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Dining in Buzios - Chef Sonias

Cigalon

Sometimes language is a barrier when traveling, and sometimes not. In Buzios, at Chef Sonia
PersianiEUR(TM)s restaurant EURoeCigalonEUR, we were served a mouthwateringly
good meal. Chef SoniaEUR(TM)s English was excellent as she explained each course and the wine
paired with it. It wasnEUR(TM)t until she sent me the recipes later that we ran into some
language problems. She does far better in a foreign language than I do, but there were still words
that did not translate. (see the recipe following this article to understand exactly what I mean.)
Fortunately, her cooking, in any language, is superb!
The Pousada do Sol and Cigalon Restaurant in Buzios is dedicated to Brigitte Bardot, who is credited
with putting Buzios on the map in her early career. There is even a statue of her by the shore,
immortalized in bronze, sitting on her suitcase. Locals claim that the EURoeworld discovered
Buzios when Brigitte lived here.EUR It is also because of her, and to honor her, that
Cigalon exists, so thank you, too, Brigitte, for a great meal!

Chef Sonia served our many courses and explained each wine she chose with them. The first dish
was a green salad with blue cheese, and pears in vinaigrette. The pears created a sharp and sweet
pungent burst in my mouth, with the piquant greens dressed with the nutty crunch of black and
white sesame seeds. There was a tangine of mashed local potatoes (called EURoeBaroaEUR)
which are naturally sweeter than what we are used to in the US, and some local mushrooms. This
was paired with a sparkling wine, EURoeDo LugarEUR Brut, so reminiscent of good dry
champagne I was surprised it wasnEUR(TM)t French!

There was a Coquille St. Jacques course that was a spoonful of chopped seafood hidden beneath a
shrimp foam. It disappeared in one seafoody and airy slurp. I almost ate it too quickly to fully
appreciate the subtle flavors, but IEUR(TM)m betting it was shrimp not scallops. Next, I attacked,
more gently this time, the shooter of cheese floating on a puree of beets. The sweetness of beet
mousse and the tartness of the farm cheese melded beautifully, with the poppy seeds again
providing a visual and textural contrast.
"With that in mind it is worthwhile considering it withEFL exercises in the front. If you truly sift
through it whilst this on your mind I am sure it'll make a big difference on the long haul."
I would have enjoyed a bowl of that!

Between courses I admired the view from the back deck of the Cigalon Restaurant. It jutted out over
the beach of BuziosEUR(TM) working harbor, with boats for fishing and boats for recreation
picturesquely vying for moorings. Youngsters played in the surf as adults strolled by. It is a beautiful
setting with a gorgeous view.

When I returned to the table a new wine appeared. It had a fruity bouquet so powerful it filled the
air when the cap was unscrewed. The 2008 Crios Terrones (Argentina) is a crisp taste of peaches
and pears, cool and refreshing and a delight with the next course.

A note about screw caps: Many modern vineyards have converted to screw caps to avoid what was
perceived to be a rash of poor quality cork. (Contaminated corks ruin as much as 15% of a pressing.)
While cork manufacturers have promised better quality control in their cork production, vintners
who switched are pleased with the superior taste of their wines in screw caps.

Chef Sonia created a beautiful fish course for this wine. We had a firm white-fleshed fish called
cherne (grouper) served on a bed of spinach and topped with a tomato marmalade. It was colorful
and aromatic, with the disparate flavors combining perfectly in my mouth. That was joined by briefly
simmered shrimp on a chiffonade of lettuce, carrots and broccoli mixed with rice noodles in a
delicate citrus sauce. More shrimp foam completed the flavors. The different textures of the
vegetable pasta mix were juxtaposed with the huge and moist, perfectly cooked shrimp.
Surprisingly, the sweet bouquet of the Crios concealed a dry, fruity taste that pulled the whole plate
together. The wine pairings were perfect!

A note about red wines. I like my wine smooth. I donEUR(TM)t like my


wines to bite me back as I taste them. For the beef course Chef Sonia chose a Chilean wine, a 2007
Chateau Los Boldos EURoeCarmenereEUR, which was such a high tannic burst of flavor that
it nearly swallowed me whole! Perhaps it could have breathed more. Nevertheless, when served with
a super rare filet mignon smothered in a green peppercorn sauce, it was spot on. I just
wouldnEUR(TM)t drink it on its own.

The filet mignon was seared on the outside and raw in the middle, just the way I like it. The spicy
pepper sauce filled the hole in my palate that it.

"Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach."

was designed for - Excellent! - and not too hot. A few of the sweet local Baroa potatoes completed
the plating. I couldnEUR(TM)t have asked for anything more, but of course it came anyway.

Regular readers know IEUR(TM)m not a dessert eater, so the fact that this meal contained two
desserts will surprise you. The first was a soupon of desserts - the shooter held an ice that was
the pure essence of pineapple, paired with an anise-crusted flan. As the diminutive ice was the cake,
the minuscule flan was the icing - and two tiny spoonfuls of sweetness disappeared.

The final dessert was special both in appearance and taste. It was a breadfruit sorbet, chocolate
mousse, pastry crust confection set in a stained glass window of chocolate EURoeleadEUR,
with strawberry and mango coulis used for the panes. It was almost too incredibly beautiful to
eat. I did eat it though, and then asked for the recipe. In as much as I was able to get it, it is
included below:
----Tarte sablee au chocolat tide
Tarta sablee ao chocolate morno
Dose: 6 pessoas
Cozinha: Tradicional francesa
Portada: sobremesa
Categoria:
Periodo: todo o ano
Tempo de coco: 40 minutos aprox.

Ingredientes: Para a sable


225 grs de manteiga (butter)
75 grs de aucar (sugar)
1 ovo (egg)
50 grs de po de avel (ground nuts)
250 grs de farinha de trigo (flour)
3 grs. de impulsor (royal)
Para a mouse:
125 grs de cobertura (chocolate)
60 grs de manteiga (butter)
250 grs de claras de ovo (the part white of the egg)
2 gemas de ovo (the yellow part of the egg)
250 grs de aucar(sugar)
10 grs de cacau (cocoa)
Garniture tout chocolat:
300 grs de creme de leite (cream)
400 grs de chocolate (chocolate)
70 grs de manteiga (butter)
Here is an email exchange to clarify the ingredients:
RICHARD -- Hello Sonia. IEUR(TM)m a bit confused. What is the ingredient EURoeimpulsor
(royal)EUR?
CHEF Sonia -- Hello Richard, impulsor or polvo royal is like "fermento" in portugues, ou "levadura"
in spanish. But not those to make pizza, just dry to make desserts. I have no idea how you can say
that "dust" ... Yeast ...appears in the dictionary:-)))) Good luck!!!
I finally figured out that impulsor (royal) or dust meant baking powder! Thank goodness
IEUR(TM)m a cook, too. Unfortunately, the delicious sauce on the shrimp was impossible for her
to translate into a recipe so she didnEUR(TM)t try. HereEUR(TM)s her description:
CHEF Sonia -- I made a pure with baroa potatoe, this one I offered to you just a classical pure, then I
did the shrimps in low temperature just not to finish with the colageno and elastine. It becomes

ugly without that..., our sauce called "acidula" is a long recipe, made first with a "demi glace" and
then we put into some Pepper (pimenta do reino) and three "agrumes" like lemmon, lima and
orange. We reduce it and the final result you tasted.
You can see that we had a great dialog about the very complex recipes. Her cooking directions in
Portuguese are followed by the English:
Procedimento:
Colocar a manteiga pomada com o acucar e misturar, acrescentar os ovos um a um e acrescentar a
farinha de avelas. Incorporar a farinha. Forrar as formas e cozinhar 10 minutos a 160
(nosso forno a 130)
Fundir o chocolate e acrescentar a manteiga, misturar as duas gemas e o cacau. Fazer um merenge
com as claras e o acucar e misturar ao creme de chocolate. Colocar na sablee j cozinhada e
pode congelar neste estagio.
Ao servir, levar 5 minutos ao forno 130 C, e decorar com um quenelle de sorvete de peras por
cima. Servir imediatamente.
(TARTELETTES) MIX THE BUTTER WITH THE EGGS AND INCLUDE THE FLOUR. PUT INTO A
FORM AND PUT INTO THE OVEN FOR 10 MINUTES AT 160 DEGREES CELSIUS.
IN THE MICROWAVE OVEN PUT THE CHOCOLATE FOR A FEW SECONDS AND INCREASE THE
BUTTER, MIX WITH THE YELLOW PART OF THE EGGS AND THE COCOA. DO A MERINGUE
(WITH THE WHITE PART OF THE EGGS AND THE SUGAR) AND MIX WITH THE CHOCOLATE.
FILL THE TARTELETTES ALREADY COOKED AND PUT INTO THE CONVENTIONAL OVEN
FOR 7 MINUTES AT 160 CELSIUS DEGREE.
YOU CAN PUT INTO THE FREEZER TO CONSERVE THEM... OR EAT AT ANY TIME, JUST WARM.
--You can figure out the oven temperature (whether 130 or 160 Celsius) with trial and error, and
reconcile the EURoe7 MINUTES AT 160 CELSIUSEUR with the EURoe5 minutos ao
forno 130 CEUR the same way, but those are the ingredients and directions for the base of
an incredible dessert! IEUR(TM)d use almond or hazel nuts (she didnEUR(TM)t say what kind
of nuts.) Top with your favorite sorbet and serve on an elaborately decorated plate. Good Luck!
If youEUR(TM)re ever in Buzios, stop in to Cigalon and let Chef Sonia Persiani spoil you with her
artistry in the kitchen. YouEUR(TM)ll be mesmerized by the view, intoxicated by the fabulous
array of fine wines and satiated by the incredible food she serves.

RESTAURANTE CIGALON
(starting Prix Fix 60 reais)
Rua das Pedras, 199 - Centro - Praia do Canto
Bzios - Brasil
Telefones: (22) 2623-0932 / 2623-6284
E-mail: cigalon@mar.com.br

ABRACADABRA
Morro do Humait 13
Bzios, Rio de Janeiro Brasil
(55 22) 2623-1217
http://www.abracadabrapousada.com.br/
Rates starting at $110/day/double room includes breakfast


TurisRio (Tourism Company of Rio de Janeiro State)
http://www.1Rio.net Email Miriam Cutz miriamcutz@turisrio.rj.gov.br
Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau
http://www.rcvb.com.br
Pousada da Alcobaca
http://www.pousadadaalcobaca.com.br
Museu Imperial
(24)2237-8000
open Tues - Sunday / 8 Reals
TAM Airlines
http://www.tam.com.br
Roberto Burle Marx
http://www.travelroads.com/article/id_1455
Richard Frisbie, FOOD Correspondent:
RICHARD FRISBIE is published twice a month to Gather Essentials: Food. It is a food junkie's take
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