Behind a concrete counter framed by books, chef Bel Coelho runs her nouvelle cuisine in São Paulo, a mix of cafe and restaurant called Cuia.
With the opening scheduled for Thursday (10), the new home has a storyline that follows the universe around it – the Cuia is inside Megafauna, a bookstore opened two weeks ago at the foot of Copan. , a building designed by Oscar Niemeyer and which marks the skyline of downtown São Paulo.
Under the direction of Fernanda Diamant, who was the curator of Flip, and Irene de Hollanda, the bookstore features a variety of fiction and non-fiction books, in addition to being physically linked to Pivô, a space of art that hosts exhibitions and other artistic experiences.
It is in this context that Bel Coelho presents its gastronomy based on the research of Brazilian ingredients and techniques, with a menu which, at least initially, mainly includes breakfast-type meals.
While for the past six years the chef has been in charge of Clandestino, a restaurant closed due to the pandemic and which has only opened once a month to serve tasting menus, the wait with Cuia is to reach a wider audience, in a place with easier daily operation access and more advantageous prices. “Offering more democratic food has always been one of my wishes,” he comments.
Among the coffees, resulting from a partnership with Isso é Café, the coadão costs R $ 5 and is prepared throughout the day, served directly from the thermos and made with organic beans. Macchiato costs R $ 8, while cappuccino costs R $ 10.
To accompany, the suggestions are the cheese bread with cheese from Serra da Canastra (7 R $), the yogurt cake with pitanga sauce (5 R $) and the chocolate and nut-sapucaia cookie, a tree found in the Atlantic Forest (R $ 9).
The section named after the house, Cuia, offers more hearty dishes. One of the highlights is the egg with corn couscous, mandala cheese mousse from Pardinho – a cheese factory inside São Paulo – and sweet potato chips (R $ 24). Another option is the red salad, made with roasted beets, tomato, feta cheese, baru and scratchy watermelon (R $ 26), a recipe the chef has been making since Dui’s time, a restaurant she closed. in 2013.
Still in its infancy, the classic tostex wins a version in mandioquinha bread with mandala cheese and jabuticaba jam (R $ 25). The European waffle takes on a Brazilian touch with honey and yellow urucu butter (R $ 22).
The space will also serve lunch, with three options: spaghettini with candied tomatinho, arugula and Brazil nut pesto (R $ 39); orecchiette with leeks, eryngui mushrooms and almond flakes (R $ 41) and baião-de-lui (R $ 48).
At this first moment, the house will operate until 7 p.m., respecting the time limited by pandemic restrictions and security protocols. But it is in the chef’s plans to offer dinners again next year. “It will be a completely different menu from the one offered during the day, more sophisticated,” he adds. “It will follow the same line as the day menu, with a lot of native Brazilian products, which is one of my brands. And also a more rational use of meat, more like seasoning, because I think it is. is the future. “
Until the arrival of the evening meals, it is possible to sip at home. Served from 4 p.m., the gin-based drinks menu is signed by Neli Pereira of Espaço Zebra. There is also a selection of wines from sommelier Gabriela Monteleone, who works at DOM, by Alex Atala.
According to Coelho, having Copan as a backdrop is a privilege. “I love modern architecture and Niemeyer. I come to work happier to be in this building.”
Cuia – Copan building, av. Ipiranga, 200, República, central region. Mon to Sat: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Of the game. (Ten)