Testing the World’s 50 Best Restaurants: D.O.M. in Sao Paulo

I was very much looking forward to going to DOM, it being ranked so highly in both the World and Latin American edition of the world’s 50 best restaurants. But i have to say my high expectations were not fully met. The best way i can describe the restaurant for me, makes me partially quote A Chorus Line: Looks 10, Taste 7.  The dishes are absolutely stunning and the presentation is beautiful. However in some of the dishes the taste does not match the beauty of the plate. Additionally, there was a lot of repetition of ingredients, lots of hearts of palms (as you will see below). I do have to say that the use of Brazilian ingredients is very interesting, and it is the first time I’ve eaten gold ants! Also the service- average restaurant, not high quality service. One really great thing about it is that for people who are gluten free, the menu is VERY friendly. I had almost no substitutions in my plates!  Here is the menu we got, and my thoughts on each of the dishes.

The menu:

amouse bouche: a ginger with pepper ice cream – amazing!

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Fermented palm heart with spirulina: this was one were beauty won over taste. the intricate layers of hearts of palm were beautiful as was the plate presentation, but the spirulina wasn’t flavorful enough to contrast the plainness of the hearts of palm

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Squid with Cashew: A simple nice bite

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Watermelon with Cucumber water : again more plain than exiting, yet the colors were a beauty to behold.

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Scallop, palm heart and citronella: This dish i really enjoyed, it had depth of flavored and the charred leaves on top gave great crunch

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Watercrest and mustard The presentation of this was beautiful. the plate was seranwrapped and the watercrest just floated above!

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Horse Mackerel, onion cream and baroa potato  this was one of my two favorite dishes of the night. Both the fish and the cream were spectacular!

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Monkfish with acai berry and aromatic chilli: Lovely combination of flavors, and the aromatic chilli was super interesting. I also loved the use of acai for such a savory dish, i really only have had it in dessert of breakfast presentations.

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Heart palm fetuccine with mushrooms: This dish looks unassuming, but it packs a punch of flavor. the fettuccine were made of hearts of palm and were soaked in the mushroom broth generating a lot of flavor.

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yam puree with yolk, brazilian jerk beef and chicken broth  this was my other favorite of the night. Tasty, beautiful and creative, an ideal dish.

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ribs with canjiquinha and kate an nice dish, just nothing spectacular about it

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The amazonic ant so they are famous for their ants, and i have to say when will i eat a gold ant again! it was actually tasty, the meringue is covered in a lot of lemongrass so its a great combination (and you barely taste the ant)

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Aligot – the palate cleanser was this aligot concoction. it is potatoes with cheese and it was SO good. the presentation of how they brought it to the table and served was the best part. A great take on a cheese plate

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Lime and banana ravioli with priprioca – beautiful and tasty dessert, very much up my alley

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Pumpkin, vegetable coal and tapioca ice cream – i really did not like this dessert – it was a sad way to end the meal as the pumpkin was just not good!

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I was left missing a little desert candy plate with the bill and coffee. Usually when you pay this much for dinner the candy is the least they could do!!!

in general, was it a great experience? yes. is it one of the top 10 restaurants I’ve eaten in the world? maybe not, i would put it top 25 and just because of the creativity. Will i come again? probably not, although if people want to try it i would be game to come back but will not be leading the charge. I would go back to try the vegetarian tasting which looked interesting, with something called water pairing – that i had not heard before.

final picture: the restaurant from our mezzanine table:

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