I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the diplomat-recommended Brazilian restaurant would be located on the street in Manhattan nicknamed “Little Brazil Street,” but since I worked practically next door until last April, it seemed an odd coincidence at first.
“Little Brazil Street” is the block of West 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. There are several Brazilian restaurants on that block, but it was Via Brasil that the Brazilian diplomat recommended as the most authentic in New York City.
Brazil is a huge country, with much diversity in cuisine, depending upon the region, and Via Brasil offers a range of foods that speak to that diversity – lots of fish and shellfish, grilled meats, and of course "Feijoada Completa," a bean, pork and sausage stew that is considered Brazil’s national dish.
Start your dinner off with a caipirinha, made of fresh limes, sugar, and the Brazilian liqueur cachaca. The restaurant claims their caipirinhas are the best outside of Brazil. We can’t vouch for that (yet) but agree they sound awfully good and will return to try them out sometime soon.
For our dinner, we selected a “Salada Tropical,” which featured hearts of palm, mixed greens, tomatoes, onions and olives, and “Mariscada Via Brasil,” described on the menu as “the chef’s special seafood combination.”
Unfortunately for us, the night we visited Via Brasil, we weren’t all that hungry, so we shared the salad and entree, and ogled at the meals being served around us – "Feijoada Completa" and "Churrasco Misto" (grilled skewered meats) at the neighboring table. Our meal was delicious, and our neighbor diners reported that they enjoyed theirs as well. Our waiter was appropriately attentive and helpful.
Entrees are mostly around $20, with some of the meats, the Paella and the Feijoada running up to $25 and more. Throw in an appetizer, salad, a drink or two or a bottle of wine, and you can easily spend over $100 on a dinner for two including tip.
If you’re a vegetarian, you won’t find much to satisfy you, but those who love meat and fish will have a hard time, as we did, selecting what to order. I guess that means, like us, you'll be eating there more than once.
The general feel of Via Brasil is a little more dressy than some of the other restaurants we’ve covered here – white tablecloths, and live piano at dinner – so you’ll probably feel most comfortable in business or at the higher ends of “business casual” attire.
All major credit cards are accepted, and there is a full bar and wine list.
Where and When
34 West 46th Street (between 5th and 6th)
New York, NY 10036
Fax: (212) 997-0228
Monday and Tuesday
12 noon - 11pm
Wednesday through Saturday
12 noon – 12 midnight
12 noon - 10pm