Bavaria celebrates its 50th anniversary without changing its menu

Closing it would be a great sin. And an immeasurable loss for Curitiba’s history and gastronomy. However, this possibility crossed the mind of Giovanni Muffone, who founded Cantina Baviera exactly 50 years ago (celebrated on Tuesday, May 10), and under the weight of his age, he no longer had the courage to continue running the venture.

It was right after the restaurant celebrated 45 years of operation. In an interview with Bom Gourmet in 2017 (see link), Muffone made it clear that at the age of 80 she can no longer run the business on a daily basis, but the desire cannot be fulfilled. to close. I want to sell the house in full working condition to keep it open.

Fortunately, it did. Repeating the classic story of other restaurants loved by customers, entrepreneur Márcio Borges, a regular customer of the house, disagreed with the prospect of his favorite restaurant being closed. It’s right there where, as a young man, he closed his first big job, which was the starting point of his career.

Márcio Borges and his wife, Thayana Hey, have been the new owners of Baviera since last year.
Márcio Borges and his wife, Thayana Hey, have been the new owners of Baviera since last year. | Photo: Rodrigo Pierrot/Gazeta do Povo

Since last year, when Muffone felt that it was no longer possible to continue, Borges bargained and bought Baviera. And with a clear goal in mind: to touch absolutely nothing on the items that make up a trip this close to the golden anniversary. Neither in the environment nor in the food.

After all, there was no way to break the charm of feeling in a medieval tavern inspired by Germanic lines, which manages to be rustic and intimate at the same time. The restaurant is located in the lower part of a 1900’s house that belonged to the Hauer family.

The restaurant has no windows as it is located exactly in the basement of the property. When they decided to open the restaurant there in 1972, Giovanni Muffone and his then partner Victor Siesko had the idea to install the old lamps, starting with the four lamps at the entrance that were there before. Curitiba Metropolitan Cathedral.

Candles on the bottles to complete the lighting, adorned with melted wax, flowing and giving any table a personal touch. In fact, Cantina Baviera was the first candlelit restaurant in the city.

everything is as before

At the entrance to Bavaria, a half-timbered distillery and antique adorning the wall in the German style.
At the entrance to Bavaria, a half-timbered distillery and antique adorning the wall in the German style. | Photo: Rodrigo Pierrot/Gazeta do Povo

Márcio Borges’ idea of ​​not touching anything was reinforced.

Of course, some work was needed. Structurally, a complete renovation of the kitchen (a completely new flooring in technical porcelain and stainless steel), revitalization of the bathrooms and façade and restoration of the halls, preserving all the elements: cross beams in the famous half-timbered (wooden) wall), lanterns and candle chandelier that once belonged to the cathedral , original Tiffany lamps, artwork and Art Nouveau style.

The collection of auctioned “spruce” (original plates from German colonization) and the large unhistorical copper distillation continue here.

Technological innovations were necessary to enable greater agility in service. Therefore, a complete website was created (check here), integrated and responsive and an online ordering system for direct communication with customers, online table reservations, integrated presence on Google platform, palm for waiters, QR Code for table orders (optional) , only if the customer requests it, since the old menus are still active), more professional management of social networks and updating the logo and creating the 50 Years – Golden Jubilee Seal.

Everything on the menu is as before. The recipes have been the same since it opened in 1972.

Very generous amounts can be enough for two people. Products and inputs preserve the origins that define the home. Like the black cape Parmesan cheese from Uruguay that gives pasta and pizza a personalized flavor.

The oldest employees of the house: José Renato da Mota (Ceará), Marco Antônio Bertoldi, Valdo Gogola and Miguel Gogola.  Those with the least time at home are just 37 years old.
The oldest employees of the house: José Renato da Mota (Ceará), Marco Antônio Bertoldi, Valdo Gogola and Miguel Gogola. Those with the least time at home are just 37 years old. | Photo: Rodrigo Pierrot/Gazeta do Povo

And the work team has been there for decades. To give you an idea, the oldest employee has been with the company for 46 years and retired last year. And others are very close to these figures. Miguel Gogola (pizzaiolo and bakery cook) has been working at the restaurant for 43 years. Waiter Marco Antônio Bertoldi has been working there for 40 years. Valdo Gogola (Miguel’s brother, also a pizzeria and baker) is 39 years old and José Renato da Mota (Ceará, kitchen assistant) is 37 years old.

The calzone has two flavors and is also among the customers' favourites.
The calzone has two flavors and is also among the customers’ favourites. | Photo: Rodrigo Pierrot/Gazeta do Povo

unrivaled classics

Cantina Baviera has a fusion of origins in its formation. Named in German, they have classic French cuisine and authentic Italian pizza. Many of these dishes are confused with the identity of the restaurant, for example unique among starters
Onion soup
(onion soup, R$48 per person and R$80 for two) and Eggplant appetizer with toast ($30).

Calzone also has strong memories with the flavors of the house. To put it better, calzoni (plural). There are two flavors: Chicory
(mozzarella, ham, escarole, and homemade ricotta) and with bavarian ricotta (mozzarella cheese, ham and ricotta with special cream).

Pizza flavors are also relevant to many customers. Or even with its owner, the boss’s pizza (mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, onions, mushrooms, black olives and basil – R$80 for medium and R$94 for large), so named because it’s a favorite of Giovanni Muffone.

It is also among the most successful dishes. Butter spaghetti with water (R$ 100), but the customer can choose both the pasta and the sauce they want to taste.

Filet Parmigiana is a Brazilian classic.  It is made in Bavaria in a wood burning stove.
Filet Parmigiana is a Brazilian classic. It is made in Bavaria in a wood burning stove. | Photo: Rodrigo Pierrot/Gazeta do Povo

Oh yes, meats! Mignon Stroganoff (R$165, with copious rice and Bavarian potato straw) on request fillet parmigiana (R$175 made on a wood stove with rice and chips on the side). However, they have their own flavors that are not found anywhere else. Mignon skewers with onion leaves (R$175 – a mignon skewer alternating with tomato and onion leaves, accompanying tomato and lettuce salad, Bavarian fries and copious rice) and the house specialty, boss fillet (R$175 – 500g grilled fillet mignon with tomato salad, lettuce, Bavarian fries and plenty of rice), of course made at Muffone’s request.

In fact, even today, its 84-year-old former owner continues to visit Cantina Baviera regularly, where he talks to his former staff and asks about his all-time favorite dishes.

Cantina Baviera is open almost every day of the year. 363, to be exact, and the two exceptions are December 24 and 31. On other days, the house is always open for dinner from 6 pm to 11 pm. Even when resuscitation efforts were needed, customers were not looked down upon as the delivery service continued to operate as normal as it took advantage of the red flag days of the pandemic (when all restaurants were forced to close).

And if the menu stays the same, there are some new ideas to present it. Like interesting experience for two with its creation Romantic settings menu, tableware, flowers, rose petals, special sparkling wines and a triple menu for the customer to choose. By candlelight, of course, as on any table.

For special nights, it is possible to book the Romantic Atmospheres Menu with candlelight, sparkling wine and rose petals on the table.
For special nights, it is possible to book the Romantic Atmospheres Menu with candlelight, sparkling wine and rose petals on the table. | Photo: Rodrigo Pierrot/Gazeta do Povo

Márcio Borges went to dinner by candlelight with his then-girlfriend, Thayana Hey, so many times that he remained that frequent after his marriage (they have a two-year-old son). Today, architect Thayana (who was responsible for all of Baviera’s renovations) is a partner in the restaurant she runs with her husband.

And so, at this moment of important celebration, what really matters is the toast and thank you. First to Giovanni Muffone for guaranteeing that he has run a world-class restaurant in Curitiba for decades. Then to Márcio and Thayana, who share their passion for the home and ensure that we all continue to be privileged customers of a canteen that is 50 years old and brings the identity of the city to all of us.

Long live the new Bavaria!

Bavaria – Cantina and Pizzaria

Alameda Augusto Stelffeld, 18 – Downtown

Fund: (41) 3232-1995

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