Behind a lush, green front yard with a fire pit and porch, the unassuming three-story Victorian on Larchmere Boulevard can easily be mistaken for a residence.
Yet there’s no overlooking Batuqui as Cleveland’s home for authentic Brazilian cuisine. Co-owners and -chefs Carla Batista and Gustavo Durate wanted to mimic the feeling of dining at home in Brazil, where restaurants are often chefs’ houses.
Inside, the intimate bar and 32-seat dining room centered around a wooden fireplace warms the heart no matter the season, while a patio with lively Latin American music spices up weekend summer nights.
“It’s a family experience,” Batista says. “It’s special for us to be in a house and cooking like you’d cook at home.”
Batista uses her grandmother’s original recipe for the mariscada ($32), a seafood stew with fresh garlic, tomato, organic coconut milk and palm oil that’s served with rice and vatapa, a creamy paste.
The churrasco de picanha ($28) is a grilled beef dish served in the traditional style, hanging from a skewer hook. The specific cut arrives monthly from New Jersey, where it can be found due to a high Brazilian population.
“I put a lot of work into quality and being as authentic as possible,” Batista says. “And a lot of love.”
Moises Borges, a Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist, performs originals and covers on the back patio every Sunday. 12706 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, 216-801-0227, batuquicleveland.com