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Fab 5: Olympic Eats

Lily Sperry | August 4, 2016 | Feature Features

Get a taste of Rio's Olympic flavor at these top restaurants (because Chicago was the host city runner-up, after all).
La Sirena Clandestina

1. Carnivale
Lively Latin American mainstay Carnivale is popular for a reason: its festive vibe and diverse selection of fare spanning South America to Spain are not to be missed. For an authentic Brazilian experience, go for the arrachera with chimichurri sauce—finished with a cachaça cocktail ($11), of course. 702 W. Fulton St., 312.850.5005

2. Cindy’s

Located on the rooftop of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s open air terrace and seasonal menu is certainly reminiscent of Rio. Their new cocktail, the Reanimator ($16), further establishes that theme, made with blueberry, ginger, lime and cachaça—Brazil’s most popular distilled spirit. Pair with the shrimp a la plancha or asparagus and wild mushroom ragout for a well-rounded experience. 12 S. Michigan Ave., 312.792.3502

3. Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

Steak is practically synonymous with Brazilian cuisine, so it’s no surprise that this uber authentic steakhouse makes the top of our list. Go for the picanha or filet mignon if you’re hungry, though their market table’s cold smoked salmon and edamame roasted corn salad are equally as good. A diverse selection of South American wines makes for an abundance of worthy pairings. 661 N. Lasalle St., 312.932.9330

4. La Sirena Clandestina

Transport yourself to Brazil at Fulton Market’s very own La Sirena Clandestina, whose New American-Brazilian fusion menu will delight your senses in more ways than one. For those looking to really celebrate, look no further than their fare of traditional cocktails: the Caipirinha ($11), which draws inspiration from the sleepy beach towns of Rio de Janeiro, is particularly good, combining seasonal fruit, muddled lime and cachaça. And don’t neglect the food, either; the ceviche and empanadas are perfect compliments to any drink. 954 W. Fulton Market, 312.226.5300

5. Presidio

Neighborhood favorite Presidio isn’t exactly a Brazilian restaurant (the new Chicago import is inspired by the Bay Area), but that’s not to say they don’t know a thing or two about Brazilian cuisine. In honor of this year’s games, they’ve crafted a cocktail inspired by, you guessed it, cachaça. The drink, appropriately named Rhythm and Blues ($16), includes Edmond Briottet Crème de Banane, demerara syrup and Angostura bitters—all topped with a manicured banana leaf and burning clove. Pair with the pei mussels or foie gras mousse for a delectable, albeit unexpected, meal. 1749 N. Damen Ave., 773.697.3315


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