Vicolo Nostro, one of the best Italian restaurants in São Paulo, brings the atmosphere of an Italian vicolo - a narrow alley - to a side street in the Brooklin district.
Vicolo Nostro has been awarded the Ospitalità Italiana seal, a classification created in 1997 to identify restaurants in Italy itself which adhere to the country's traditions. Since 2010, the seal has been applied to restaurants in 45 countries outside Italy and Vicolo is one of 440 places which have won it.
The cuisine of chef Silvana Piran and her son, executive chef Christiano Panizza, faultlessly represents a wide range of classics, with great attention to detail - bread and pasta are made from scratch. The menu at Vicolo Nostro features an appealing selection of polente and paste ripiene, risotti and gnocchi. Among the chefs' suggestions are codfish risotto with black olives and sun-dried tomatoes, crab-crusted conger eel fish in tomato and caper sauce, served with black rice.
The wine list includes Italian, Portuguese, Argentine and French choices as well as some of Brazil's best labels, such as Villa Francioni.
Architecture, décor and candlelight contribute to make Vicolo Nostro one of the most romantic restaurants in São Paulo. Brooklin has a history of European immigration and the building occupied by the restaurant was once São Paulo's first bread factory, an Austrian-owned company. The entrance, the alley that gives the restaurant its name, has cobblestone flooring, a 1940s fountain, terracotta pots filled with hydrangeas, and elements picked up on many trips to Italy, such as a medieval image of Mary brought from Siena.
In the veranda, decorated with European and South American food and drink ads from the 1950s, the vintage brick flooring in a herringbone pattern evokes a Tuscany piazza.
The Angel Room is decorated with 19th- and early 20th-century angels, plus mirrors, family heirlooms and travel memorabilia. In the Fireplace Room, miniatures by artist Roberto Pombo help tell the history of the charming construction.
Throughout the rooms, antique furniture and sunflowers, the restaurant's symbol flower, add to the overall charm - which, with the good food, draws executives and families as well as starry-eyed couples.
Lunch: Mon-Fri noon - 2:30 p.m., Sat-Sun noon - 4 p.m.
Dinner: Mon-Thur 7 p.m. - midnight, Fri-Sat 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Address & Contact Information:
Rua Jataituba 29
Phone/Fax: 55-11-5561-5287/5533-3096. Reservations recommended.