada ($32) came with black beans, pork, collard greens, and farofa. Having had this in other Brazilian restaurants, I thought this place did theirs better than most. My only criticism is that the broth came out a little too salty than what I preferred. Nevertheless, it tastes very similar to how I make it at home. They give you very generous portions of meat.

Here are the Feijoada’s sides which has the rice, collard greens, and farofa. The collard greens were a oversalted, but I love collard greens too much to care. I was surprised that they did not serve a side of salsa.

The Bolo De Rolo ($14) came with guava rose ganache and creme fraiche ice cream. For this little food, this was quite expensive and not much of a value proposition. However, it was very good. The bolo (cake) was very soft and moist and wasn’t overly sweet. Coupled with the creme fraiche, it was quite delightful. We’ve had this cake from independent Brazilian cake makers that make it better, so comparatively it’s definitely not the best. However if you have never tried this before, it’s worth a shot. Just be warned that it’s quite small to share.

Final Verdict

Ipanema has definitely updated their restaurant to fit more into the upper-mid scale type of restaurant with a more refined and delicate approach to their food. The food is still pretty good, though there are some parts of it that are a little more expensive than expected. Nevertheless if you are looking for an alternate restaurant to Little Brazil’s restaurants, I think this is a pretty good one to try if you’re willing to walk a few streets down.

Yelp Jabs

I’m Brazilian and I was there last night with two American friends, and we all loved it … and this is by far the best Brazilian restaurant I’ve been to

Come on Yelpers when you say something is the “best”, what are they comparing it to? I actually like Berimbau Do Brasil more than this.

Omg!!!! If you have the oportunity to come to nyc or if you live here! This is a Must!!!! They are delicious drinks! really delicious food and desserts!! The staff is the friendliest!! the chef is actually from BRAZIL! the place in very nice! I’m in love!!! With everything!!!

This is one of the reviews where I think the Yelper overdosed on exclamation points (!). Most of the wait staff were definitely Brazilian, as we learned ours was from the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. I’d be surprised if the chef wasn’t also from Brazil.

Revisions

  1. Jun 17, 2018 - Added food/pictures/text of 2022 visit.
  2. Dec 8, 2018 - Initial revision.