Midnight Brunch: Brazilian Carnaval Edition made a splash in Manhattan last weekend. We're getting a little ambitious in 2012, doing two Midnight Brunches in the space of a month but this isn't even the craziest thing on the agenda this year! This event was produced in partnership with Google Places NYC as a reward for their most loyal users.
Mad you missed it? Request an invitation by filling out this form. We welcomed over 30 guests for a South American-inspired feast. Mr. Hal Wolin shook up hundreds of Caipirinhas (Brazil's national cocktail), made with Leblon Cachaca. In the kitchen, we had help prepping and plating from our fantastic volunteer staff (including three former MB guests).
The event took place in a spacious, low-lit loft right next to the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan. As the fog rolled in that night, we rolled out the welcome mat and dishes us a menu tied together with with garlic, onions, greens and TONS of delicious pork and indulgent amounts of carbs.
We enjoyed small bites during cocktail hour, with chicken salad hand pies and Pao de Queijo (Mini Cheese Breads). The chicken salad hand pies were an accidental victory: the chicken salad was originally destined for the inside of some Coxinha (Chicken Croquettes) but in the end, the mixture of the day's humidity and the croquette dough didn't work out. We flipped the script on the rainy weather outside with a heart and tummy-warming seated meal: Brazilian rice (slow-simmered in olive oil with onions and tomatoes), collard greens sauteed with garlic and hearts of palm salad. The crowning glory to the whole plate was Feijoada, a seriously smoky slow-cooked black bean stew made with local Mangalitsa pork (a heritage breed that is as juicy and fat-marbled as beef) from Mosefund Farm.
Learning experience: We heard from our crew that the stew was too smoky or too fatty for some, but we were happy that we saw mostly clean plates coming back to the kitchen (we'll chill out on the beef jerky and smoked bacon next time around!). We did two small bites for dessert, but they wound up being the biggest crowd pleasers: We served up mini coconut flans (called Quindin) and topped it off with an intensely flavorful passionfruit mousse and homemade whipped cream. Check out the full menu from the meal, including the cocktail list here. Enjoy a few highlights from the evening below. All photos by Clay Williams.
Menu for the evening
I love sharing details about upcoming tasty trips and adventures, so you won't want to miss a bite. As always, please feel free to chat with me on Twitter, join our group on Facebook and keep up with new posts here by subscribing. Request an invite to future Midnight Brunch events here.