Food & Drink

Ravenna’s Tempero Do Brasil is Reborn as Alcove

Alcove, a new Brazilian restaurant, has ties to an old one

By Chelsea Lin December 12, 2018


This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the December 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

When Tempero do Brasil, a homey Brazilian restaurant in Ravenna, closed in October 2017 after 19 years, there was a real risk that the city would never again know its outstanding moqueca (a popular fish stew), vibrant live music, charming hospitality or fiery, flavorful hot sauce.

But thankfully, the space was taken over by new owner and chef Emme Ribeiro Collins, who has kept the heart of the restaurant, even though the restaurant’s menu, name—now Alcove—and paint job have changed. After all, she’s got a personal attachment to Tempero do Brasil: Her parents owned and ran it for all those years.

“I always said I would never open a restaurant,” Ribeiro Collins says, laughing at the irony. “It was very hard for my parents—I saw their struggle.” And yet the Seattle Culinary Academy–trained chef, who has spent recent years in private catering for big-name clients and competing on TV cooking shows, found herself in the position of taking over the family restaurant—and making it her own.

Dining at Alcove is by reservation only; it’s communal dining with dishes served both plated and family style. “People are really interacting with each other—you can’t tell who came with who,” Ribeiro Collins says. “Strangers are really walking out of here friends, as corny as that sounds.” It feels, as she intended, very much like dining in Brazil.

Thursdays through Saturdays at Alcove are now dedicated to tasting menus that marry Ribeiro Collins’ Brazilian upbringing—her family came to Seattle from the Brazilian state of Bahia in 1994—and her current home in the Pacific Northwest. (Throughout the month, she also hosts themed special dinners by reservation only.) Overall, the food is refined without being fussy and utilizes a combination of local ingredients and imports like pequi, a Brazilian fruit that works well in savory dishes. Her influence is largely Bahian fare, which she describes as similar to American Southern food because of the African slave influence there, and it heavily features seafood because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

Even though her parents are technically retired, they’re still fixtures at the restaurant. Both are artists, and their paintings cover the walls. Ribeiro Collins’ dad still makes the hot sauce (he’s had a hard time letting go of the recipe). Her mom acts as hostess. But the menu is all Ribeiro Collins’—enough to convince anyone that there’s much more to Brazilian food than the grilled beef and beans that many people associate with the cuisine.

Ravenna, 5628 University Way NE; 206.922.3557

Follow Us

Love at First Spark

Love at First Spark

Redmond pizza joint earns another honor

Italy loves Spark Pizza. The venerable Redmond restaurant has been named one of the Top 50 Pizzerias in the United States for the second consecutive year by Italian publication The online guide recognizes the best pizzerias in the world and is updated annually. Spark last year finished No. 48. It finished No. 31 this…

Tastes of Mexico

Tastes of Mexico

Special dinners at El Camino seek to educate and entertain

Illuminated beneath the glow of Fremont’s famous rocket, two dozen Seattleites gather at El Camino restaurant to enjoy a specially curated meal featuring authentic Mexican dishes paired with three pours of Wahaka Mezcal. The enclosed patio is strewn with colorful punched banners and paper lanterns. Light dances above tables set with flickering votives, bowls of…

Seattle Restaurant Week kicks off

Seattle Restaurant Week kicks off

Expect a broader range of dishes at several different prices

At times referred to as “Restaurant Weak” for menus limited in scope and portion size, Restaurant Week is coming of age after 20 years. In the beginning of what would become Restaurant Week, chefs and restaurateurs often compromised on portion size and sometimes quality.  Chef and restaurateur Brian Clevenger, who owns General Harvest Restaurants (Vendemia,…

Fish Feast

Fish Feast

Take part in an Italian-American tradition while enjoying Seattle's fantastic seafood

Consider Paju’s fried rice a seafood dish thanks to the addition of squid ink. The catfish sandwich at Matt’s in the Market has been a menu mainstay for years.Is it a hush puppy or a crab dish? At Emerald City Fish & Chips, it’s both.