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Jun 4, 2007 10:10 PM

Splurge restaurant in Rio

My husband and I will be in Rio for one week in July, during which we have our wedding anniversary, and BOTH our birthdays. We'd like to have a special occasion dinner while we're there, so expensive is ok.

The restaurant should have the best food in rio, a good wine list, and a nice, hip atmosphere.

We're in our early 30s and don't like stuffy restaurants. We're both adventurous eaters and would love to try something new. We're staying in Leblon but are willing to travel.

Here's my list of potential restaurants:
Le Pre-Catalan
Marius Crustaceos

Which one would you go to? Or is there a better place I haven't listed here?

Thank you!!!

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  1. Try Olympe -- that is the fusion restaurant of Claude Troisgros.

    The menu's all-Brazilian ingredients are a unique trait of this innovative restaurant that blends native flavors with nouvelle techniques. Every dish -- from the crab or lobster flan to chicken, fish, and duck prepared with exotic herbs and sauces -- is exceptionally light. The passion-fruit mousse is a favorite dessert. Reservations essential. AE
    Address: Rua Custódio Serrão 62, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Phone: 021/2537-8582

    1. Forget about Le Pre-Catelan or Marius.

      Antiquarius is wonderful. It has a very good wine list and the food is great. It has been around forever and it is still a destination place in Rio, but I won't call it hip, alghough it is not stuffy at all.

      Careme Bistro is a good option too, especially if she has already opened her new place in Leblon.

      The new Chinese place in Lagoa is the hip place at the moment. But if in Rio I would much prefer to go to Antiquarius.

      Gero in Ipanema is another good option. Wonderful Italian food, beatiful room and people watching.

      1. Aprazivel
        Rua Aprazivel 62, Santa Teresa
        Ask for Pedro Ph 2508 9174
        Chef- Ana Costilha

        Wonderful ambience, Hip, wide range of Brazilian wines (be surprised) and 100 or more different cachacas. In a quiet neighbourhood close to Lapa. Take a cab from Leblon about 20 reals. No regrets.

        1. Thank you everyone. These all sound so good, we may have to hit more than one!

          Will report back when we return in mid-July.

          1. So we were a bit lazy about travelling around the city and ended up going to Antiquarius because it was closest to our hotel.

            Honestly, we were a bit disappointed. We found the place stuffy (low ceilings, lots of lace and all-too-many hovering waiters) and the food just ok, especially at those high prices. We had an assortment of appetizers which included some ok bread, some soggy eggplant, and some tasty cheese balls. We also had the portuguese steak for 2. It was cooked to the right temperature (medium rare), but the meat was kind of tough and it was adorned only with a few limp potatoes. There was no char on the outside of the steak at all. The portions were enormous, so we didn't have room for dessert.

            I was shocked at the prices on the wine lists here and at other restaurants throughout the city. We ordered bottle of Argentine Malbec that's normally available here in NY retail for $12 -- it was on the list for about $50. This is really an obscene markup.

            We had better luck at Carlota, also located in Leblon. This place was a little more creative with the ingredients, and we loved the design of the room. I had some grilled shrimp and some bolinho made out of risotto. Husband had some duck and a spring roll. Some of the food was a little too ambitious for the execution, but overall, we enjoyed it.

            We also liked Sushi Leblon down the street. It wasn't the best sushi we've ever had, but the fish was VERY fresh and of good quality. The shrimp especially was amazing.

            We also made a stop in at Mil Frutas and loved the ice cream. The Fig/ Mascarpone was amazing, as was the Maracujá.

            We'll have to try the other places next time we visit. Thanks again everyone for the recs.

            2 Replies
            1. re: oolah

              I am sorry you didn't enjoy Antiquarius. I had a wonderful meal there. I had the cod fish and my husband had the goat, both wonderful. Portuguese food is really their specialty, for steaks you would be much better at a meat place like Esplanada Grill.
              I am glad you enjoyed Carlota, it is one of my favorite places.

              1. re: Toot

                Yes, Antiquarius is known for amazing Bacalhau (salt cod) and not steak.