Dining Out In Paraty: Banana Da Terra

Located in the heart of Paraty, is Banana da Terra, a wonderful restaurant in a house that was originally built in the 17th century. The restaurant is run by chef Ana Bueno-she used to be the Paraty community TV broadcast reporter before radically changing her profession (great move!). She brings strong reference to caiçara and regional cuisine, but with an air of modernity.

We started off with the couvert which included the usual fresh bread basket (Brazilians love their fresh bread), salmon, a soup and a shrimp puff.  It was delicious way to start the meal.

Sticking to tradition, caicara culinary is all about the extract from wilderness, harmonizing with local mother nature… Believe me, chef Ana does and excellent job as her menu offers dishes made with fresh ingredients from the region.

Like the name of the restaurant, most items include some form of banana. The dorado I had was truly amazing, I was actually disappointed when it was all gone. The fish was grilled with herbs and garlic butter with banana and leek crisp, perfection!

 


If you are looking for a restaurant with a relaxing, tasteful ambiance and incredible cuisine selection, not to mention large wine list, head to Banana da Terra in Paraty.  Next time I go,  I am saving room for dessert (looked incredible)

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Want To Splast Around In the Natural Swimming Pool of Trindade?

While in Paraty, take a 30 minute drive over to Trindade where you will explore incredible beaches with the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding you.  For the first stop on our tour we went to Praia do Cepilho, waves were 10-15 feet high!

Then we drove over to the beach near the village “Ranchos” where our journey began.  Take a guided trek through the mountains to arrive at another stunning beach. Then another trek through the mountain (the ‘trek or hiking part is actually really fun)

Finally you will arrive at Caixa d’Aço the natural swimming pool. It is pretty incredible, a beautiful enclosed completely untouched area where you can swim, snorkel or climb on the rocks.  It’s incredible!

After you have had enough splashing around its time to trek/beach your way back for lunch at VAGALUME.  Located right on the beach near village “Ranchos” it is a fantastic spot for lunch. Considering that this is a fishing village, the menu is full of many fish choices as well as some traditional Brazilian beef/chicken options, note the yuka fries are a must try!   Warning there are a lot of bees, bring bug spray and if you can, have them move your table onto the sand, its more fun, kept the bees away and when huge waves rolled in, your feet get splashed!

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Looking For An Adventurous Dining Experience in Paraty?

You really work up an appetite after swinging from ropes and splashing around the waterfalls!! So why not extend your adventurous day of experiences by heading to Villa Verde for lunch! To get there, you have to walk across Indiana Jones style rope bridge (see below)

Once you make it across get ready to be enchanted by the beautiful gardens, full of floral and fauna. The bungalow style restaurant structure allows for a perfect view from any location. The menu has a number of delectable options, we went for the fresh made pesto pasta (best I have had since I got to Brazil) and the Brazilian style ribs with banana farofa.

Enjoy your meal while listening to the waterfalls cascading in the background then take a walk around the beautiful property before heading back on the road.  A truly adventurous dining experience!

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What Is Your Favorite Flavor of Cachaca?

As part of our Paraty Tour in between splashing around in the different waterfalls we visited a few cacasha distilleries.

Fazenda Murycana (Murycana’s Farm) has one distillery of cachaça as well as a museum (Exposure of the private collection of owners with furniture, decorative pieces and weapons of the seventeenth century to the present day.) a restaurant (The coffee made ​​in sugarcane juice with wood stoves is delicious)

The old mill of Murycana, is powered by a waterwheel, which produces liquor aged in oak barrels. It is distilled under fire wood, and which created the liquor (molasses dripping aphrodisiac as they said)

The huge drums keep the spirits aged for up to 22 years. The farm offers visitors a taste of their drips however the booze is only sold in Murycana Finance. While we were there we tried 3 different types of cachaca: regular, 8 year aged (much smoother),and chocolate (which was my favorite of course).

The next distillery of cachaca we visited was Engenho D’ouro.  Here we saw the artesian process of fabrication. This plantation has a sophisticated production set up for one year aging in oak barrels or jequitiba.  The production is totally handmade as in colonial times:  From the cane plantation, until the alternative energy system that handles the production of the pure and delicious rum.

The also produce soft flavors like rum caramel mixed with molasses, Bluis with leaves of tangerine and Garbiela with molasses clove and cinnamon.  Personally, the strawberry infused was my favorite! I recommend tasting all of the flavors;)

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