"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Friday, September 9, 2011

Eu Amo o Brasil ~ Figueira Rubaiyat

I fell in love with Sao Paulo, Brazil this past May. I had the best lunch of my life and it was the first day of Geeks on a Plane South America. Upon arriving in Sao Paulo after 17 hours of transit, we went to the world renowned Figueira Rubaiyat. One of my coworkers, Bedy Yang, had organized an impressive 'welcome lunch' that will be impossible to top. We had no idea what was in store for us as we were flying into Sao Paulo....
This restaurant is ranked number 4 in Sao Paulo which has more restaurants than New York City! The design of the restaurant is stunning. It is built around an old fig tree - Figueira means fig tree. The ambient here is really upscale, unique and memorable. This is an expensive restaurant but well worth the price as it is not just a meal - but rather an entire experience. Here is a picture taken from the entrance of the restaurant:
The bar was gorgeous. Long wooden shelves with warm colored bottles and a huge vase with impressive fuscia orchids and hibiscus flowers. Our lunch was in the private backroom but if I recommend trying to get a seat in the jardin, beneath the fig tree and having a drink at this bar while you wait for your table.
Welcome to Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is Geeks on a Plane with incredible cuisine all along the way...
The tables settings were unique and gorgeous. Bread displayed like vintage books...

The experience began with a small plate of warm Brazilian cheese balls - Portuguese cheese puffs brought to the table. They were soft and uniformly golden to perfection
 As soon as we all sat down, waiters promptly brought out white plates of superb antipastos. There were small marinated Bocconcini, roasted heirloom tomatoes with pesto sauce, thick slabs of grilled summer squash with pesto, marinated mangoes and peppers, and slices of spicy Sopresetta. The colors and flavors were all beautiful, vibrant and went together magnificently.
As a main course we were served large cuts of delicious tender, medium rare Kobe beef with a side of roasted olive oil potatoes. I am normally not a big meat-eater - but I decided to indulge when in South America and I'm very happy I did!
As an alternative to meat you could have the fish dish cooked in a cast iron skillet with a tomato vera cruz sauce and basil and cheese broiled on top.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the meal was the 20 foot long dessert buffet. Complete with freshly cut fruit, flans, tarts, cakes, dulce de leche, puddings, crumbles - this was a table of heaven on Earth.
Here is a plate of my dessert selections (I seriously love buffets). The small yellow round in the upper right corner is a traditional Portuguese egg custard tart. There are pieces of grilled fruit, peaches and plums, a square of heavenly flan and a dulce de leche custard tart.
Just in case a dessert buffet was not enough - an additional tray was brought to each table with an assortment of chocolates, cookies, and sweet delicacies. By this time, all the Geeks had fallen into a food coma...let the adventures begin.
Rua Haddock Lobo, 1738 - Jd. Paulista - Sao Paulo
Reservations recommended

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