Santa Gula

Vila Madalena Cuisines: Italian


One of the quaintest restaurants in São Paulo, Santa Gula is in the backyard of an old house. Entering off the Rua Fidalga, a fairy-tale lane with lush tropical plants, banana trees, and flickering candlelight leads to a dining room that, with its handmade furniture and rustic decorations, gives the restaurant the feel of a simple Tuscan villa. The kitchen serves up a mix of Italian and Brazilian flavors -- think risotto with palm hearts or pasta stuffed with carne seca (a flavorful dried meat) and pumpkin purée. Equally intriguing is the duck with red-wine sauce and a pineapple risotto; for meat lovers, the steaks arrive grilled to perfection. For dessert, don't pass up on the Brazil nut pie or the sweet coconut with tapioca mousse and tangerine sorbet.

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