Montclair, NJ - In his quest to create New Jersey's most authentic homestyle Brazilian dining experience, Samba Montclair owner Ilson Goncalves continues to evolve his menu with the inclusion of still more dishes reflecting his native cuisine.
Located at 7 Park Street, guests will enjoy the traditional Brazilian cuisine made possible with the addition of Executive Chef Roberto Carnero, who came to Samba this summer. "Roberto is a huge talent. I'm so happy he joined the team," notes Ilson with pleasure."Together we're finding new ways to use the traditional ingredients we seek out in the area's speciality markets." These include Brazilian kielbasa, dried beef and the best papaya from Costa Rica.
Chef Carnero, 31, is a 2004 graduate of NYC's French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) where, he says,"I studied under the grandfathers -- Jacques Torres and André Soltner!" Prior to Samba, he was Chef de Cuisine at Costanera, Montclair's popular Peruvian restaurant.
At Samba, he has added new specials to the lunch menu, which has been fine-tuned toward a more Brazilian sensibility: larger salads and entrées that can be the day's main meal, such as Salmão ao molho de maracujá (wild Atlantic salmon w/passion fruit reduction + sautéed seasonal vegetables) and Frango com quiabo
(organic chicken breast sautéed w/garlic, onions,
okra, tomatoes + fresh herbs).
New dinner selections include a deeply satisfying Potato-Spinach Soup, Strawberry Bass w/Heirloom Carrots + French Beans; and desserts such as Sorvete de coco, milho verde e manga (trio of coconut, sweet corn + mango ice creams) and Romeo é Juliet (Mimas cheese + guava paste w/dulce de leche). Several entrees are also now accompanied by lush rice w/coconut and cashews -- "a very Brazilian combination," Ilson says.
"Every year I bring more of who I am into the restaurant," concludes the proud owner/operator, who will celebrate his third anniversary as Samba this December. "I love sharing my culture and food with Montclair!"