Itacoa, chef Rafael Gomes' restaurant in the Sentier area

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Published by Manon C. · Photos by Manon C. · Updated on 30 June 2021 at 11h52 · Published on 16 June 2021 at 18h23
Chef Rafael Gomes opened in Paris 2nd arrondissement his first restaurant: Itacoa. On the menu, delicious dishes twisted with Brazilian influences from the chef and cooked with fresh, healthy and local ingredients.

Lovers of good food and of foreign cuisines, you absolutely have to go to Itacoa set in rue Saint-Denis, chef Rafael Gomes’ first restaurant. After working at Grand Coeur, the Brazilian chef wished to open a hybrid place mixing restaurant, café and freshly squeezed juice bar…

With Itacoa we can say it is a successful project. And although the chef is currently stuck in Brazil because of the health crisis - where he won the edition 2021 of Masterchef - his sous-chef brillantly gets through!

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At Itacoa, we enjoy healthy, fresh, local and seasonal produces at any time of the day: fishes are wild, meat and poultries of quality, the whole coming from small producers and a sustainable fishing. Let us tell you everything about Rafael Gomes’ hearty and flavorful cuisine.

Once inside this lovely restaurant covered in wood, tiles and plants, inhale the good smells coming from the open-plan kitchen or you can have a seat on the terrace set rue Saint-Denis, and start reading the menu. And we must say that each dish on the menu knows how to charm us to make us pick it.

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To have a nibble with friends, start with the ginger squid arancini (€9), the candied pork rib fritters (€9), and the Pao de Queijo (€8), a Brazilian specialty based on cheese and chorizo. A very tasty trio whetting the appetite, and given the wonderful weather, we pair them all with perfectly balanced Spritz.

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Next up, moving on to starters, one of the chef's signature dishes, the king prawn mille-feuilles (€15) made with thinly sliced radish assembled with marinated prawns, wild garlic and a bit of pottarga to spice it all. Fresh and original, perfect for the summer season. We also love the Stracciatella from Apulia basket (€14), a lovely pursed with beautiful Datterino tomatoes and fine herb salsa verde.

But the winner is the grilled squid (€14). Perfectly cooked, it is served with Romanesco sauce, smoked potatoes, and corn crumble inspired by chef Gomes' origins. Wonderful.

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The wonderful parade continues with the dishes: Grana Padano risotto, prawns and bisque (€26)? Or why not fall for the guinea fowl on the menu of the day? Or perhaps the gnocchi alla cacio e pepe (€21), smooth gnocchi topped with pine nuts, snow peas for the green color and crunch, stracciatella and candied Datterino tomatoes. A mouthwatering and hearty dish we love a lot.

Cafe Lecase veal belly (€24) makes it well. The chef's signature dish is served with seasonned meat jus. As for the meat it is incredible tender.

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To put an end to this lunch, we need to try desserts with on one side original ice creams (cardamom, exquisite!), and churned on site, it is rare enough to be told, and a dessert that - because of the name - did not make us dream but delighted us once brought to our table: Valrhona Opalys white chocolate crémeux (€8), delicately twisted with sour passion fruit coulis and sorbet.

So, do not deny yourself the pleasure, Itacoa deserves you stop by!

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
Starts 16 June 2021

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    Location

    185 Rue Saint-Denis
    75002 Paris 2

    Official website
    www.itacoa.paris

    Booking
    www.itacoa.paris
    09 50 48 35 78

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