After long, hot days under the South American sun, friends and neighbors would gather outside to taste and share the diverse cuisine of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Natalia Pereira reminisces about these evenings in her Brazilian hometown. As the head chef and owner of WoodSpoon, Pereira recreates that authenticity in the culture of her restaurant.
For nine years, the Fashion District favorite has been serving traditional small plates and lesser-known Brazilian staples. It’s not another meat-intensive Brazilian steakhouse, but rather a restaurant serving real Brazilian food. “Everything is made with love, not with money,” said Pereria, describing her attitude in the kitchen. “Like in Brazil, it’s all about sharing and good company.”
Homestyle goes beyond attitudes and into the aesthetics of WoodSpoon. Nestled in a very small and intimate space along 9th street, WoodSpoon’s seating is limited to twelve tables. The simple decor has a certain 1970s garage sale chic. It’s a deliberate and successful attempt at creating an environment reminiscent of home.
The “small plates” are a professional take on traditional Brazilian street foods. Coxinha wraps a creamy chicken salad filling inside a warm, teardrop shaped dough. Pastel Portuguese fuses coconut sauce with shrimp inside a deep-fried dumpling. And the Potato Croquette, gives you the same deep-fried goodness, just without the meat. All are served with WoodSpoon’s homemade sauce— a delicious blend of mayo, imported herbs, oregano, parsley, green chili, and fresh malgueta peppers.
Empadao de Frango is WoodSpoon’s signature dish, and the Brazillian equivalent to Chicken Pot Pie. A recipe traditionally prepared by Pereira’s mother for special Sunday lunches, it’s become a “must try” at WoodSpoon. The flaky crust is decorated with a hand traced spoon, which folds in with the touch of a fork to reveal a creamy blend of shredded chicken, hearts of palm, olives, and corn.
On Saturdays, the restaurant serves a special brunch menu that blends Brazilian breakfast specials with the lunchtime menu. Here, the bread assortment is not to be overlooked. Pereira takes great pride in her cornbread and cheese bread. The two are served with a delicious assortment of homemade jams and butter.
And when washing it all down, opt for WoodSpoon's homemade Sangria. Available in red or white, the Sangria is a strong, but delicious accomplice to Saturday brunch.
Kort Havens & Logan Havens