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Friday, May 22, 2015

Tavares Brings São Paulo to Potrero Hill

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 12:21 PM

click to enlarge JAMES CHIANG
  • James Chiang

San Francisco has a complicated relationship with chains, but we sure love it when chefs attached to well-known restaurants in other cities set up shop here. São Paulo’s Tavares, named for a newspaper columnist who once lived in the space where the restaurant is now, has won plaudits for its traditional Brazilian fare over the four years it’s been open.

click to enlarge JAMES CHIANG
  • James Chiang
Owner Ivo Abrahao and Executive Chef Federico Suringar make as much as possible in-house, and it shows. While clearly influenced by Brazilian cuisine, Tavares doesn’t zero in on it to the exclusion of everything else. (There’s a Caesar salad with Mary’s free-range chicken, for instance.) This light touch, and the bright, art-filled space (which includes a pic of Grace Jones as a sort of Easter egg) will serve it well as a neighborhood restaurant.

Nonetheless, it’s the Brazilian dishes — such as the delicate tilapia served on a banana leaf with pupunha salad (made with equally fresh hearts of palm) and the top sirloin burger with mixed mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula and mozzarella — that win big. Diners can get really South American about it and go for a filet mignon a la Milanese, too or polenta with mascarpone and mushrooms. If you want a jaunt to the country’s northeast, try a dish of picadinho (slices of filet mignon in a red wine sauce with egg manioc flower, rice and okra). An Argentina- and California-heavy wine list makes sure that everything is available by the glass.

Brazil’s motto is Ordem y Progresso (“order and progress”). Sometimes it takes a military junta to get there, but other times the goal is achieved by house-made focaccia. Check it out.

Tavares, 300 De Haro, 415-558-9461. 

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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