With literally no knowledge of Brazilian cuisine, we walked into Viva Brazil and were delighted to learn that the country has much more to offer than the Rio carnival, beaches, world-class soccer and lively samba. This newly opened bistro is tucked away at an ideal location, 913 West Lake Street.
Offering the taste of Rio, Viva Brazil offers delectable big dishes at low prices, no wine over $24 and entrees at around $15 or less. Despite being warned, we ordered way too much, and had another complete Brazilian dinner at home the next night.
Their fresh collard greens were cooked to perfection–none of those were left to take home, and a heart of palm citrus and avocado salad provided a great starter.
Ready to sample their main dishes, we started with their ‘tribute to meat’, the Churrasco Misto: tender, grilled pork loin, top sirloin and chicken, served with amazingly good black beans and cilantro rice. The meats were not only tender, but had a wonderful grilled flavor. The main treat was a classic seafood stew called Moqueca, consisting of mixed shell and white fish, salmon, peppers and a mixture of fresh vegetables mixed with a red curry and lime juice. While this curried, succulent dish was quite luscious, the calamari appetizer was just ordinary.
A note about the main dishes. The meat dish came with heart of palm salad, and the seafood stew with the collared greens.
We wish the friendly staff and terrific chefs good fortune with the new Viva Brazil.
Rich Reeder lives in CARAG.