Bavaria celebrates 50 years without changing its menu

Closing would be a big sin. And an immeasurable loss to the history and gastronomy of Curitiba. But such an opportunity came to Giovanni Muffone, who founded Cantina Baviera exactly 50 years ago (celebrated on Tuesday, May 10), and with age he no longer had the courage to continue to lead the enterprise.

This was right after the restaurant celebrated its 45th anniversary. In a 2017 interview with Bom Gourmet (see link), Maffone made it clear that at 80, he would no longer be able to manage the day-to-day running of the business, but the desire wouldn’t be too close. Selling, leave the house open, in full operation.

Fortunately, that’s what happened. Echoing the classic story of other customer-favorite restaurants, entrepreneur Marcio Borges, a regular visitor to the house, took issue with the possibility of his favorite restaurant closing. Exactly where in his youth he closed his first big business, the starting point of his career.

Marcio Borges and his wife Tayana Hey have been the new owners of Baviera since last year.
Marcio Borges and his wife Tayana Hey have been the new owners of Baviera since last year. | Photo: Rodrigo Piero/Gazeta do Povo

Since last year, when Muffone felt that it was impossible to continue further, Borges had negotiated and acquired Baviera. And with a clear goal: to touch absolutely nothing in the objects that made up the journey so close to reaching its golden jubilee. Not in the environment, not in food.

After all, it was impossible to break this charm of a medieval tavern that, inspired by Germanic lines, manages to be both rustic and intimate. The restaurant occupies the lower part of a house built in 1900, owned by the Hauer family.

Precisely because it is located on the basement floor of the building, the restaurant has no windows. When it was decided to open a restaurant there in 1972, Giovanni Muffone and his then partner Victor Ciesco had the idea to install old lamps, starting with the four that stand right at the entrance and that used to stand in the Cathedral of Curitiba.

Completing the lighting are candles on bottles, adorned with melting wax that flows and gives personality to each table. In fact, Cantina Baviera was the first restaurant in town to serve by candlelight.

everything is as before

At the entrance to Bavaria, there are still antiques decorating the wall in the German style, with half-timbered.
At the entrance to Bavaria, there are still antiques decorating the wall in the German style, with half-timbered. | Photo: Rodrigo Piero/Gazeta do Povo

Marcio Borges’ idea of ​​not touching anything was cemented.

Of course, it took some work. In terms of structure, the complete renovation of the kitchen (technical porcelain and a completely new layout in stainless steel), the revitalization of the bathrooms and the façade and the restoration of the halls, keeping all the elements: the famous half-timbered (wood beams intersect in the wall), lanterns and a chandelier with candles that once owned by the cathedral, original Tiffany lamps, artwork and Art Nouveau.

The collection of “spruch” (original plates of the German colonization), also sold at auction, and a large copper still, which is undated, continue there.

Technological innovations were needed to provide greater service flexibility. Therefore, a full-fledged website was created (check it here), integrated and responsive, and for direct contact with customers, an online ordering system, online table reservations, an integrated presence on the Google platform, PDAs for waiters, QR- table code. orders (optional, only if the customer wants it, since the old menus are still active), more professional social media management and logo update and the creation of the 50th anniversary – Golden Anniversary Badge.

Everything on the menu is the same as before. The recipes have not changed since opening in 1972.

Quantities very generous, could be enough for two people. Products and resources support the origins that distinguish a home. For example, black parmesan from Uruguay, which gives a special taste to pasta and pizza.

The oldest employees of the house: José Renato da Mota (Ceara), Marco Antonio Bertholdi, Waldo Gogola and Miguel Gogola.  Those who spend the least time at home are only 37 years old.
The oldest employees of the house: José Renato da Mota (Ceara), Marco Antonio Bertholdi, Waldo Gogola and Miguel Gogola. Those who spend the least time at home are only 37 years old. | Photo: Rodrigo Piero/Gazeta do Povo

And the working team has thus been in existence for several decades. To give you an idea, the oldest employee has been with the company for 46 years and retired last year. And the rest are very close to these figures. Miguel Gogola (pizzaiolo and oven chef) has been working in the restaurant for 43 years. The waiter Marco Antonio Bertholdi has been working here for 40 years. Waldo Gogola (brother of Miguel, also a pizza maker and baker), 39, and José Renato da Mota (Ceara, kitchen assistant), 37.

Calzone is available in two flavors and is also one of the customers' favorites.
Calzone is available in two flavors and is also one of the customers’ favorites. | Photo: Rodrigo Piero/Gazeta do Povo

unsurpassed classic

Cantina Baviera has a confluence of origins in its formation. The name is German, here is classic French cuisine and real Italian pizza. Many of these dishes are confused with the identity of the restaurant, for example, among the appetizers, the incomparable
Onion soup
(onion soup, 48 reais per person and 80 reais for two) and Eggplant appetizer with croutons (30 reais).

Calzone also has strong memories with the scents of the house. Calzoni (plural) to put it better. There are two flavors: endive
(mozzarella, ham, escarole and homemade ricotta) and with Bavarian ricotta (mozzarella, ham and special creamy ricotta).

Pizza flavors are also liked by many customers. Or even with the owner boss pizza (mozzarella, tomato slices, onions, mushrooms, olives and basil – 80 reais for medium and 94 reais for large), which got its name because it was Giovanni Muffone’s favorite dish.

It is also one of the most successful dishes Spaghetti in oil, with juice and put (100 reais), although the buyer himself can choose both pasta and sauce to taste.

Filet Parmigiana is a Brazilian classic.  In Bavaria, it is cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Filet Parmigiana is a Brazilian classic. In Bavaria, it is cooked in a wood-fired oven. | Photo: Rodrigo Piero/Gazeta do Povo

Oh yes, meat! Minion Stroganov (165 reais with more rice and Bavarian potato straw) on request. parmesan fillet (175 reais, wood-fired oven with rice and french fries). But there are flavors that are not found anywhere else, for example, Shish kebab minion with onion petals (175 reais – kebab mignon, alternating with tomatoes and onion petals, accompanied by a salad of tomatoes and lettuce, Bavarian fries and plenty of rice) and a specialty, boss fillet (175 reais – 500 g of grilled filet mignon, accompanied by a salad of tomatoes, lettuce, Bavarian fries and plenty of rice), which, of course, was also prepared at the request of Maffone.

In fact, even today, at the age of 84, the former owner continues to visit Cantina Baviera regularly, where he talks to his former employees and asks for his most favorite dishes.

Cantina Baviera is open almost every day of the year. 363 to be precise, with two exceptions on December 24 and 31. On other days the house is always open for dinner from 18:00 to 23:00. Even when revitalization work was needed, customers were not scorned as pandemic red flag days (when all restaurants were forced to close) were used, although the delivery service continued to operate normally.

And if the menu remains the same, then new ideas for its presentation will appear. Like an interesting experience for two, with the creation Romantic Settings Menu, where the client can choose table setting, flowers, rose petals, special sparkling wines and a three-course menu. By candlelight, of course, as at any other table.

For special evenings, you can order the
For special evenings, you can order the “Romantic Atmosphere” menu with candles, sparkling wine and rose petals on the table. | Photo: Rodrigo Piero/Gazeta do Povo

As by candlelight, Marcio Borges went there for dinner so many times with his then-girlfriend Tayana Hay, maintaining the frequency after they got married (they have a two-year-old son). Today, Tayana, the architect (she was responsible for the entire refurbishment of Baviera), is a partner in the restaurant she runs with her husband.

So, at this important moment of celebration, it’s really important to make a toast and thank you. Firstly, Giovanni Muffone for running a first class restaurant in Curitiba for so many decades. Then thanks to Marcio and Tayana for sharing their passion for the home and allowing all of us to continue to be privileged customers of the canteen that carries the identity of the city and is now 50 years old.

Long live the ever new Bavaria!

Bavaria – Cantina and Pizzeria

Alameda Augusto Stelfeld, 18, downtown

Phone: (41) 3232-1995

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