As soon as this weekend, Larchmere residents could be enjoying the flavors of Brazil at Batuqui (12706 Larchmere Blvd., 216-801-0227, batuquicleveland.com), a new Brazilian bistro concept from chef and owner Carla Flood and partner Gustavo Nogueira. The restaurant will be located in the attractive Victorian that has been home to Café Limbo, Vine & Bean, and Bon Vivant, which closed quietly last summer.
Flood worked both front- and back-of-the-house positons at Sarava, the popular Brazilian restaurant owned by chef Sergio Abramof. That restaurant closed in March of 2013, a year after Abramof's untimely passing. Flood will be reviving many of the signature dishes that were served at that Shaker Square eatery, she says.
Diners can look forward to bold flavored small plates like espetinhos
, little skewers of grilled chicken, pork and beef, Brazilian cheese bread, garlicky Portuguese sausage, and spicy shrimp. Entrees include xim xim
, a Brazilian stew with chicken, coconut and ground peanut, a seafood stew with shrimp, tomato, green peppers and coconut milk, and feijoada
, the celebratory dish of black beans, sausage, ham, rice and crispy farofa, a crunchy topping made from the cassava root.
For dessert, there’s coconut butter cake and Brazilian style flan.
Prices for starters are $7 to $8, entrees fall mainly in the $15 to $18 range, and desserts are $6.
A liquor license means that diners will be able to enjoy refreshing Caipirinhas, made with cachaça, alongside their meals.
The snug space seats about 38 diners with additional seating on front and back patios.
“The name Batuqui means a beat, a rhythm – it’s what you hear when you listen to any music,” says Nogueira.
Less than a block away, Christopher King recently opened Valo (12718 Larchmere Blvd., 216-721-3966, valorestaurant.com), a supper club and lounge in the former home of Jezebel’s Bayou, the popular Cajun eatery that King purchased and shuttered. King also owns Vada Lounge, a nightclub on St. Clair Avenue just east of downtown.
The American menu starts diners off with crab cakes and calamari, grilled shrimp cocktail and flank steak sliders. Frog legs are pan seared with garlic, butter and white wine, while mushrooms are stuffed with crab and topped with a Cajun cream sauce. Prices for appetizers range from $8 to $12.
Main courses include grilled salmon with spicy shrimp sauce, seared scallops in a white wine butter sauce, and Cajun chicken Alfredo. Prices for entrees are $12 to $24.
Live music and events are being added to the calendar all the time.
Ed. note: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect phone number for Batuqui.