GRILL FROM IPANEMA

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The next time you and your crew want to try something different, head over to Little Brazil in midtown Manhattan, where tropical explorations await. Ipanema is the most established restaurant on the block, its menu loaded with unfamiliar temptations–perfect for a casual culinary samba with your friends. Show up a little early so you can camp out at the front bar. Friendly bartenders will hook you up with an expert mojito, or the Brazilian national cocktail: the sweet lime concoction known as the caipirinha. When your group files in, head to the back, where trompe l’oeil murals of exotic birds and Brazilian scenes make for an upbeat vibe. White tablecloths provide a touch of formality, and ensure sound levels are just right for conversation. The attentive staff knows the dishes forward and back, and they’ll help guide you through the kitchen’s mix of Brazilian and Portuguese flavors. Get a few croquettes to start, a range of meats pillowed in supple dough. For entrées, you’ll have your toughest dilemmas. There’s Bahia favorite vatapa, with nuts and dendê oil punching up the flavor of shrimp and fish, or feijoada, the Brazilian national stew, with black beans and smoky meats. When the food arrives, trade notes on the chef’s deft blend of old world and new. If you’ve moved on from cocktails, the smooth taste of a Xingu Black Beer synchs well with most any dish, and the bottles make a satisfying clink when you utter the Brazilian toast, “Saúde!”

Ipanema

13 W 46th St New York NY 10036

(212) 730-5848

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