One of the most celebrated restaurants in São Paulo, A Figueira Rubaiyat gets its interesting name from the tropical fig tree that dominates the exterior dining room (figueira) and from the 11th century Persian poetry by Omar Khayyam (Rubaiyat). I wasn't sure what the connection was, other than that the owner of the restaurant was of Lebanese descent. Don't ask why and enjoy the excellent meats and seafood prepared by the restaurant, and one of the city's most extensive wine lists. By Brazilian standards, this is a fairly expensive restaurant, but well worth the splurge.
Interesting fact: this restaurant is owned by the same owner of another excellent steak house, Cabaña las Lilas, in Buenos Aires.
The Figueira is not a true Churrascaria. It is more of a steakhouse. The setting around the massive fig tree is impressive and the service is very good, however, the quality of the food is not so great considering the price. I was with a party of 10 and mine was really the only dish that was up to scratch. But don't let me put you off, it would be a great place for a romantic evening for two and I recommend the baby beef.
With a century old tree as the centerpiece of this gorgeous restaurant, this somewhat pricey restaurant is not to be missed! Frequented by businessmen during the week, Figueira was surprisingly filled with a very decent crowd for the weekend too. Gardens and open air restaurants aren't that plentiful in Sao Paulo so the chance to eat under the beautiful sky was a great treat. Well trained waiters will give you an English menu if you ask for one -- and they will continue to pamper you from beginning to end of your meal.
Favorite Dish: Steak will never be the same to me after trying Brazil's Rumpsteak or Picana. It was absolutely delicious and super duper HUGE in Figueira. I was so full but i couldn't bear to leave anything on my plate -- my meal here alone must have been responsible for an extra inch of bulge on my waistline. This place is expensive though so be prepared -- they also serve you an appetizer dish of pickled veggies that you are surprised to see later on your bill as very pricey -- but if you have to spend and splurge on one restaurant in Sao Paulo, i recommend this be the place!
The landscaping, the TREE, here is only the beginning. Drippy candles on wrought iron stands, bubbling manmade rivers and rocks, and these awesome woodburning fireplace-heater-boxes are just several of the standout design details. Hey! Figueira also has some pretty damn fine food. The best beef and lamb you could possibly pray to the red meat gods for, as well as a spectacular traditional bacalhau you just know you cannot finish but you try to anyway. Save some space, whatever you do, for the DESSERT BUFFET!!
Favorite Dish: There still seemed to be a yummy lamb dish on the menu, but this time around I opted for the Brazilian-Portuguese saltcod standard (R$80) called bacalhau. Ha! Standard, my eye. There's nothing average or standard about anything in this restaurant. And did I mention the Dessert Buffet??? Creme Catalan with an incredible burnt sugar crust topping, walnut pie with waaaay more nuts than syrup, and the densest chocolate pie on record called Chocolate Nemesis...and more...for only R$14 per person!!
A massive fig tree, the largest I've ever seen, is the centerpiece of this restaurant. Tables in an outdoor courtyard (don't worry, it's covered and heated in winter!) surround the immense tree, and you eat under its spreading branches. The vaguely Mediterranean food is very tasty, with grilled meat and fish the specialty. I had my 36th birthday dinner here, and the dulce de leche cake they gave me was a showstopper.
Favorite Dish: *****I regret not getting a photo of the heavenly creme Catalan here, especially the sugar-burning process...MMMMM...but the Saturday afternoon pork and beans and everything else buffet, okay FEIJOADA buffet, you will not walk away hungry, believe me...;-)*****
*****Cool, funky, chic, trendy, and for the copious amounts of food you get for your money, a very reasonable deal. Lots of wood and marvelous leather and metal chairs. The sights and smells from the grill and buffet tables mingle to create absolute heaven for your senses. We feasted on the lunch buffet which because it was *Saturday,* focused on the Brazilian national dish called feijoada. A fragrant black bean mixture you serve with all manner of pork chunks and rice. Even if you claim not to be a *bean person*, as I do, go ahead and try it. Just to make your dining companion happy. ;-) Be careful of what parts of the piggy you toss onto your plate though; I saw cauldrons of ears, tails, feet, and tongue. They all looked pretty much the same by that stage but still...;-P*****
Favorite Dish: *****As with Baby Beef's sister meatpalace in town, Figueira Rubaiyat of the tree-in-the-middle-of-the-dining-room fame, the piece de resistance here is simple: the dessert buffet. Included in the price of our meal, it is a fantastic cap to an incredible culinary orgy. There's even a waiter who will personally toss sugar on top of your dish of splendid creme catalan, then sear the top with a flaming branding-iron contraption. You have not lived until you smell that burning sugar for yourself. Makes you glad to be alive and in Sao Paulo with a dear friend. Then, you take it back to your table and crack into that sugar crust with your spoon, and taste it. You know right then, you can now die a happy person!*****
One of the best places to eat is Figueira Rubayat. It is THE place to see and to be seen, as well as to eat very well. Of course, it has the inconvenient of being expensive. But most foreigners won't find the price as outrageous as most Brazilians due to the exchange rates.
you can seat under the shades of an old tree with huge branches. And the best is that even if it rains, you won't ger wet sine the have a transparent covering.
Favorite Dish: Arroz da Praia - it's rice prepared with seafood (like a risoto)
Because of the hectic schedule I was only able to go out with our local business partners once at night (the rest was brought in) and it was to Figueira. Named after the famous giant old tree which the resturant is built around. You can sit under the tree (the branches are three feet around and extend out 50 feet) which is an open canopy setting or sit inside.
It's upscale but not too pricey. Dinner for three with drinks (mostly me) was about $150 US. Oh and it's very busy, everynight with the local affluents. If you're on Brasilian time you don't venture out to forrage until after 8:00 pm. So make a reservation.
Favorite Dish: The filet was great! It has a open BBQ pit (not all you can eat though) and the aroma is fantastic. Brasilian beef is amongst the purist in the world. They salt it heavily though but nothing a fresh Caipirinha can fix.
Figueira has some great steaks and the setting under a big tree is fantastic.
Excellent bar. Prices are bit upscale!
Favorite Dish: Picanha, of course
This restaurant is really expensive but it's a touristic point of Sao Paulo. You have to see the big fig tree ! Amazing
Favorite Dish: Grilled meal