Padoca do Mani
Affogato, Homemade Hazelnut Paste
Corn and Pumpkin Empada
Corn Brioche, Amazon Honey
Creamy Cornmeal Cake
Carrot Cake, Dulce de Leche, Candied Walnuts
Although Helena Rizzo studied architecture in college her career took an unexpected turn in 1997, a cook position yielding internships with names such as Troisgros and the Roca brothers that finally led to her opening Mani in 2006.
Since building her name and empire slowly, a total of four Restaurants including two Bakeries now flying Chef Rizzo’s flag, it is from Padoca do Mani that all Breads for the Michelin-starred flagship have been baked since 2015, the space itself also drawing a crowd from 08h00 daily.
Located in Jardim Paulistano, Rua Joaquim Antunes 138 just a few doors from Mani itself, guests will find the space largely unlabeled and unassuming, covered outdoor seats welcoming perhaps two-dozen diners while the interior features standing space along with a friendly staff busy preparing Sandwiches, Salads, Coffee and an abundance of Baked Goods.
Locally focused and largely organic, the volume of business assuring freshness but also generating lengthy waits for anything served above room temperature, it was perhaps twenty minutes after seating that a tray featuring three items was served, an Affogato proving there is no such thing as “too early” for Ice Cream or Nutella while Bread sold for 13 Real was unfortunately quite dry for something labeled Brioche until it was slathered with Honey.
Partially impressed by the daily Empada, this one featuring melted Cheese plus Pumpkin and Sweet Corn inside buttery Pastry that was unfortunately a bit flaccid, sweets fortunately saw Padoca do Mani shine brightly, first a square of Cornbread that eats sweet and wet like Tres Leches, then the Carrot Cake that one-ups America by replacing traditional Cream Cheese Frosting with Dulce de Leche.