Rio de Janeiro Restaurant Reviews- excellence without breaking the bank

Discussion in 'Brazil' started by jbcarioca, Apr 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Because most well-reviewed Rio de Janeiro restaurants are so expensive it seems to be a good idea to list a few of the places frequented by locals who want really good food without endangering their net worth. Places in this thread will all be under US$30/R$50 per person plus alcohol.

    Please add your own as you find them.
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    Nomangue is a restaurant specializing in seafood (Mangue means Mangrove). The restaurant was founded by the son of the founder of Tia Penha, a famous restaurant in Barra da Guaratiba. Nomangue has prices taht are very modest for the quality they offer, and has become a local sensation. They have an executive lunch for R$20-22 ($12.50-14) that is one of the bargains of the city. The main courses are stated to be for one person, but are quite large enough for two. The prices are mostly between R$50-60 for main courses. The superb pasteis are R$3.50 each, and the crab and shrimp ones may be the best in the city at any price. There are two locations, both slightly out of the way. The one in Humaita is about 15 minutes taxi ride from Ipanema, and is the one I personally prefer.

    There are several waites who speak English and there are also three menus in English.
    [​IMG]

    The menu has all the famous seafood dishes of the area, in the style of Rio de Janeiro rather than the northeast, so they are milder than others with the same name. A selection of the specialities includes:
    • Shrimp Bobo
      With white rice and manioc flour flavored
    • Shrimp stew
      With white rice and manioc flour flavored
    • Grilled fish
      With white rice and manioc flour flavored
    • Lobster stew
      With white rice and manioc flour flavored
      (In respect of the species breeding season this dish may or may not be available. See the waiter )
    • Grilled seafood
      With white rice and manioc flour flavored
    Their website with directions is:
    http://www.nomangue.com.br/como_chegar.php


     
  3. jbcarioca
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    Couve Flor is the restaurant that started the craze of comida a quilo (food by weight) over 25 years ago. Couve Flor has been in the same location since the beginning, in Horto just beside the rear entrance of Jardim Botanico. This place is packed from 11:45, when they open, until about 15:00. They close at 16:00. They are also open for dinner but the big crowds are there during lunch. One weekends the wait can be as long as an hour unless you arrive early.

    It is very difficult to spend more than R$30 ($19) per person here, excluding drinks, but a truly determined trencherman might be able to spend more. There are signs in English and some staff speak English too.

    The place is full of people from the nearby IMPA http://www.impa.br/opencms/en/institucional/historia.html a world-renowned place for pure mathematics which has staff from many countries so you'll hear arcane theoretical discussions, any in English. The headquarters of O Globo is nearby so you'll al;so encounter lots of journalists and the odd TV personality. BTW, most days you'll find Mrs jb and me there too. We live a few minutes away.

    There is a sushi bar, a very good one, and daily selections vary but include many typically Brazilian dishes, all prepared very well. You also have vegan and vegetarian options as well as choices from a grill.

    Dining here is popular with all levels of people, so you'll find political figures, major business figures, actors, and just local people all together enjoying the best buffet in town.

    http://www.couveflor.com.br/
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    Executive Lunches many of the best restaurants of Rio de Janeiro have executive lunches that are a tiny fraction of the cost of their other meals. A few of these are:
    Olympe- consistently ranked as the best French restaurant in Rio, it was named after the mother of the chef, Claude Troisgros, of the famous Troisgros family of Rouanne. The executive lunch is Fridays only, and is now priced at R$92 ($58). He has three other restaurants all of which also have luncheon specials, but at Olympe you save a few hundred Reais and still experience the genuine original article. Be careful, you can easily destroy your budget with a few extras! Unbeatable!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Fasano al Mare- the namesake Rio de Janeiro outpost of the famous Fasano restaurant group in Sao Paulo, this is one of the most expensive restaurants in the city. The executive lunch is R$78 every weekday. Unbeatable! Repeat caution of Olympe, multiplied.
    [​IMG]

    Gero- also from Fasano, a superb Italian restaurant. Executive lunch every weekday only R$85. Unbeatable, once again.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Gaucho
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    Excellent thread !!! Kudos to you jbcarioca !!! :)
     
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  6. Gaucho
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    Happy to see Gero mentioned here... one of my downright favorite eats in Rio... :cool:
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    Thanks. I could not mention Gero without thinking of you!:)
     
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  8. jbcarioca
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    Imagine Gero in an affordable dining thread!
     
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  9. Gaucho
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    That says a lot about where prices are in Brazil...

    :eek:
     
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  10. jbcarioca
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    And how cheap excellent restaurants make their lunches here. None of them are really busy midday during the week, except friday of course.
     
  11. jbcarioca
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    Amir Rua Ronald de Carvalho, 55 - Copacabana
    Tel. 2275-5596
    http://www.amirrestaurante.com.br/scripts/index.asp
    One of the best of the many Arab restaurants in Rio Amir has a huge lunch buffet and a large menu at dinner also. Nothing you do here can damage your budget too badly, but it can cause injury to your waistline. I have never left here spending more that R$60 per person.
    [​IMG]

     
  12. jbcarioca
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    The Restaurants of CADEG
    CADEG is the municipal flower and fruit market located in Bemfica far away from anything remotely touristic. By taxi it will cost about R$30 or so to get there from Ipanema, and every taxi driver knows where it is.

    If you want to see the flower and vegetable markets in full swing you'll need to be here before 07:00, but the restaurants open for lunch at normal hours.

    Lat year the municipality started enouraging new restaurants to open and there are several that are quite good and much cheaper than those ordinarily found in Zona Sul.

    One side affect of bering in the municipal market is that few people will speak English, but the tourists that visit there seem to survive nicely

    BARSA was the first of them to open and specializes in bacalao (cod) which comes in plates more than big enough for two people. Ordinarily one drinks chop (draft beer) here but they do have a wine list. This is the review from Veja soon after they opened.

    Barsa



    Specialty: PORTUGUESE
    Price Range: $ $ (R $ 41.00 to $ 60.00)
    Address: Captain Felix Street, 110 - 4th Street, shops 4 and 6 (Cadeg)
    Neighborhood: Benfica
    CEP: 20920900
    Phone: 2585-3743
    Posts: 100
    Time: 9h/16h (closed Sun.)

    Credit cards: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Services: [​IMG]

    »View map



    [​IMG]

    Review of Rio SEE
    The newly opened restaurant chef Marcelo Barcellos gives a sophisticated touch to Cadeg. The dishes are inspired by the colonial kitchen, with regional recipes and family. It has mushrooms bruschetta ($ 12.00) and salami ($ 12.00), a delicious bean soup ($ 5.00) and the traditional codfish balls (U.S. $ 2.80 each). The mena cod ($ 50.00) comes in pieces, roasted with potatoes, cabbage rolls, boiled eggs, strips of yellow pepper, onion and eggplant, drizzled with fresh herb vinaigrette. For those who prefer meat, the suggestion is flavored sirloin ($ 40.00) with herbs and mustard, accompanied by homemade chutney, fruit of the season, mix rice and manioc and banana egg. The rack of lamb (U.S. $ 46.00) is roasted with port wine and comes to the table with fresh herbs, caramelized onion and potato in their own sauce, served with a mix of rice and cereals. To close the meal is homemade candy banana, green papaya, pumpkin and sweet milk ($ 6.00 each).
     
  13. excelsior
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    Th eTHAI restaurant in Leblon, Nam Thai, ROCKS!! Tell the Thai lady owner you want it authentic and you will get it authentic.. !!
     
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  14. excelsior
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    Jbcarioca, what is the restaurant in Copacabana Fort called? I have found that to be excellent And please, your recommendation for Siri Mole.?

    ALso IMO the food at Cipriani, Copacabana Palace is rubbish.

    My favourite Street bar .. Cant remember the name but head up the street on which the entrance to the Windsor Excelsior Hotel is is ( just next to Copacabana Palace) Turn left on Barata Ribeiro till you come to an absolute melee of rich poor funky..every kind Carioca..on the street at tables . Order a Chopp--- or a Black Label at the incredible price of RS10 a shot -- and enjoy over 70 different kinds of Carioca Petiscos. Smoke if you wish. Watch the world go by.. tourist free environment...
     
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  15. jbcarioca
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    There is the Restaurante do Forte, a buffet place. I have not been there but friends who live in Arpoador like it too:
    [​IMG]

    I think you might mean Confeiteria Colombo, a tea room there which has a long history. I've not been there either:
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. excelsior
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    Yes I meant the confiteria, thanks!...astounding views and excellent meal with affordable wines!

    While on the subject, any restaurant/bar recommendations for my favourite corner of Rio...Barrio Peixoto?
     
  17. jbcarioca
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    "And please, your recommendation for Siri Mole.?"

    It is difficult to discuss the Brazilian Bahian seafood scene in Rio de Janeiro without also discussing Siri Mole. Siri are crabs. Siri Mole has been in the same location beside the Sofitel for eons. I have gone there as long as I remember. It is not fancy, the location is noisy, but the food...:p

    It is always very, very good for moqueca, and the couvert is one of the best in the city. I avoid couvert usually but at Sri Mole there have mussels, siri, a delightful tuna paste and lots of other goodies.

    Acarajé is absolutely my favorite Bahian taste and Siri Mole has the best ones in Rio. If you have nothing else have one of these. Wikipedia: a gastronomic specialty cuisine african Brazilian-made mass of black-eyed peas , onion and salt , fried in olive oil-Palm . The acarajé can be served with pepper , shrimp dry, vatapd , pigweed or salad , almost all ingredients and typical dishes of the cuisine of Bahia .

    [​IMG]

    http://www.sirimole.com.br/siri_mole.html In Portuguese only, but they do have English menu and waiters speak English too.

    You can spend a lot of money here but you can also easily spend less than R$60 per person.
     
  18. jbcarioca
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    Nam Thai is my favorite Thai, and they have Devassa Ruiva, my favorite beer also. The decor is slightly funky, reminiscent of San Francisco Polk Street or Greenwich Village, but it is a wonderful place.

    The chef/owner, David Zisman, is a legend. Almost nobody who knows Nam Thai cuisine, but not the history can imagine that a foreigner non-Thai is actually the culinary mastermind. The prices are modest and it is wonderful!

    http://namthai.siteprofissional.com/2011/?page_id=2
     
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  19. excelsior
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    So is Zisman a partner of the Thai lady I have met there?
     
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  20. excelsior
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    They have opened a small roadside eeatery with a more limited selection that si much cheaper than the main restaurant....
     
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  21. jbcarioca
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    Probably so. I do not know their exact relationship. I have always felt too shy to ask directly.
     
  22. excelsior
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    Well ""partner"' is quitye a neutral term.Business wise she certainly contributes. Next time you go do have a discussion with her about Thai food Its quite educating I like cooking Asian food myself (Im indian and i get lots of appreciation obviously here in horrid Brasilia) and I picked up lots of tips from her!
     
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  23. jbcarioca
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    So it is. And so she does! I lived happily in Thailand for some years and Nam Thai is wonderful form my perspective too. we must go there together next time you make it to civilization.:)
     
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  24. harvson3

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    Haven't found pizza in Rio better than at Pizzaria do Chico in Gloria up the hill on the way to Santa Teresa.

    For a per-kilo lunch, you can do worse than Oklahoma near Largo do Machado, and you usually will.

    I can't give a verdict on comida baiana; all my favorite places are in Salvador.;) I have to disagree on the fritters; a good moqueca of peixe and polvo is worth one hundred good acarajes. It's a shame that Dada closed her Varal.

    It's worth having a snack and small drink at the art school at Parque Lage just to relax and take it all in.
     
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  25. jbcarioca
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    Excellent moqueca is worth a trip for sure. The ones I like the best are in my mother-in-law's house, but that is not a restaurant. We have long connections to Salvador, but Rio holds it's own IMO. So sorry you don't care for acaraje. Sri Mole is my choice for moqueca if you can neither go to Bahia nor visit my mother-in-law.

    Parque Lage is a seriously underrated place IMO. The snacks are a trifle banal, but who cares? My spouse went to art school there many years ago and we love going there. It is only a ten minute walk from our house, so we are often there. Thanks for mentioning that one.
     

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