Green tomato jelly
If you walk around São Paulo’s Jardins area you could be also strolling around an upmarket neighborhood in Los Angeles or any other megapolis. This is the drawback of modern travelling. You fly to another part of the world, but when you go out from your hotel ( I was staying at the very lovely Fasano, ), you see Louis Vuitton and other brands shops that can be found anywhere . The only “exotic”phenomenon was the 24/7 security and incredibly high walls surrounding the local residences in Jardins. I didn’t feel any danger but i guess there is a reason why they build them so high…
Alex Atala’s D.O.M. is like no other restaurant I’ ve been though. It is located in the bourgeois Jardins, but when you push the heavy door separating the dining room from the street, you are somewhere in the Amazon rainforest.
Especially foodwise,as the interior of the restaurant is quite classic except for the see through kitchen,indigenous statuettes, masks and Indian headdress hanging on one of the walls. According to San Pellegrino list, D.O.M. is at the moment 7th best restaurant in the world. Alex Atala uses a lot of local products that are unique for Amazon.I had the vegetarian menu that was paired with indigenous fruit waters , some of which names i didn’t even know. In fact, some of the herbs, vegetables or fruit found in the Amazon don’t even have international names. Despite of the creativity, taste and balance of the flavors is the most important at D.O.M. . Every dish I had was very interesting and in a way intellectual, but at the same time delicious and not too experimental. Most of all, you go to D.O.M. to eat well and that’s why i hope to come back there one day. Filhote (Amazonian fish) with tucupi and tapioca or baby pork ribs in Malbec and Bras manioc sounded particularly good.
Here was my vegetarian menu:
Green tomato jelly
Crunchy black rice with green vegetables and Brazil nut,milk
Heart of palm fettuccine with butter and sage,parmesan cheese and popcorn
Paris mushroom (toasted and raw) with smoked parsnips and black garlic
Sweet potato with Brazilian mate tea Béarnaise
Lemon and banana priprioca
Each dish was paired with different water: key lime, banana,pitanga,cambuci,thai basil and tangerine,tapereba.