Tempero do Brasil, the long-running Brazilian restaurant in the University District that closed in October, will be reborn on August 2 as the intriguing Alcove Dining Room. The new venture is an evolution of its predecessor — chef Emme Ribeiro Collins’ parents and a family friend launched Tempero nearly two decades ago, and Collins is pushing the notion of Brazilian cuisine in the Northwest further.
Collins has renovated her parents’ homey restaurant, updating the decor and giving the place what she called “much-needed TLC.” She’s also selling tickets for dinners held Thursday through Saturday. Diners will sit at a communal tables as Collins serves food from a preset menu in a mix of individual dishes and family-style plates.
Tempero was popular in part because it wasn’t just about the grilled meat-focused churrasco Brazilian cuisine most diners are familiar with, and Alcove is similarly interested in providing a diverse range of dishes like poached prawns in vatapá sauce with braised black-eyed peas or salt-cured tenderloin with yucca pavê, caramelized morels, and onions.
“My hope is that this new restaurant concept in Seattle will get people experiencing and talking about new dishes and flavors they have never heard before like pequí or dendê oil,” Collins said in a press release. “With that, I also hope to contribute to Americans learning more about Brazilian cuisine and culture, which I think the majority know so little of. Brazil is an enormous country that takes up most of South America and so the cuisine and culture is so diverse — I can’t wait for everyone to explore it with me at Alcove.”
Collins brings some serious cooking chops to the table: She worked at Mamnoon, was Eddie Vedder’s private chef, and competed on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef on FOX. She was born in Brazil and and grew up in her family’s restaurant, which opened when she was 12.