45 Richardson Street
Our Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ Great
Cards: Cash Only
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m – 2 a.m; Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2 a.m; Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 11 p.m., Live music on weekends
Booze: Full bar
Subway: L to Bedford Ave or Lorimer
NY Mag says:
Williamsburg’s Beco is located in a sort of Williamsburg-Greenpoint netherland, and the owners kept the place a neighborhood secret while getting it off the ground. Rather than a full-blown restaurant like Miss Favela, Daniel Giddings says he and his partners envisioned it as a modest Sao Paolo boteco, where you can laze about while popping made-to-order pao de queijo and sip cocktails made with fresh passion fruit and pressed sugar cane. As Giddings describes it, the decor harks back to the days of Pele, and “doesn’t scream ‘Brazil’ in your face, but it’s more like what a boteco is — a real hangout.” You can hang there during brunch that includes acai and granola, omelettes, bife a cavalo (Brazilians refer to their steak and eggs as “steak on horseback”), and a feijoada that’s prepared over the course of two days.
NY Times says:
Feijoada is as Brazilian as bossa nova and the bicycle kick, but it stands up to a New York winter. A hearty combination of black beans, sausage and stewing meat, it’s the kind of comfort food found at Beco, a small Brazilian-accented spot that opened last May on a quiet Williamsburg side street. Beco is no tropical-themed novelty. The pedigree is more subtle. There’s an illuminated sign for Brahma beer, International Style touches (battered chrome chairs with vinyl seats the color of milky coffee, a band of casement windows letting in the light), a projection TV waiting for the World Cup to start.
Beco calls itself a boteco (also known as a botequim), a Brazilian institution that’s a cross between a bar and a coffee shop. It’s a laid-back place for a drink. And the drinks are nice. There are bottles of Xingu ($4) and tumblers of whiskey with coconut water ($8). The Batida de Coco ($8) is more dessert than cocktail. A shot of cachaça hiding inside coconut milk, condensed milk and shaved coconut, it’s best enjoyed at the end of a meal.
And you can have a meal at Beco, even though there’s no real kitchen. A short-order cook in the corner of the bar quickly turns out satisfying versions of classics, like feijoada ($18), on a small cooktop. That dish arrives disassembled — beans and meat in a cup, rice and collard greens on a plate, toasted yuca flour in a bowl. It’s big enough for two, but too tasty to share.
Split the bar snacks instead, both the excellent pão de queijo ($4), a basket of six puffed cheesy breads the size of Ping-Pong balls; and the sliced linguiça sausage ($6), made by a Brazilian butcher in Newark and browned in a skillet, then finished with cachaça.
It’s solid cooking that doesn’t try to do too much, tasty food to accompany a beer while watching the Corinthians try (finally) to win the Copa Libertadores.