The meal prepping at Muqueca begins long before the first onion is sliced. Owner Fátima “Fafa” Langa travels to the southeastern, coastal state of Espírito Santo every year to purchase new clay pots for the kitchen. The Association of Potters makes moqueca pots there, a tradition they’ve upheld for over 400 years.
Order the moqueca, of course, but pronounce it “muqueca” as Brazilians do. Select Baiana or Capixaba style: Baiana uses coconut milk and palm oil; Capixaba does not. The large pot before you is black and battered like a witch’s cauldron. The meal inside bubbles orange, brimming with white fish, shrimp, tomato, onion, and cilantro. The pot, still hot from the stove, keeps the meal warm. Ladle it over white rice, sprinkle with farofa, and pair with a white wine, like the Portuguese Verdelho.
Hungrier parties should accompany the moqueca with feijoada completa. This hearty black bean stew is the national dish of Brazil, and Muqueca loads it with dried meat prepped in-house, sausage, pork ribs, and bacon. For dessert, try the northern Brazilian cupuaçu fruit pudding mixed with New England blueberries.