In the charming old manor occupied by AK Delicatessen (Rua Mato Grosso  450, Higienópolis, tel. 11/3231-4497, noon–3 p.m. and 8 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Sat., noon–4 p.m. Sun., R$25–40), rising young chef Andrea Kaufman breathes new life into European and Middle Eastern Jewish culinary classics. Help yourself to the likes of marinated sardine tartare and sweet and sour cucumbers at the salad bar downstairs, where you can also order a crunchy falafel sandwich. Upstairs, in an intimate dining area whose walls are swathed in colored fabrics, try the veal goulash topped with sour cream and the pastrami-stuffed beef with gratinéed brie, served with delicate potato latkes. Arroz-doce brûlé perfumed with cardamom and rose water is a wonderful update of a Jewish grandmother’s rice pudding.
Born and bred in the Loire Valley, but naturalized as a Brazilian citizen, chef and grand gourmand Erick Jacquin is considered one of the best French chefs in the city. At his elegantly modern La Brasserie Erick Jacquin (Rua Bahia 683, Higienópolis, tel. 11/3826-5409, www.brasserie.com.br , R$50–70), he treats diners to dishes such as roast duck in black pepper sauce and lamb with Provençal vegetables, prepared with understated flair. Jacquin’s great specialty is his homemade foie gras, which comes in many guises including a surprisingly sublime version bathed in guava cream. The desserts, particularly the petit gâteau, are irresistible, and the wine list is outstanding.