Internationally celebrated chef Alex Atala has garnered extraordinary success with D.O.M. (Rua Barão de Capanema 549, Jardim Paulista, tel. 11/3088-0761, www.domrestaurante.com.br, noon–3 p.m. and 7 p.m.–midnight Mon.–Thurs., noon–3 p.m. and 7 p.m.–1 a.m. Fri., 7 p.m.–1 a.m. Sat., R$65–75). Atala’s forte is applying classic cooking techniques to unusual ingredients and culinary traditions (he has a predilection for those from the Brazilian Amazon).
The resulting creations are all about contrasting textures (scallops marinated in coconut milk with mango croquante) and inspired flavors (filet mignon braised in bitter chocolate and watercress) that challenge the most jaded taste buds. Showcasing the food to maximum effect is the seductively modernist dining space designed by noted architect Ruy Ohtake. It includes an open kitchen where you can see the master chef at work. Reservations are essential.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition