Best Brazilian Restaurant - 2000
When the Portuguese "settled" Brazil and forced African slaves to cook for them as well as work in the fields, the result wasn't completely tragic, at least from a gastronomic point of view. Without native and African influences, no doubt Brazilians would still think salt cod is delicious. Fortunately for the culinary-minded, the folks who got taken advantage of wound up contributing to one of the most interesting cuisines in the world, a mixture of Portuguese, native South American, and African ingredients and cooking styles. And Barroco, a pretty Brazilian restaurant, is perfectly poised to educate our palates with dishes like black-eyed pea fritters with oven-roasted shrimp sauce; shrimp with coconut milk and yuca purée; and adobo-rubbed roast pork tenderloin with aged port sauce and collard greens. The truth is, of course, that you don't really have to know your colonial history to take advantage of supping on this sumptuous fare. There won't be a quiz after the meal. But there just might be some bossa nova.