Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cafe Bossa Nova sets tongues to dancing

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Fish tacos - LACEY THACKER
  • Lacey Thacker
  • Fish tacos

Cafe Bossa Nova is known across Little Rock for cheese bread and authentic Brazilian food curated by its owner, Rosalia Monroe (who also operates the eponymous bakery/coffee shop/grab-and-go next door). Located in hopping Hillcrest, it’s a popular go-to for lunch, dinner and brunch.

My girlfriend and I went to Bossa Nova for a sort-of brunch last Saturday, mostly because it’s her very favorite place and I’d only eaten there once, ages ago.

Hypothetically speaking, of course, if you "accidentally" arrived at a restaurant 30 minutes before they opened, and if (again, hypothetically) they had a bakery next door, nobody could possibly blame a person for eating a brownie as an appetizer, right? That's just common sense. The brownie itself was straightforward, but honestly, that's exactly what I want from a brownie. A layer of cream cheese, however, served to make the taste buds dance—instead of a sweetened icing, the tang of lightly sweetened cream cheese added nice balance to the chocolate base.

Having made short work of the brownie, we migrated over to Bossa Nova. Our waiter was courteous and professional, with a manner that matched the bright, comfortable dining space.
click to enlarge Caipirinhas - LACEY THACKER
  • Lacey Thacker
  • Caipirinhas

To begin, I wanted an adult beverage that would do justice to the summer weather, so I ordered a mojito. They instead suggested the beverage they’re a little famous for, the caipirinha. Muddled limes, sugar and Brazilian rum all added up to a refreshing, not-too-sweet morning pick-me-up. Frankly, I probably could have sipped my meal instead of ordering anything else, but I exercised a little control and stopped at one.

I lived in Virginia Beach for awhile about ten years ago, and that’s where I first had fish tacos. The fried tilapia, sauce, cabbage, and pico on corn tortillas from my favorite place were so innovative at the time, and soon tons of places across the country were making them. Unfortunately, I never found any that began to compare to the first I’d had.

Until now.

Presentation is key to priming the palate—and this plate was an exemplary mix of color, texture and arrangement. The crispy fried Mahi-mahi was fresh and generous, with two pieces in each taco. The Napa cabbage was a nice complement, but I have to say the best part was the mango-radish salsa on top. It’s only been a few days and I’m already craving a repeat. If you like fish tacos, head on over to Bossa Nova as soon as possible.
click to enlarge Ipanema quiche - LACEY THACKER
  • Lacey Thacker
  • Ipanema quiche

My friend ordered an Ipanema quiche with Kalamata olives, spinach, and feta. Now, in case I haven’t mentioned this enough previously, I’ve historically not been a fan of quiche. But this specimen, with its bit of spinach and a distinct (but not overpowering) olive flavor, is something I would not only order, but strive to replicate in my home kitchen. I don’t know that I could even begin to try, though, as the texture was the kind of fluffy that most home chefs only dream of in their egg dishes.

Bossa Nova is authentic food made with care and served with professionalism and attention to detail. My visit is one I can’t wait to repeat again and again.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lacey Thacker

  • Gaga for Gourmasian

    I never ate at The Southern Gourmasian during it’s exclusively food-truck days, and I hadn’t yet made it to the storefront location at 219 West Capitol.
    • Dec 28, 2016
  • For the love of Big Orange

    Big Orange has been around for just long enough that it’s not always fresh on my mind.
    • Dec 23, 2016
  • Little Rock Oyster Bar an institution

    The Oyster Bar, established in 1975, has been around for long enough that’s it’s hard to imagine a Little Rock without it.
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Maddie's Place makes a believer out of a skeptic

    After a long hiatus, I return to Maddie's Place in Riverdale and find the food is a lot tastier than I remembered.
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • The Lemon Cakery is pure bliss

    In the eternal and often epic battle between "cake" and "pie," I normally come down on the pie side of things. The Lemon Cakery puts that rule to the test—deliciously.
    • Oct 1, 2015

Most Shared

  • Architecture lecture: Sheila Kennedy on "soft" design

    Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
  • Petition calls for Jason Rapert Sewage Tanks in Conway

    A tribute is proposed for Conway's state senator Jason Rapert: naming the city's sewage sludge tanks for him. Petitioners see a similarity.
  • Health agency socked with big verdict, Sen. Hutchinson faulted for legal work

    A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
  • Religious right group calls for compromise on damage lawsuit amendment

    The Family Council, the religious right political lobby, has issued a statement urging its followers to oppose the so-called tort reform amendment to limit attorney fees and awards in damage lawsuits.
  • Constituents go Cotton pickin' at Springdale town hall

    Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Top Commenters

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation