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T+L's Definitive Guide to Rio de Janeiro

201401-a-rio-de-janeiro

Photo: David Nicolas

Eat

Here’s where to eat in Rio now, from authentic Brazilian restaurants to temples of experimental fusion cuisine.

Bar Do Mineiro: Santa Teresa residents fill this rustic lunchtime favorite to feast on home-style comfort food such as pork-and-black-bean feijoada and chicken-and-okra stew—hearty recipes from the nearby mining state of Minas Gerais. If the dining room is packed, order a caipirinha, set yourself up at a sidewalk table, and take in the area’s artsy scene. $$

Olympe: Following in the culinary footsteps of his father (who led the nouvelle cuisine movement in 1970’s France), Burgundy-born chef Claude Troisgros decamped for Rio, where he built a four-restaurant empire famous for combining French cooking traditions with local ingredients. At his first outpost, Troisgros whips up innovative dishes that pack a flavorful punch: duck magret with passion fruit; stuffed quail with onion-and-raisin manioc farofa. $$$

Oui Oui: After Roberta Ciasca’s restaurant Miam Miam put up-and-coming Botafogo on the foodie map, the Cordon Bleu–trained chef pointed her talents toward Oui Oui, a tapas place that mixes the old-world (Art Deco chairs; ornate ironwork) with the kitsch (disco balls; fiberglass tables). The small, shareable portions are equally creative—tilapia with quinoa and olives; prawns with heart of pupunha (peach palm)—and pair well with any of the international wines. $$$

Roberta Sudbrack: Self-taught chef Roberta Sudbrack cooked at Brazil’s presidential palace for seven years before striking out on her own, opening her namesake restaurant in charming Jardim Botânico. The ever-changing menu focuses on seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors; options may include slow-cooked lamb with chervil and potatoes or panqueca de doce de leite. $$$$

Satyricon: You’ll be hard-pressed to find better (or fresher) seafood than at Ipanema’s Italian-influenced Satyricon. Choose from the tank’s stock of live lobster and crayfish, or opt for delicacies such as the just-caught sea bream, baked in a rock-salt crust and served by waiters displaying the ideal degree of gravitas. $$$

Live Lapa Sounds

Once-derelict Lapa reverberates far into the night with samba’s percussive beat. Three places to immerse yourself.

Rio Scenarium: Amid a scenic clutter of esoteric objects and art, the former antiques gallery turned landmark rocks out every night to five-act musical extravaganzas.

Carioca da Gema: The pioneering hot spot regularly scoops awards for note-perfect samba and jazz shows performed in a two-story town house.

Circo Voador: Bands from all over the world come to play at this cultural center; the energy on the dance floor is uniquely Brazilian.

Restaurants
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

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