Eating Drinking in Rio de Janeiro
Posted 22 February 2002 - 10:01 AM
Last month I visited Rio for a few days. Actually five nights. While
there are really good upscale restaurants in Leblon and in 5Star
hotels in Copacabana, I'll focus on my experiences from this trip alone.
Arrive in the morning, empty stomach, head straight to the hotel as my
escort did not show up at the airport. Its bright,sunny and the
beach is packed to the gills.... Cross over to a stand by the beach
and order a fresh coconut - Drink the juice, and have the thing cut up
and eat the cream. So refreshing.
It is noon by this time, I head to the venue of our panel discussion
-- But first the lunch, feijoadas - typical Brazilian meal of
meats,seafood with rice and beans -- something like paella, but not
There are many small eateries spread all over Copacabana and Ipanema area
serving feijoadas as staple fare. Just like the salad bars in
NYC, there are places that serve variety of cooked food by the weight.
In the vening we break for the day. Since many of us had travelled from
far (NYC,LHR,CDG,LIS) and presumably were still jet-lagged (ha!) anearly dinner was proposed by our local hosts. Our Escort had finally
shown up with the mini-van -- Off we go to Ipanema - Mio, a small
Italian restaurant with Brazilian accent - It means that along with
fresh baked breads, come small plates of olives, cheeses, fresh
anchovies in olive oil, pickled vegetables, and small pieces of
The wines are mostly Italian, one or two Chilean/Argentinian. I settle
for Chianti Reservo, while others pick Chilean and Agrentinian. Did I
mention someplace earlier, that there was no - "Hi I'm John, I'll be
serving you tonight.......Let me tell you the specials of the day
I order "pirarucu o frono", a fish found in Amazon, cooked in
Lemon,butter and spices. The side order was fresh pasta. Unlike, in
back-home Italy; pasta, atleast to my understanding, was treated as an
accompaniment. Being stuffed from all the food, I begged off the dessert.
Having finished the dinner, I chose to walk from Ipanema to my hotel in
Copa. Our Escort warned and expressed concern at the hidden
dangers. Two of us ignore the advice and head to the beach. On the way
we pass the cafe, where on a napkin was penned "The Girl from Ipanema"- The name of the cafe ? Garota de Ipanema (originally called Velloso)
Every block on Avenue Atlantica has atleast one or two open air
Cafes. People sit there for hours chugging Choepps (Draft beer), or
sipping Caipirinha made out of cachaca. We park ourselves at one next
to my hotel. Brahma, the local favourite beer begins to flow. A
steady stream of really beautiful people flow by the sidewalk - People
watching at its best :-)
Next day, complementary breakfast in the hotel - Fresh
fruits,meats,juices and a whole slew of baked goods galore. Off again
to more workshop and panel discussions. At around one in the afternoon
- events for the day are over -- Since, I'd gorged on the breakfast, I
was not really hungry. We sit down at "Alcazar", a beachfront open air
Cafe. We order Caipirinha, and an order of Frango Passeano (sp?),
fried pieces of chicken cooked with garlic and spices. This one order
was so hugh that it could feed an army - A bucket full of really juicy
chicken. Three hours and three drinks later I head to my room for an
Nightlife in Copacabana revolves around the HELP disco. Tourists hang
around the nearby Cafes taking in the ambiance :-) Late at night, itsNightlife in Copacabana revolves around the HELP disco. Tourists hang
around the nearby Cafes taking in the ambiance :-) Late at night, its
more beer and Empanadas till it is time to retire for the day.
Day 3: Today was really low key, we were recommended to pay a visit to
Fellini in Leblon. This is a really great buffet place - not to be
missed. One pays by the weight for the vast variety of Brazilian
dishes and meats.
Leblon is an upscale neighborhood and as a result many a great
restaurants are spread all over the place.
Day 4: Today we decide to visit "Marius" in Leme (far side of
Copacabana). It is a churrascria. Actually Marius has two restaurants
- Seafood and Meat BBQ. By a majority vote we decide that we'll go to
the meatBBQ. Having been to Churrascria's in Both Manhattan and
Queens, I knew what was coming :) Not so for two from .FR. The salad
bar had fresh seafood, including oysters on the half-shell,
mussells,peeled shrimp, lobster tails.... The meat offerings on this
day were about 35 different kinds. Different kinds of game,pork,beef
dominated the variety. All that food with Caipirinha,carafe of wine --
cost per head 64Reas with tip.
Posted 22 February 2003 - 11:39 AM
We were there 2 years ago, and it was the absolute highlight from a gastronomical perspective. His mix of tropical flavors and French style is truly impeccable. It's beyond what some might call fusion. It was more like another genesis. The taste of the passion fruit desert pie is still in my mouth. I also recall the Thailland tiger prawns were excellent.
Posted 22 February 2003 - 04:02 PM
Posted 22 February 2003 - 04:10 PM
Posted 22 February 2003 - 04:32 PM
Call me a heathen but I prefer Boulliabasse to Cataplanas whether in Brazil or Portugal. The Cataplanas may be more mild, perhaps I'm just a sucker for the aioli.
Satyricon may, on good nights, be presque en par with Le Bernardin. It can also be found in Buzios, 2plus hours N. of Rio, where they make memorable rock salt baked whole fish. Bardot made the 23-beach long curling coastline Buzios famous in the 60's. Last I was there so were loads of Europeans and Argentinians. Though not much English is spoken, a little Spanish and French go a long way. Best meal on the beach in Brazil(?) can be found here on Ferradura, from the old guy on the end.
Best place to stay in BuzioS: and please remember all this data several years old,:
p/s: DO NOT take one of those tiny little limes and squeeze them on your freshly grilled fish if you are in, or plan to see, the sun for the next week. The acids are so strong that should the zest or spray touch you, your skin, when burned by the sun, will blister and become permanently marred. On the other hand, some scars are sexy
Edited by lissome, 23 February 2003 - 02:45 PM.
Posted 22 February 2003 - 04:54 PM
Posted 22 February 2003 - 07:32 PM
Minor correction. It's Satyricon where we had the great snapper. But Antiquarius is worth a shot too.
Drop Quadrifoglio if he's thinking of it.
Posted 22 February 2003 - 07:39 PM
While not a 'destination,' if shopping in the area, quite liked Alho & Oleo on the Praca da Paz in Ipanema. Modern, clean, friendly, good. Partridge w. dates and grilled duck w. apricots. Homemade pasta, seafood.
Spices was good, a Caribbean place. In their drink 'Nega Sings the Blues' you'll find cachaca w. ginger, lime and honey. Of course upper class Brazilians drink vodka in place of the cheap cane liquor in spite of its distinctive flavor. The number of different Caipiroskas, vodka drinks made with fresh fruit, defies calculation. I dont believe anyone in Brasil knows how many different types of fruit the country has.
Maybe my best meal in Rio I found at the Quatro Sete Meia. One hour drive from Copa.; 11 tables on the water's edge. 7 options on the menu including moquecas and curries. Rua Gustavo Sampaio, Leme. Must stop en route to visit the best beach, Prainha, and museum, Museo Caso do Pontal (Estrada do Pontal 3295 021/226-4914 or 226-3540)
Shirley was so fun too! Homemade Spanish seafood casseroles and soups. Here they call Bouillabasse Zarzuela and a white wine soup Cazuela. Don't let the downhome decor frighten you, though this is a shack where but a few paintings hang on wood-paneled walls. There's usually a line: wait. Rua Gustavio Sampaio, Leme
Do try to be brave. IMHO people are too damn nervous about travel in Brasil. I was there for 4 months and had no incidents: a single woman traveling alone. Do too try to only eat food you're sure you can trust. Avoid eating on the street, no matter now good it looks. As mentioned elsewhere, avoid Dende, when you can but not hysterically. I don't think it's good for you.
Also went to Troisgros; the chef was Antonio Costa. Exceptionally light Brazilian fare with, yes, a passion-fruit mousse to make the trip to Rio worthwhile.
Edited by lissome, 23 February 2003 - 07:28 PM.
Posted 25 February 2003 - 03:25 PM
Posted 30 December 2003 - 08:19 PM
...... Ricardo is the name Brazilian husbands give to the (male) lovers with whom their wives cheat. Everything on Mostarda's menu is titled with some such pun and ideally one ought bring a Carioca to translate. .....
And you would know this from whom, Milady ? Every year we have something. We have joke about vitamin V one year and we call it Dole fruit [ YHes, I know Dole is not the samy as the company ]