SAO PAULO, Brazil — A hot São Paulo lunch spot has now morphed into a trendy dinner venue.
When Sal (Portuguese for salt) opened in May 2005 in the Higienópolis neighborhood, lunchtime clientele could munch on quiche, salads and sandwiches on an outdoor patio the eatery shared with a contemporary art gallery. Following a renovation and expansion, Sal reopened in February with a new 1,300-square-foot interior space to supplement the patio area, a revamped menu and dinner service.
The interior boasts a long, wood-floored corridor, with wooden tables on one side facing a glass-walled, see-through kitchen on the other. There's also a wooden counter on the kitchen side of the restaurant for those who want an up-close look at operations. The owners plan to decorate the white walls with works from the adjacent gallery.
Sal's new menu offers intercontinental cuisine made with Brazilian ingredients. Appetizers include ostrich carpaccio with Dijon sauce and truffle oil, and calamari in a Provençal herb sauce; among the entrées are quinoa spaghetti with shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, garlic-seasoned broccoli, poppy seeds and cherry tomatoes, seasoned with sage butter and truffle oil and dusted with Parmesan, and duck maigret cooked in port wine and served with cassava root puree, baby carmelized onions cooked in lemongrass and fried banana.
Dinner, including an appetizer and a glass of wine, costs around $35 per person. Lunch service includes less pricy dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs or Brazilian black bean stew, and runs about $22 per person, with a glass of wine and an appetizer.
Sal, Rua Minas Gerais 352, Higienópolis, São Paulo; 55-11-31-51-3085. Open for lunch, Monday-Friday, 12-3 p.m., and for dinner, Tuesday-Friday, 8 p.m.-12 a.m., and Saturday, 12-7 p.m. — Michael Kepp
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