Friday, September 12, 2008

Academia de Cachaça

September 2008

A low key bar in Leblon with incredible selection of the Brazilian liquor. While no one spoke English, we picked through their extensive menu (fortunately in English) and ordered 5R shots after the other, as well as other mixed cachaça shots. The Brazilian cherry one was kind of a miss, but I liked the shot with honey and brown sugar. My brother had had a shot of a really good cachaça at dinner – unfortunately the name is lost, but it was about 20R and totally worth it.

Rua Conde de Bernadotte 26G, Leblon
2239 1542

Porçao Ipanema

September 2008

The Porçao in Flamengo is supposed to have wonderful view of Pão de Açúcar, but it was rainy for us, so we opted for its closer sister restaurant in Ipanema. Recommended by our concierge as one of the three churrascarias to go to (others being Espaça that we already went to and Mario’s which is a bit more expensive on the other end of Copacabana).
This was definitely my favorite meal in Rio, with a great salad bar (Espaça had more selection but I liked this one better) and amazing meat. The waiters are incredibly friendly and we were quite happy and full after a few hours. We learned to ask for meat malpasado, which got us rare, bloody pieces of animal. The dessert cart came around when we thought we couldn’t take anymore, but of course we got flan, egg yolk pastry, ice cream and coffee. Yum. With two bottles of wine and a bunch of drinks, I think it was about 600R total (63R per person).

They also have a bar area in front, with the most volume of Johnny Walker bottles that we (including my brother who works for Diageo) has seen.

Rua Barao da Torrs 218, Ipanema

Via Sete

September 2008

Via Sete is a cute lunch spot around the block from the H Stern museum and flagship shop – convenient for us post shopping since it was raining. Ended up being a great, light lunch, ‘light’ being the operative word – we were all craving salads and wraps by day five of our Rio trip. Had a really yummy meat carpaccio and greens wrap with a salad. Cariocas kind of drown their salads with dressing, but besides that quite good. Also had a nice glass of mate, a Brazilian tea-like drink that I like from Argentina.

Osteria Dell’Angelo

September 2008

Great Italian on Sunday night. Antipasti platter to start was fantastic, grilled eggplant, zucchini, warm baked parmesan, olives, marinated eggplant, fruta de mare. Appetizers of polenta with porcini was great, as was seafood salad and prosciutto. I had a veal and arugula dish that was quite rich, but my dad’s squid risotto in ink sauce was the best (and most famous) dish.

Rua Paul Redfern 40, Ipanema

Rio Scenarium

September 2008

Three story samba club in Lapa – Lonely Planet fairly described it as having a local-to-foreigner ratio of 50:50, but in September (off season), we found the “foreigners” to be from Sao Paulo or other parts of Brazil rather than real foreigners like us (though we could definitely point out the awkward dancing American pretty easily).

There was a line with several dozen people down the street when we got there around 10:30, 11pm, but we bought some bottles of beer to go from another bar and it wasn’t too long of a wait. There is a cover of something like 15-30R – they give you a piece of paper with your name, and the bartenders keep your tab on the sheet, so you pay for the cover and additional charges on your way out. Not sure what happens if you lose the paper…

The place is decorated in antiques – as Jesse described it, “it reminds me of my grandmother’s house.” Cool dark wood bars and walls with dozens of old school clocks, an old “drogeria” with rows and rows of corked dusty vials with “drogs” (that’s what they told my brother). The samba band plays on the stage on the first floor atrium with balconies that overlook the stage from the second and third floor.

Rua do Lavradio 20, Lapa
3852 5516

Espaço Brasa Leblon

September 2008
Churrascaria with all-you-can-eat buffet and roaming waiters with slabs of meat – different cuts of beef, pork, chicken, adult and kid, and not sure what else, since we didn’t understand most of them. I think I actually like the salad bar better than the meat, though both were good.

Choperia Brazooka

September 2008

Three story beer house that we happened to stop for lunch during out Rio sightseeing tour. Our tour guide kind of made fun of us for wanting to try feijeoda, a black-bean dish cooked with salted pork and other meats. It is served with rice and stewed kale, and typically eaten on Saturdays. Super yummy, though rich, we had several refreshing glasses of chope (draft beer) and also fried fish and cheese.
Rua Mem de Sá 70, Lapa
3474 3363

Garota de Ipanema

September 2008

We stopped in here for a post-dinner drink because the recommended bar down the street, Devassa, was too packed. No matter, we loved this place – got some chope, or draft beer and a plate of chicken hearts, which was perfectly grilled and super garlicky, we have been talking about it all week! I had a yummy spicy tomato juice, which we were split on whether it had none or a ton of alcohol, but good either way. This is also a hang out of Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, of the famous bossa nova “Girl from Ipanema,” bar eponymously named.

We came here again for our last Rio lunch. We had the chicken hearts again, and palm heart salad, pizza, fried fish, soup and sandwiches.

Rua Vinícius de Moraes, Ipanema
2523 3787

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Zaza Bistro Tropical

September 2008

We had dinner at Zaza our first night in Rio. We sat on the outdoor patio with “French-colonial décor”, cute lights and nice ambiance. On the second floor, patrons take off shoes to lounge and eat on throw pillows. Everything is organic.

We started with wasabi-cream cheese, eggplant antipasti and herb butter to go with bread and crackers. Then the waiter recommended Germana cachaça shot... Yummy seared tuna for entre.

Rua Joana Angelica 40, Ipanema
2247 9101


September 2008
Wine and liquor bar in Leblon that we stopped in after shopping. Super cute with upstairs porch that we sat at. Wonderful bottle of CATENA 2006 Chardonnay from Mendoza (for about 60R)


Bibi Sucos

September 2008

I stopped at this corner juice stand on my first day walking around Leblon in Rio. They had an overwhelming menu board, so I just fixed on the “açai” section and ordered a copa. I got a super thick glass filled over the brim with dark brownish-red slushie that I ate with a spoon until I had an ice cream head ache. I have no idea how to describe the fruit taste, but it’s good. I had them pour the rest into a cup to go though, a lot of slushie for one sitting.

Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva 591, Rio de Janeiro, 22440-032, Brazil
2259 4298