The place: Toloache 82
The space: Any customers expecting to see
The place: Casa
The space: Even sunny Brazil needs to turn down the light sometimes, as it does at this sensuous, elegant corner restaurant deep in the West Village. In addition to the red-brick backdrop outside the wide front windows, the main bursts of color come from the finger-painted scenes of village life in Ilha do Caju. The joviality of the waitstaff sparks laughter from the clientele, while the heavy use of jalapeño and malagueta peppers in the dishes adds kick to the night.
The ingredient: As the name suggests, this restaurant likes to keep things close to home, ingredients included. Many dishes use dendê oil, squeezed from the fruit pulp of the African Oil Palm grown in Brazil’s northeast.
The special: For your first trip, order the Bobó de camarão, with shrimp, coconut milk, and puréed yucca.
The wink: If you can stand the heat, do as the Brazilians, and ask for a drizzle of malagueta sauce on whatever dish you order. A glass of chilled white vinho should help douse the flames.
72 Bedford St., 212-366-9410, casarestaurant.com