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Botequim's Suckling Pig Haunts Pete Wells's Dreams, But the Location Is Just Awkward

Dessert still needs some work, but Wells is impressed.

Paul Crispin Quitoriano

Pete Wells finds his way awkwardly into the basement of the Hyatt Union Square, where Sao Paolo-born chef Marco Moreira is turning out stellar takes on Brazilian fare at the graffiti-covered Botequim:

The main courses make it obvious, if it wasn't already, that Botequim's kitchen cooks with far more finesse than the remaining restaurants of Manhattan's Little Brazil...[The] cube of suckling pig plays a recurring role in one of my hungry daydreams....I [also] flash back to the short rib, roasted in extremely slow motion until a dark and satisfying crust wraps around woozily tender meat.

The dessert and coffee service needs some work, but Wells says the biggest issue is the location. "My message to Mr. Moreira: Set the moqueca free! Let the cod fritters come upstairs!" Two stars.


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