D.O.M. – Gin, Olive Oil, Black Salt, Honey Vinegar, Lemon
Amazonian Ant, Cachaca
Tapioca, Langoustine, Coconut
Yanomami Mushroom Salad, Asparagus, Egg Yolk
Cashew, Scallops, Bone Marrow
Heart of Palm Ravioli, Vatapa, Coconut Milk, Blue Taro
Pirarucu, Pacoca, Fish Broth
Manioc “Beiju”, Manioc Farofa with Bottarga, Puffed Manioc, Manioc Mille Feuille, Manioc Cream, Pao de Queijo, Amazon Garlic, Acai
Duck in Tucupi Sauce
Hump Steak, Baroa Potato, Wild Brazilian Vanilla, Toffee
Aligot, Toffee, Minas Cheese, Gruyere Cheese
Brazilian Honey Ice Cream, Fermented Honey, Pollen
Tapioca and Rapadura Mochi, Mate Herb Ice Cream, Pomegranate
Coffee, Coalho Cheese, Vanilla Chantilly, Honey Cone
Unarguably Brazil’s most highly regarded Restaurant, though falling on various “lists” in recent years, D.O.M. sees Chef Alex Atala more focused than ever on his country’s history and what the future may look like during a time of turmoil for the Amazon.
Currently celebrating twenty years serving São Paulo, 2-Star recognition by Michelin maintained ever since the guide began rating Brazil, it is during lunch and dinner that guests are welcomed at D.O.M. during the workweek, a bargain experience built on traditional plates offered for businessmen in addition to Chef Atala’s seasonal Optmus and Maximus Tasting Menus.
Selecting the Maximus, but finding it a little strange that Juice pairings are only offered with the Vegetarian version, it was from the bar that D.O.M.’s eponymous Cocktail was requested, the substantial dryness broken up by Citrus and a touch of Olive Oil that floated around an orb of Ice.
Created at a time when Brazilian gastronomy was unknown to outsiders, long before Acai was the “Super Food” du jour, D.O.M. walks a tightrope between “fine dining” and culinary story-telling, the current “pre-discovery” idea focusing on Brazil’s roots in an Ingredient-focused manner that begins with a raw Ant used as seasoning in the Amazon alongside what looks like Bug in Amber, but is actually a liquid-centered Cachaca Candy.
Quiet on a Monday, Chef Atala visibly spending a lot of time teaching in the open kitchen, course two arrived as two plates, the first a plump Langoustine atop crisp Tapioca with shaved Coconut and the second a Tartare atop Mousse with broth perfumed Tamarind plus additional Jungle Herbs.
Next offering a Salad of local Mushrooms, some cooked crisp and others marinated or raw, it was after wiping up the last bits of Yolk with sliced Asparagus that Scallops arrived, Atala’s fondness for Caju showing as Jam, Fruit and Nuts were all used to add sweetness plus textural diversity to the Bivalve and its mirror of Bone Marrow.
Channeling Afro-Brazilian history next with thinly sliced Heart of Palm around Shrimp and Peanut Stew, the Coconut Milk added tableside and herbed Taro each complimentary without overpowering, course six arrived in a sizable stockpot, the Broth from which was added to a bowl of seared Pirarucu and tiny bits of Candy and Farofa that helped tame slices of Jalapeno.
Replacing the tablecloth with a thatched mat next, the final three savories served as such, it was in praise of Manioc that Atala presented its multiple utilizations, the Beiju and Mille Feuille both stand-outs with instructions to enjoy the spoon last leaving diners mouths full of buttery Bottarga.
Continuing traditional with Duck Breast in Tucupi Sauce, a larger version ordered at Dalva e Dito that night equally delicious, savories concluded with a thick slice of Buffalo “Hump” bathed in sweet Toffee, the same Sauce used as gravy for D.O.M.’s signature “Cheese Course” of Potatoes Aligot made with Minas and Gruyere.
At this point thoroughly impressed by Chef Atala’s ability to present traditional flavors in a refined manner without losing a sense of purpose, a rarity in Restaurants with an “agenda,” Dessert did nothing to unravel the narrative by beginning with Honey Ice Cream in a fermented acidic Bath and following it with Tapioca Skin Mochi beneath Mate Ice Cream and Coffee service with housemade Condiments.