Usually when we talk about a restaurant we liked we start describing how unique was the service and how unbelievable good was the food. But Mocotó, a restaurante located on the largest Brazilian city, São Paulo, doesn’t need one more person saying they have the best “escondidinho” on the planet or the best “rapadura” ice cream ever.
The media did that a lot and the best chefs in Brazil agreed.
I’m here instead, to say Mocotó is my favorite restaurant because it gave me hope again. I will tell you why.
The interest in the culinary arts started to experience a huge growth on the last decades. And it was not different in Brazil. TV cooking shows became popular, cooking schools opened everywhere, everyone wanted to have their own restaurant and suddenly, everybody was called a chef and began to charge astronomic prices for their food.
When we went to Mocotó, last January, what we saw was the opposite. It’s located on the same place where it was born almost 30 years ago, Vila Medeiros, a kind of discriminated neighborhood, far from the lousy and fancy restaurant areas of “Sampa”.
Mocotó is a family business that started on the 70’s with José Oliveira de Almeida, the father, and gained its fame with Rodrigo Oliveira, the son.
Rodrigo went to culinary school but came back to give the restaurant a new beginning. In five years the place just exploded. Last year it won the title of the best Brazilian food restaurant in the country. Rodrigo also joined the 100 list of the most influent people in Brazil and, invited by the Culinary Institute of America, became a member of the Latin Cuisine Advisory Council.
But, besides the fame conquered, both father and son are still working together to preserve one of the best foods we have in Brazil, and even better, making good food in accessible price to all.
And thanks God we had to wait two hours to get a table. Meanwhile, we got to taste almost every appetizer on the menu.
For my surprise their generosity didn’t stop yet. The “escondidinho” recipe translated here can be find on the website, together with other plates of the menu.
I know they are in portuguese and most of then requires specific Brazilian ingredients. But escondidinho can be fairly reproduced in the USA too. Check out the tips and video about this dish on the blog Cuca Brazuca and find out the goodness of the this beef jerk surprise.
** If you’ve noticed the recipe asks two times for butter. That’s because the original requires a special one called “bottle butter”, a type of clarified butter similar to ghee (Indian butter). So, feel free to replace it according to your taste.