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Brazilian Midtown - Emporium vs Via Brasil vs Ipanema

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Brazilian Midtown - Emporium vs Via Brasil vs Ipanema

johnblacksox | May 3, 2011 06:32 PM

I'm looking to eat at a Brazilian place for Saturday lunch, in "Little Brazil" between 5th and 6th Ave, on 46th St. I want a nice restaurant with good service, good wine, nice decor, and good feijoada. Money is no object. I'd rather eat in an expensive nice place with great service than a place with "great value" but crappy service or ambience.

I was originally thinking "Emporium Brazil":

Pros: Pics on website look great.
Great ratings on UrbanSpoon (100% like)

Cons: Feijoada is served as a buffet...(Disgusting. I hate buffets with a passion)

Then saw "Via Brasil":

Pros: Pics on website look great
Feijoada is on menu, not gross buffet. Voted best by Village Voice.

Cons: Terrible rating on UrbanSpoon (78% like)

Also noted "Ipanema":

Pros: Good reviews on UrbanSpoon (87% like)

Cons: Website looks horrible/useless

So, I have no idea which one to choose. Again, I can't emphasize enough that I want good atmosphere, service, feijoada, and wine. In that order.

If it wasn't for the feijoada buffet, I'd definitely choose Emporium. But all buffets remind me of a cheap motel breakfast. I have a visceral hatred of all buffets.

So, then I was leaning to Via Brasil, until I read reviews from people on UrbanSpoon, who hated it, and said the service was awful.

I would be tempted by Ipanema, but the website is complete crap, and non-functional. That raises a red flag with me that if they can't even maintain a web page, they must not be a serious restaurant/business.

Based on what I've seen, I'm leaning to Via Brasil, but Emporium is very close behind. Ipanema is effectively out.

Has anyone been to these places, and can recommend one over another?

Thanks very much in advance!

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Emporium Brasil
15 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Ipanema
13 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Via Brasil
34 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

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