HELL'S KITCHEN — A chef who worked at a popular restaurant in Midtown's Little Brazil for more than 25 years is bringing his culinary expertise to a new Ninth Avenue eatery.
Samba Brazilian Kitchen, set to open at 661 Ninth Ave. by the end of April or early May, will serve traditional Brazilian cuisine cooked by former Ipanema chef Ernesto Saude, according to restaurant partner Bertha Arenas.
“Our mission is to merge our love for the food and the culture,” Arenas, 37 said. “Our food is very traditional.”
While Arenas hails from New York, her husband and business partner Eduardo Luna grew up in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro called Petrópolis.
Saude is Portuguese but specializes in Brazilian food, she noted.
“The influences that inspire the dishes are of native Brazilian descent, with African and Portuguese roots," Arenas explained. "That’s what influences a lot of food in Brazil."
Entrees like Vatapá — a seafood stew with shrimp, monkfish, coconut milk, peanuts, palm oil and breadcrumbs — will range in price from $20 to $25, she said.
The menu will also include traditional Brazilian dishes like a rich, slow-cooked bean stew with beef and pork called Feijoada, she added.
Along with its culinary offerings, Samba Brazilian Kitchen hopes to serve wines, beers and spirits produced primarily in New York state if it secures a liquor license, Arenas said.
“On the one hand, we’re a traditional Brazilian restaurant, and we want to showcase our culture… but with a dedication to local wines and beers,” she said.
The eatery, which will take the place of shuttered Thai-French fusion restaurant Breeze, also plans to serve traditional Brazilian cocktails.
“I think our menu will highlight the diversity of [Brazil’s] flavors,” she added.