Brazilian Restaurant Tamborim Bar + Grill Opening in Jersey City

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Throughout 2020, it’s been inspiring to see how many restaurants have popped up amidst all of the adversity small businesses have faced this year. With fewer patrons in seats and more ordering from home, local restaurateurs have been forced to work harder to attract the attention of customers who aren’t making reservations or going out spontaneously for dinner quite as often. Jersey City restaurateur Michael Casalinho is no different. The owner of the popular, Portuguese restaurant Broa in downtown Jersey City shared two new upcoming ventures he’s bringing to town with Team Hoboken Girl — Tamborim Bar and Grill, located at 130 Newark Avenue in Jersey City and Eira Cafe nearby, which we reported on last week. Read more about his newest Brazilian venture opening in Jersey City, Tamborim Bar & Grill.

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

The Opening

Opening its doors for the first time on December 8th, Tamborim Bar & Grill will be the first and only Brazilian restaurant in Jersey City. Located right on the pedestrian plaza strip of Newark Avenue, the restaurant concept, menu, interior, and overall vibe was developed by Michael with the heart of Brazil in mind. Tamborim Bar & Grill will have indoor and outdoor seating options. 

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

HG inside scoop: Prior to diving into this exciting new product, Michael had been working on renovating and preparing a small space across from City Hall in Jersey City. The cafe, Eira, will offer Portuguese baked goods and pastries, holiday specials and will also be opening later this month.

The Inspiration 

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

In early history, Brazil was a colony of Portugal. The countries still have much in common culturally – sharing the same language, using similar flavors, drinking similar wines and spirits, and more. For years, Michael, who is Portuguese and owns a Portuguese restaurant, has wanted to open a Brazilian restaurant that pays homage to all regions of the country. While he isn’t Brazilian, Michael became somewhat obsessed with learning more about Brazilian culture and cuisine. Brazil doesn’t only have Portuguese influences, but Irish, English, and African as well, making their food and culture especially unique and diverse.

Read More: Pampita Meat Shop: From Buenos Aires to Jersey City

He explains that “often when you visit a Brazilian restaurant, you are only experiencing one taste of Brazil from one specific, popular region that people’s palates are familiar with now.” Over the past few months, Michael and his team at Broa have introduced more Brazilian-inspired flavors and dishes to their menu to do some consumer research, but also showcase their passion for the different, regional styles they’re experimenting with. While Newark is home to many popular Brazilian restaurants, Michael is excited to bring his long-lived concept fully to life in Jersey City. 

The word “Tamborim” is Portuguese and translates to ‘tambourine’ in English. The tambourine is a Brazilian drum of Portuguese and African origin, making it a perfectly curated name for this new Brazilian experience downtown. 

The Atmosphere

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

The atmosphere will be lively and bold, just like the instrument. The interior is meant to somewhat mimic Broa’s vibe, but step it up a notch. With a full bar, more seating, and a unique interior structure, Tamborim Bar & Grill is looking to strike a luxe yet fun feel. We’re coining their vibe “Brazilian concrete jungle.” Brazil is also well represented by the colors used throughout the space. 

The Menu 

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

The menu at Tamborim Bar & Grill will bring in flavors from all over Brazil, which is the 5th largest country in the world by area, as a reminder. Michael tells Hoboken Girl that there will be items on the menu that have never been seen in Jersey City, let alone New Jersey, let alone the United States.

While there will be recognizable Brazilian staples on the menu, some of the ingredients and preparations are so local to Brazilian regions that the recipes were brought to the table by the kitchen staff from those regions. Just like the staff at Broa is Portuguese, the staff at Tamborim will be Brazilian. 

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

Michael jokes, but is serious when he says that “some items on the menu, Brazilian people may not even recognize because they weren’t from that part of Brazil.” He and his team in the kitchen, many of which have been cooking in Brazil for 30+ years, have been working passionately to curate the menu and plating to absolute perfection.

See More: New Restaurant ‘Latin Rotisserie’ Coming Soon to Hoboken

The restaurant is excited to introduce flavors that their guests’ palate may not have experienced before. He confesses, “I love what I do, I love this business and industry, and wouldn’t do anything else in the world. I want to showcase Brazilian food in the very best way possible and really represent.”

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{Photo credit: @tamborim_bar}

In addition to delicious food, the restaurant will also have an impressive array of Brazilian wines, beers, and inspired cocktails. The team brought in a Sommelier and Mixologist to ensure that patrons are just as thrilled with the beverage service as they are with the food. 

Follow the restaurant on Instagram @tamborim_bar to see what’s cooking in the kitchen and getting served up at the bar. 

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Nicole is a born and bred Jersey girl. Originally from Bergen County, she's called Jersey City home since 2016. After years of working in NYC at marketing agencies for big brands, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to turn her side hustle {supporting local businesses as a writer and social media strategist} into her day job. An all-around champion for small businesses, Nicole loves to shop, eat, drink, and share all things local to New Jersey on her Instagram page, @heynicoleraye. When she isn't curating content or networking, she can be found exploring NJ neighborhoods with her college sweetheart, whipping up a home-cooked meal, planning a get-together for her friends, redecorating her apartment, rooting for her favorite teams (go NJ Devils!), or plotting her next adventure.