Mr. DRL and I finally made it over to CT Boucherie on the weekend for dinner, which was fantastic.CT is chef Claude Troisgos (of Olympe & 66 Bistro & CT Brasserie)'s new spot. Fabulous. Casual. Delicious.
We had the picanha and filet mignon, served with pepper and moustard sauces. The sides come rodizio, family style and were fantastic. Hot apple-maracuja pure, chuchu gratinado (amazing....), batata barao.
I'd been advised that dessert was not to be missed, I had the chocolate mousse which was also served family style, highly recommend it!
CT Boucherie, Rua Dias Ferreira 636 – Leblon. Pretty much always packed!
The other day while out for a lovely lunch at Resto with the Canarioca (that's right the Canadoca and Canarioca finally met), the Canadoca was obsessed with this photo:
Apparently I'm the smoker in the one piece and Mr. DRL (Dadd-EEEE!) is chatting up the blonde. Interesting....
It was lovely to finally meet the Canarioca, and she was ever so helpful with what ensued after lunch: the Canadoca's first full on public meltdown. In the streets of Ipanema in 36 degree weather. Not fun. Thanks for your help!! :)
The NK store is now open in Ipanema. It features designers such as Stella McCartney, Pucci, Givenchy, Lanvin, Céline, Isabel Marant, Azzedine Alaïa. It's right beside DeliRio Tropical and has valet parking... might need to check this out soon! Web site here. Rua Garcia D'avila, 56, Ipanema.
Over at Shopping Leblon, there's a new baby store, Upia. The window was the most exciting part, but it's cute.
When I was last at Shopping Leblon the new Juicy Couture store was coming soon, but it may be open by now.
Down in my neck of the woods we have a beautiful new book store, Saraiva, where the dive shop used to be by Cafeina.
The Saraiva store has many international magazines I hadn't previously spotten in Rio. not to mention other "international favorites" - this popped right out at me
Down on Dias Ferreira there's a new steakhouse that comes recommended (haven't been there yet myself) - CT Boucherie. The desserts are supposed to be fab.
I've been meaning to mention it for ages but there is also now a Mini Cooper dealership right on Ataulfa de Paiva.
I have three friends in particular who will be sad they've moved away and won't be able to check out the new Venga! Which is located on Garcila D'Avila in Ipanema. As I have mentioned I love love love Venga, the only complaint I have is that it's too busy! Anyway I am happy that they've expanded into a new location :)
I am getting really excited to get back to Rio, I miss Mr. DRL! Can't wait for our next datenight, I think I'll take him here, the newest spot on Epitacio Pessoa on the canal in Ipanema ... Anyone been?
You've got to love Google Alerts. They keep me apprised of news both here and back home. Before I moved to Rio I started reading the local news here and it scared the pants off of me. So let's just say that I like it when THIS is making waves in my neighbourhood rather than stories about gangs, stray bullets or robberies.
The story I'm referring to is the Prefeitura shutting down the new deck out front of Garcia & Rodriguez. I actually was walking by when the dismantling of said deck was taking place and it seemed peaceful but a bit off - turns out it was not legal by bylaw standards and so it was taken down. Just in case you were wondering why you can no longer sit outside there or where the heck the deck I told you about is now...
Speaking of spots in Leblon there is finally some "movement" in the old McDonald's location at the corner of Dias da Ferreira and Ataulfa de Paiva. Blue and Yellow stripes mean anything to anyone? What's going in there???
Sorry for the nightvision shot...
Also new in the neighbourhood - PAX, on General San Martin just past Rua Rita Ludolf, which features soups, a grilhado menu and a salad buffet at lunch. Bring a sweater as the AC is ICY. The highlight for me was the gorgeous bouquet of flowers on our table.
Mr. DRL and I are also excited to check out Astoria, (General San Martin 1011) which also just opened up. Spanish tapas... it comes recommended already... I'll let you know. In the meantime here is a review from another blogger who like me is a major VENGA fan.
We finally made it to the Jockey Club Brasileiro - had a great time! My allergies did not bother me one bit, the horses were gorgeous, as was the backdrop of the mountains and skyline. Though one could expect it to be an adrenaline-filled evening it was muito tranquilo...
Alessandro & Frederico has the best lemon pie around. I watched about 8 of them go by before I caught on. It's dangerously good. You have to try it.
Saturday feijoada is a great tradition to take part in. Our club has one that I rarely miss. This past weekend we took in Saturday Feijoada at the Copacabana Palace which is always a nice treat. A friend went to the one at the Sheraton and she recommends this as well; apparently they even have brown rice!
Via Sete has this fantastic red quinoa salad on its feature menu right now. I also recommend this. I mean, I have ordered it twice in the past three weeks and I rarely deviate my order when I'm there...
Have you tried the ice cream at Milfrutas? Better yet, have you tried the icecream cakes? They are fantastic. A bit pricey (especially when Mr. DRL just received in the mail not one but two turning-on-a-red-light tickets while circling the block waiting for me to pick one up. Oops.) but a NICE dessert for a special occasion.
Last night, Mr. DRL and I went on a "date" to Roberta Sudbrack. It was our first time there and we thoroughly enjoyed it! It is one of Rio's top restaurants and features multiple small courses - a tasting menu that changes daily, depending on what's fresh and in season. I love this concept.
I can't for the life of me remember all that we ate, but after 8 courses I was full but not uncomfortably stuffed, as they do a great job of keeping it fairly light (even with foie gras...)
The service is nice and the atmosphere comfortable and upscale without being pretentious. Senhora Sudbrack herself, who used to cook for the president, comes out and greets her guests. We'll return for sure!
Roberta Sudbrack Rua Lineu de Paula Machado 916 3874-0139
Mr. DRL and I plan to visit Uruguay later this year with the Canadoca (start sending those recommendations my way - love them all!) but until then we can enjoy a little taste of Uruguay at Posto 9. Friends have been recommending these sandwiches for ages but I finally tried one for the first time last week while at the beach in Ipanema, and it did NOT disappoint...
Your options are sausage, chicken, beef, or a mixture of all three, which is what I had, above. So good, and right on the beach. I'm told the sandwiches were even better back when grilling was legal on the beach. I guess that law is being enforced now. Smoking pot on the beach is still a-okay though from what I've seen. But it's probably good for business for the sandwich place...
Here it is:
Apparently these Uruguayans have been in business here in Rio for 25 years or so! Check it out. Posto 9.
I get a lot of requests for restaurant reviews and this is also a good post for all of you who email me asking about good
cheap eats in Rio! (Other favorites of mine that fit into that
category: kilo restaurants such as Fellini and Frontera, DeliRio
Tropicale, Bibi Sucos/Lanches.) What are your favorite little secret places for special treats in Rio?
I'd heard a lot of mixed reviews about Giusseppe, which is why it took us so long to get there. Maybe it was that the mixed reviews lowered my expectations, but I thought it was fantastic! I recommend going with a large group, as like places like Esplanada, you order your main but then choose sides to share family style with the table. More people = sharing more variety of sidedishes, which to me is what it is all about. A bigger group also raises your potential of having some creative types to entertain you with the little pig fork holders once the meal is done, as was the case for us...
Where were all these sandwich places when I was pregnant?? I have a friend who always would put detail her gourmet sandwich exploits on her facebook status while I was pregnant - and I would always respond saying that it was not very nice to tell a pregnant friend in a foreign country about such treats!
Now, I think I have a shot at getting her back/fulfilling that craving. There are a couple of new sandwich places in Leblon - Focaccia, and now Lebronx (love the name!) which I need to check out very soon. It's located kitty-corner from Shopping Rio Design in Leblon in a very nice looking newly renovated building. Sorry for the blackberry cam quality shot...
Subway also opened recently in Leblon but why go there when there are these great options.
In the spirit of continuing to celebrate holidays on the wrong day (see my "dia dos namorados" post) we had a very nice Father's Day yesterday! (It was Father's Day back home). In case you are wondering, Father's Day is in August in Brazil. But Mother's Day is the same in Brazil & North America.
Canadoca spoiled her daddy with lunch at Fasano, some new clothes from Armani Exchange (ordered from back home for a fraction of what you'd pay here...) and a framed photo set for his office. We also enjoyed dinner at our place with a couple of friends who are Dads whose families are back in the US for the summer.
On Fasano - we had a beautiful lunch! We attempted to go for breakfast but it ended up being more like lunch time, which was great as we thoroughly enjoyed some amazing fish dishes. We'll be back soon...
Hope all the dad's out there had as great of a day as Mr. DRL! We'll do it all again in August...
I picked up some sandwiches here last Monday, and was not disappointed! I recommend the smoked salmon, and the roast beef with mustard was great too! Appropriate name as the focaccia bread is definitely the highlight...
While I waited, they gave me a little toasted bread treat - very nice. On Autalfa de Paiva in Leblon.
Part 5 of a series of how my many visitors answered questions to a little "survey" I gave them after their trips to Brazil.
Did you enjoy the food in Brazil?
My Mom: The food was amazing, heavier, and more rich, great desserts.
My Bridesmaid & Her Boyfriend: Um YES. We absolutely loved it. Porcao was sooo good and both Thai restaurants were awesome. Fresh fruit smoothies were to be found on every corner too...so tasty. We also really liked the place in Leblon or Ipanema that DRL took us to for lunch on our second day (when we went shopping - DRL's note: Via Sete). And Koni (a place that just sells sushi cones... so good)!
My Mother-in-law: What's not to enjoy. Even the buffets at the hotel in Argentina were good.
Engaged Couple Friends: Yes!!!! The fresh fruit was such a treat, and there was tons of seafood and fish. The Brazilian BBQ was very good and really fun. And, I would kill for an agua de coco in Calgary!!
My Dad: Enjoyed the beef, seafood and sushi. Believe it or not had a great feed of spaghetti, too, but don't tell my Italian wife.
One of our favorite spots is suddenly gone. We had a lot of good times at Salitre, which WAS located on General San Martin in Leblon. I loved going there for an afternoon drink, or dinner above the street on the veranda by candlelight, or breakfast on the weekends. They had a great wine list and even a wine store on the main level. We took many of our guests there. And now it's gone, leveled to the ground! We'll miss it. I'd written about Salitre several times, including here, and here, in my top Rio Restaurants section. I guess I will finally have to get on updating that...
So I may or may not have brought back a very large sized bag of Cadbury mini-eggs...
Haven't cracked them open yet, I figure Good Friday tomorrow will be an appropriate time!
Despite Brazil's many many many displays of eggs large and small (mostly large), I have not found mini-eggs here, nor have I found anything I like quite as much. It's weird, I am normally a big fan of dark chocolate and not so much milk chocolate products, but I do love those mini-eggs, there's just something about them. I find most of the chocolate here to be quite waxy, which I assume is to keep it from melting very quickly in this warm climate.
I do love the chocolates at Garcia & Rodriguez. They are amazing. According to Veja's Comer & Beber edition (restaurant reviews), the best chocolate in the city is to be found at Envidia, which is just a stone's throw away from my place. Which may be why I haven't ventured there yet - it could be dangerous! Maybe Mr. DRL & I will go there for "tea" soon since we can't exactly go for cocktails (though it doesn't often stop him from indulging!)
So in our neighbourhood we now have 3 little "fast food" places in a row - Koni, Keb & Yoggi. I've written about Koni & Yoggi before (Koni is little sushi cones available with a ton of different fillings/toppings. Yoggi is a frozen yogurt place. Also a bit of a favorite for me right now...)
I love that there are some healthier fast food options around - something we could learn from back home.
Fast forward to KEB - I was hoping it would be like falafel places back home, but unfortunately it's not, really. Lacks that spice/kick... we weren't super impressed with the food... Mr. DRL's comments are funny - he says that he feels there is too much emphasis on the gimicks and not on the food. See the little plate/scooper foldable thing below. We were all quite puzzled with it and spent several minutes figuring it out.
Having visitors with two young children has opened my eyes in many ways to what life is like in Brazil with kids. More specifically, how kids are received here. It's much better than in North America, I'll tell you that!
For example, here, walking into a fine dining restaurant with two kids under three - no one flinches. My girlfriend who is visiting and I find this so funny because back home there is a chain called "Earl's" which fancies itself to be upscale but in reality it's just a place to grab a bite. At the location we would go to, they really don't cater to kids, it's impossible to get a booster seat even, and the official "line" of the restaurant is that it's not as though they don't like kids, they just don't do anything for them. O---kay.
Then there's Brazil.... We've taken the kids to Carlota and Sawasdee in Leblon and were treated exactly as we would have been without the kids.
We took them to Porcao and my goodness it is a parent's paradise... The servers (all male) were all over the kids, lifting the 2 yr old in and out of the highchair, feeding the baby her bottle (see photo below). In fact at one point when the baby had less than oh, six or so, adoring (all male) admirers doting on her she pitched a fit. Pretty funny!
I like how men feel more comfortable to reach out to kids here. I think in North American society there is such concern about pedophiles that it has made men scared to even show that they like little kids in a lot of places. For example, men won't come up to strangers with babies to say hi to the baby, whereas here you can't go anywhere without it happening. Some people may find this creepy, I find it helpful even! It's help keeping the kids entertained!
Here are some photos of Porcao... More notes on Porcao - the servers also cut up the meat for the two year old, and there is a supervised play area where people can drop their kids off... WOW.
One of the many reasons that Rio is never boring - the wide variety of neighbourhoods to explore. In
Leblon, where we live, everything is quite modern. Santa Teresa, just a few short miles away, feels almost as though it's still in a different century. In a good way.
On Saturday we rode the Bonde up to Santa Teresa with some of my husband's colleagues. The Bonde ride is an experience in itself and I really feel it is a must - see for everyone who comes to Rio. It is an experience that allows you to see so much of the city and its people, homes, etc. Also a really cheap (R$1) roller coaster.
The bonde is smaller than I expected - just one little street car, which runs on the same road as the cars. And that road is windy. And very steep. Which means that the bonde comes to a sudden halt frequently along the journey. Oh, and you can just hang off the sides of the bonde... and did I mention it also goes right over the aqueduct, pretty much unprotected? We all agreed that pretty much everything about the ride would just not fly back home... but that's the best part!
Apparently there is a movement to privatize the bonde... and Santa Teresa's citizens are not impressed. We grabbed a quick shot of a demonstration - small and peaceful, from what we could gather - against privatizing the Bonde while we were out and about.
We stopped for an amazing lunch at Aprazivel, which comes highly recommended by Mr. DRL's coworkers, and now I see why!
In fact I will add it to my top 10 best restaurants in Rio list just as soon as I get around to it (I need to add about 30 restaurants to my different Rio restaurant categories... oops.)
The food was fantastic - a fusion of traditional Brazilian dishes and contemporary - but the views and atmosphere are even better.
It's quite a hike up to the restaurant, I would recommend making a reservation to avoid disappointment (see link above). And there are cute tables in tree houses - request one of those!
The staff is funny too.
Next time I am in Santa Teresa (which will probably be soon as I have more visitors coming and I think everyone NEEDS to go there) I plan to check out the Asian restaurant. Also I would like to see some of the art in Santa Teresa that everyone raves about.
I must say I have probably heard the song every day since moving here... I recently visited "Garota de Ipanema" - a little corner pub in Ipanema. Its claim to fame? "The Girl from Ipanema" by Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicus de Moraes was "inspired" there.
The rumor is that the song was inspired by a woman named Heloisa Pinheiro, who was a teen at the time who would pass by every day.
She now owns Garota de Ipanema fashion boutique in Ipanema (mostly bikinis). A couple of years ago, the song's copyright owners - the heirs of the composers- sued her for copyright violation for using her status to promote her store. She has also used her "status" to pose in playboy - twice - once with her daughter a few years ago, and to appear on the Amazing Race to deliver a clue. It also seems as though she is quite the public figure in Rio de Janeiro society events, etc.
never seen these little gadgets anywhere but in Brazil (or maybe just have not
noticed them) but they are quite common here – table top vacuum crumb picker-uppers/sweepers - commonly used in restaurants. The servers here do not mess around! Like a little lintbrush for the table... Moito legal! As a
former server, I am intrigued. I found this web site...
Slowly but surely I'm building my "restaurant reviews" section - I have a long list of places to add (and should probably review the old Visa bills while I'm at it as to not forget places...) Yes I am aware that there are not in fact 10 restaurants in the "Top 10" section and until I find 10 I love, it will stay that way. So check it out but know it's a work in progress :)
I added a restaurant reviews page - I have some catching up to do in order to enter in all of the restaurants we've eaten at so far since we've been to Rio (thank goodness we've been back to a few more than once... ) so far featured restaurants include: Deli Rio, Gula Gula, Nik Sushi, Sushi Leblon and Zaza. I will post more soon!