restaurants
Caviar and Banana
12 East 22nd Street
212 353 0500

If you've come here looking for a serious Brazilian spot, you've come to the wrong place. Jeffrey Chodorow is a man who knows how to make themes - and beaded curtains - work - and this one is like a Carnevale tilt- a- wheel of a silly time. From the fabric confetti banquettes to the spectacular beaded curtain - once a map of Napoli - now deliciously abstract and set next to Carmen Miranda - the space at 12 East 22nd has become a fun filled ride into his and chef Claude Troisgros' favourite aspects of Brazil. A menu of just limon drinks such as Brasileiro and Limao sets the tone, followed by the house plantain chips and house caviar - we called it "faux", they corrected us with "special" - it's made of tapioca not fish eggs floating in soy sauce. Ok, this is the one thing that REALLY didn't work for us - bring out the real deal, kids. A staggering series of courses from tapas (we liked the hearts of palm with raisins and Spanish serrano ham) to starters (we liked the salmon ceviche on ice in a vase) to rectangular flat bread pizzas (we liked the beef with pecorino cheese) to steak served on upright skewers with fruit and veggies and dipping sauces (bitter chocolate vinaigrette, cashew blue cheese, tropical chutney) all involve the diner playing with his or her food. The kitchen is clearly having a bucket load of fun with us – right down to the spectacular finish, a passionfruit puffy crepe, Troisgros’ signature dish. Only failing? No real caviar.

$$$

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