My wife Jun’s best friend from high school is married to a Brazilian currently studying in the U.S. The couple recently visited us in the New York City and said on our first lunch get-together that they are planning on visiting this Brazilian restaurant in West Village that I have no idea existed. The husband of Jun’s friend lamented how laypeople seem to associate Brazilian food with just meat barbecue dishes, and said there is no much more in the country’s culinary tradition. I got curious and suggested to Jun that we tag along them. Overall, Casa was a solid initiation into the Brazilian cuisine.
When you look at Casa’s menu, there are some familiar-looking dishes purely based on the description. You have probably had croquettes and cheese bread at other non-Brazilian restaurants, but the Brazilian version at Casa was quite delicious (croquettes came in three pieces, with one each based on chicken, shrimp and cheese, while the farm cheese bread came out gluten free and, more importantly, warm), as was the crab meat baked with tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
For the larger dishes, Brazil’s national dish feijoada (a black bean stew with prime meats) served with rice, oranges, collard greens and farofa (a toasted flour mixture commonly used in Brazilian foods) shows you the classically rustic side of Brazilian home-cooking. I thought the prime cut steak served with broccoli rice and farofa was also surprisingly well-cooked. On the other hand, sea bass with tomatoes and jumbo shrimp didn’t feel particularly special. For the dessert, the classic Brazilian caramel fan was serviceable.
When we came to the restaurant on a Wednesday evening, the city was under a heavy snow storm so perhaps that explains why the restaurant was fairly empty. There are fairly affordable South-American centric wine selections to go along with your food. The dining space looked perhaps a little to West Village-y (I was hoping to see some traditional Brazilian decorations and ornaments here and there), but otherwise it looks like a good venue for casual dinners with friends and family. New York City still could use a few more Brazilian restaurants, and Casa is one of those places that gives you a good idea of what kind of flavor and texture that the country’s cuisine offers.
KenScale: 7.75/10 (Jun’s Score: 7.5/10)
- Creativity: 7.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 72 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (212) 366-9410