UPDATE: Sadly, it appears that Cafe Paulista didn’t make it. There was an “Available” sign in the window when I drove by the other day (6/6/2012). It’s possible that they have moved to another location, but I doubt it.
One of my hard and fast rules when reviewing restaurants is that I don’t review the same place twice. I may comment on events, such as a closing, but I won’t go through the whole shebang again. However, I feel that Cafe Paulista Grille needs some follow-up. When I had visited earlier, it was during lunch. Laura and I went for dinner this evening, and the experience was totally different. Since I’ve already described the venue, I’ll focus on the food and service this time.
Tonight, we decided to try one of the meals for two, specifically the combination skewers of sirloin and chicken. What we didn’t realize was that this was going to turn into a multi-course meal.
First, we were brought plates with a half fried banana, potato salad, and a small cheese bread roll. Usually, we eat potato salad as an accompaniment, rather than as opening dish. The salad was light and delicious, and the fried banana was fantastic, as was the cheese bread.
The main course came out in no less than seven large dishes. There were four large bowls with the following: rice, hearty black beans, Brazilian vinaigrette, and ground yucca root. The skewers were on a square plate, and there were two more plates for us. The beans and rice alone would have made a complete meal. There were large chunks of meat in the beans that made it almost complete in and of itself. The sirloin was light, rather than the dark texture we’re accustomed to when we grill meat. The chunks of chicken were wrapped with bacon. The vinaigrette consisted of tomatoes and onions, and was closer kin to a pica de gallo. The meat, beans, and rice were served topped with the vinaigrette and ground yucca, and the flavors were excellent.
We couldn’t finish everything. Even so, I had a clear view of the desserts, and there was no way we were getting out of there without some. Laura ordered a chocolate truffle, and I ordered flan. Mine was very light, and a perfect finish to the meal. Laura’s truffle was filled with a chocolate substance with the consistency of a light caramel. I stole a bit, and it, too, was great.
During this time, service was great. Our waitress helped with pronunciation, and service was quick and efficient. Also during the meal, we heard as much Portuguese as English. We’ve gotten accustomed to hearing Spanish and German in addition to English, so it was nice to add yet another language to our cosmopolitan city.