A Brazilian chef with serious cred is bringing her acclaimed food to the U.S. for the first time, opening a restaurant called Ella Brasileira in Chelsea this summer with two New York City nightlife impresarios.
Chef Manoella Buffara has teamed up with Michael Satsky and Brian Gefter to develop Ella Brasileira, which will be an upscale Brazilian restaurant featuring rotating daily specials. Buffara is a rising star chef in Brazil, and her tasting menu restaurant Manu in Curitiba, Brazil landed on the World’s 50 Best “discovery” series, which highlights “the next generation of dining destinations.” At Manu, the menu changes daily and comes as four, seven, or 11 courses, and there are just 10 tables.
For Ella Brasileira, though, she’s pivoting away from the tasting menu format and tiny setting. The menu is still in the works, but it will center on ingredients indigenous to Brazil. Ella Brasileira — located at 436 West 15th St., between Ninth and Tenth avenues — will have a mostly consistent menu alongside daily specials.
Update: The cuisine will be similar to her fine dining restaurant in Brazil, though here she’ll be cooking from an open kitchen at the center of a much larger 6,000-square-foot space, all of which was designed by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, a restaurant rep says. The kitchen will be home to a large wood-burning grill, and the bar will be helmed by top Brazilian bartender Marcio Silva of Guilhotina Bar in São Paulo. The decor, too, will pay homage back to Buffara’s native country, displaying artwork from known Brazilian artists.
Though Buffara’s partners Satsky and Gefter are fixtures in NYC’s nightlife — they used to own now-closed NYC clubs Flash Factory and Provocateur and their lives have been splashed across the pages of the Post — a rep for the restaurant says that Ella Brasileira won’t be a clubby venture.
Next door, Satsky and Gefter are separately reviving the Provocateur brand here in NYC as a rooftop cafe in the next building. The duo has had a presence in Brazil too: Provocateur remains open in Porto Alegre, and there were locations in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. They most recently jumped into Miami’s hospitality scene, opening the Plymouth South Beach hotel, as well as its Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill.
Ella Brasileira is a boon for Brazilian restaurants in NYC, as the South American cuisine hasn’t had as large of a presence here as others. Homey fixtures like Rice ‘n’ Beans and pricey churrascarias like Plataforma or Fogo de Chão are more common than upscale entrants.
Update, April, 8, 2019, 3:15 p.m.: This article was updated to include additional details from a restaurant rep.