Tempero do Brasil, the Brazilian restaurant that closed in October after 18 years in the University District, is Kickstarting a comeback — with a few caveats, including a menu fusing Brazilian and Pacific Northwest flavors and a new name: Alcove Dining Room. Chef Emme Ribeiro Collins will open a Brazilian restaurant in the same space her parents and a family friend launched Tempero nearly two decades ago, but she’s putting her own twist on things.
Collins tells Eater that she’s giving the space some “much-needed TLC” and hopes to open her restaurant this summer. “My family really hadn’t made any changes to it for the past two decades, so it needed an update,” she says. “I also wanted it to reflect me and my style.”
Rather than Tempero’s set menus, with dishes like fish stew, slow-cooked black beans, and fried okra, Collins will serve ticketed meals with pre-set menus at brunch, lunch, and dinner. Diners will make a reservation and purchase a ticket online via Tock, similar to the approach for Tarsan i Jane and Addo’s many pop-ups. Collins will serve the food in a communal dining room, and is anticipating two nightly seatings for dinner. “I love the idea of these meals being an experience and event,” she says.
As for the food, Collins wants to showcase her first generation Brazilian-American heritage and Pacific Northwest influences. Anyone mourning the fact that she isn’t wholly resurrecting the old Tempero do Brasil can take heart that this new iteration will represent a unique voice for Seattle: “Tempero do Brasil was an authentic Brazilian restaurant,” Collins says. “Alcove will be a Brazilian-PNW, like me! There will definitely be some spots around the new space that will pay homage to Tempero.”
To help all of this come to fruition, Collins created a Kickstarter campaign that will run through April 14, with a goal of raising $15,000. Donor awards include a cooking class with Collins, seats at an exclusive launch dinner, and even private events cheffed by Collins.
Collins was born in Brazil but moved to Seattle at age six and grew up in her family’s restaurant, which opened when she was 12 years old. More recently, she’s been working as a private chef for celebrity clients, and has competed on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef on FOX.