Lunch at D.O.M. São Paulo

I first read about D.O.M. back in 2005. I had just earned a BFA in ballet and modern dance performance. I was living a jovial, sometimes raucous lifestyle with very few responsibilities. Each day I was getting more drawn into habitual eating and drinking out and about as well as cooking and entertaining at home. Reading more cookbooks and reading about what chefs and their teams were doing around the world. At that time I started to think it would be a neat idea to get a reservation at one of these amazing restaurants then plan a trip around the meal. Each time I mentioned to my friends the thought of traveling to another country for a meal they would tell me what a ridiculous idea it was. But I kept on looking for new places and another great bite. Now, nine years later, I find myself planning not only travel but most of my life around which wondrous restaurant to visit next.

A couple weeks ago Rocky and I made our first trip to the Southern Hemisphere and I finally got to taste what Chef Alex Atala is cooking at D.O.M. in São Paulo. As long as I was making the trek from NYC to Brazil, I thought I should make it a two-a-day, but Rocky is starting to protest that practice, so I went with a two-in-a-row. So this is a post from Friday lunch. Click here for Saturday dinner.

dom sao paulo table setting

After a couple sunny days of sightseeing, eating excessive açaí, and playing on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, we hopped on a plane to São Paulo, stopped by our hotel for a few minutes then made our way to lunch at D.O.M. We started up with a bottle of bubbles(kick-ass 1995 Fleury) and got the party started.

dom sao paulo bread servicedom sao paulo bread service

dom sao paulo bread servicedom sao paulo bread service

They hit us first with bread service. Traditional sourdough, whole wheat sourdough, and addictive little pão de queijo(cheese & tapioca buns) accompanied with Brazilian butter, roasted garlic and potato spread, and what we understood to be sour cream with olive oil.

dom sao paulo manioc

Before starting into the menu, a serving of grilled manioc with smooth, rich, whipped cheese and port reduction. The texture of the root was great. Crisp outside with starchy striations. A good few bites to start. Although it was served with a cocktail of curaçao and sparkling wine that tasted of cough syrup and perrier.

dom sao paulo eggplant

dom sao paulo eggplant ceviche

Ceviche de berinjela e algas. A ‘ceviche’ of juicy, acidic eggplant with seaweed, cilantro, and sesame. Not sure what all was in the powder that was dusted over, but it started off with an immediate spice that faded right into a pleasant oceanic seaweed taste.

dom sao paulo scallop coconut milk brazil nut

Vieira com leite de coco e castanha do Pará. Scallops with coconut milk, Brazil nut, dried mango, cilantro, and pepper. Superb tropical balance. Straight from Rocky’s mouth: ‘This is super f*cking delicious.’ Different types of sweetness subtly sang together and harmonized beautifully.

dom sao paulo black rice vegetables

Arroz negro levemente tostado com legumes verdes e leite de castanha do Pará. Lightly toasted black rice with broccoli, asparagus, snow pea, celery, leek, green pepper, and green onion dressed with Brazil nut milk. A wonderful plate of well-executed grains and vegetables.

dom sao paulo red snapper mini rice

Olho de cão com mini arroz e alga marinha. Local red snapper with mini-rice and seaweed. Really well balanced. Nothing mind blowing, but delicious.

dom sao paulo heart of palm anchovy

dom sao paulo palmito brandade

Brandade de palmito com anchova e telha de tapioca. A brandade of roasted heart of palm with anchovy and a meat-fish-red wine reduction. The brandade itself showed just enough of the astringency and acidity of the palm to balance into the richness. When combined with a little of the super salty anchovy, it was pretty bad ass.

dom sao paulo amazonic ant

dom sao paulo ant pineapple

Abacaxi com formiga amazônica. Northern Amazonic ants. Served both plain and with pineapple. We were instructed to have the plain ant first. It had a strong lemongrass-ginger taste and a resonating menthol-ish finish. When combined with the pineapple it was kind of like a cough drop in flavor, with the sweetness of the fruit alongside the herbaceous insect.

dom sao paulo mini rice cake

dom sao paulo mini rice mushroom watercress

Mini arroz tostado com cogumelos e agrião. A toasted mini rice ‘cake’ with mushrooms, kale cream, watercress, flowers, and a cream of curdled milk with brown butter solids. Effing bangin’. The rice was wonderfully textured. The dense, earthy mushrooms with the sweet, vegetal kale and the tangy, sour cream were fantastic.

dom sao paulo heart palm fettuccine

Fettuccine de palmito à Carbonara. Heart of palm ‘fettuccine’ prepared as a classic carbonara. I wasn’t too excited going into this one. I thought it sounded gimmicky/tacky in Atala’s recent cookbook, but I was way wrong. This plate was dynamite. The al dente snap of the palm and the balance of the inherent acidity within the rich preparation were spectacular.

dom sao paulo baby pork ribs

Costelinha ao Malbec com mandioca Brás. Baby pork ribs, fall-off tender with a nice thick glaze, plated up with Malbec foam and manioc prepared like crispy crunchy little french fries dressed with egg and onion. Not necessarily highly elevated cuisine, but it was super f*cking tasty.

dom sao paulo aligot

Aligot. An amazing Aligot. Loaded up with Gruyère and Minas cheese. With a perfect density. Almost like potato flavored chewing gum.

dom sao paulo lime ravioli

dom sao paulo lime ravioli

Priprioca – Ravióli de limão e banana ouro. Lime gel ‘ravioli’ stuffed with banana with priprioca. The sweet, lightly acidic lime made the banana taste rich which created a light fruity balanced first dessert.

dom sao paulo brazil nut tart

dom sao paulo brazil nut whiskey ice cream

Torta de castanha do Pará com sorvete de whiskey, curry, chocolate, sal, rúcula e pimenta. A Brazil nut tart with whiskey ice cream, curry, chocolate spice sauce, arugula, salt and pepper. With all the elements combined, a superb dessert.

dom sao paulo petit fours

A few sweet bites to accompany our coffee(which was made from Nespresso capsules, which we saw everywhere).

After dinner we got to chatting with one of the service staff and got onto the subject of Cachaça and cocktails and he started to tell us of Jean Ponce, D.O.M.’s barman, and some of his creations. So we decided we needed to visit for drinks in-between our two meals. Here’s a glimpse of what went down that night:

dom sao paulo cocktaildom sao paulo cachaca

dom sao paulo jean poncedom sao paulo cocktail

dom sao paulo cocktailsdom sao paulo bar snacks tapioca

It was absolutely a great first day in São Paulo, to see what we had for dinner the next day, click here.

Date of visit(s):  January 3, 2014

D.O.M. Rua Barão de Capanema, 549. São Paulo, Brazil  +55 11 3088 0761


2 Responses to “Lunch at D.O.M. São Paulo”

  1. 1 Doc Abbick February 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Great photos. Excellent written descriptions. Between the two, I can taste what you are saying. God bless you, Guy and Rocky. I just had a world class meal with no calories. Thank you.

  2. 2 BOUNIOL Henri March 28, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Ayant appris qu’une recette de cuisine traditionnelle d’Auvergne l’ Aligot, avait trouvé une traduction auprès de chefs brésiliens, j’aimerais savoir s’il y a eu récemment une émission de télévision sur la cuisine auvergnate.
    Par ailleurs, étant depuis ma retraite de journaliste, producteur de pois secs ( une légumineuse cultivée sur la Planèze de Saint-Flour et très peu connue en dehors de la zone de production) j’ai constaté avec surprise que depuis quelques semaines,mon site:
    CULTURES DE PLANEZE avait été consulté plusieurs fois au Brésil, je me demande donc s’il y un lien, avec un intérêt actuel de vos chefs pour les produits oubliés.

    Un simple mail de votre part me ravirait.

    Très cordialement

    Henri Bouniol

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