Eating Up Resort Brazil (Florianopolis) [Moved from International Board]
I am going to Brazil for my Honeymoon in January. We are spending a four days in Rio, two days at the Iguaçu Falls (Argentinean Side), and four days at some beachy resort. Although we usually travel urban, my fiancé wants to have a relaxing beach be part of the trip.
So, any recommendations for restaurants in Rio or Iguaçu would be welcome, but I am most concerned about the food around the Brazilian resorts. Right now our choices are Buzios or Florianopolis (I am open to other suggestions) and I am leaning towards Florianopolis. Am I sending myself into eating purgatory? I saw about a half dozen posts about Florianopolis food and they were all at least three years old. Any new thoughts?
Also, I am thinking about staying at a fancy pants resort (Costão do Santinho) where dinner is provided. I have never done something like that before and am worried that I am going to waste four eating days eating shoddy international cuisine.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Go to www.viafloripa.com. They're a terrific company (English-speaking), based in Florianopolis and they'll be able to give you all the information you want. Costão do Santinho is lovely! As for food, last year the top 100 chefs in the world gathered at Panto dos Ganchos resort (rated one of the top 30 honeymoon resorts in the world — Leonardo de Caprio stayed there when he was going out with that Brazilian model). But that resort is REALLY expensive. Anyway, there are lots of really good restaurants there, especially if you like fish, oysters, beef. Azorian cuisine is what you'll find there. We loved it.
Toot is right that Ostradamus is the best place for oysters and seafood. You can sit on the dock and be served trays of oysters, and the oyster beds are right beside you in the water. Talk about fresh!
I have posted my Rio Restaurant list before on Chowhound -- but I will post them again here for you. You will find many good restaurants in Buzios - and I would suggest staying at Casas Brancas.
It is in walking distance to Rua das Pedras where most restaurants are located.
Here is my Rio Restaurant suggestions:
Cais do Oriente - nice place for music and dinner
Jazz & Bossa Nova Supper Club
Tues – Saturday, Popular Brazilian Jazz musicians play in a stunning downtown setting.
Address: Rua Visconde de Itaborai no 8, Centro – Rio de Janeiro Phone: 21/2233-2531
Mariu’s Churrascaria (Brazilian Barbeque Restaurant – All you can eat style
)This well-regarded churrascaria serves more than a dozen types of sizzling meats rodízio style. Marius is famed for taking the usual meat cuts to a higher level of sophistication. There is a great variety of side dishes, including Japanese food and fish. DC, MC, V.
Address: Av. Atlântica 290A, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Portuguese – fine restaurant
This much-loved establishment is famous for its flawless rendering of Portuguese classics. Wander through the antiques shop at the restaurant before settling in at a table. A recommended dish is the cozido, a stew with onions, yams, carrots, pumpkin, cabbage, bananas, and more. The cataplana, a seafood stew with rice, is also marvelous, and the perna de cordeiro (leg of lamb) is the most requested dish on the menu. The wine list impresses even Portuguese gourmands. Reservations essential. DC.
Address: Rua Aristides Espínola 19, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Porcão (Brazilian Barbeque Restaurant – All you can eat style)
Waiters at these rodízio-style churrascarias fly up and down between rows of linen-draped tables wielding giant skewers laden with sizzling barbecued beef, pork, and chicken. Save room if you can: the papaya cream pudding topped by a bit of cassis shouldn't be missed. Reservations not accepted. AE, DC, MC, VAddress: Rua Barão da Torre 218, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilPhone: 021/2522-0999
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, DC.
Address: Rua Custódio Serrão 62, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
At the turn of the century this belle epoque structure was Rio's preeminent café, the site of afternoon teas for upper-class senhoras and a center of political intrigue and gossip. Jacaranda-framed mirrors from Belgium and stained glass from France add to the art nouveau decor. Portions are generous, but you can also just stop by for a pastry and coffee while you absorb the opulence. Reservations not accepted. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. No dinner. Metrô: Carioca.
Address: Rua Gonçalves Dias 32, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Exotic and delicious dishes are served at this restaurant, one of the few places that goes beyond traditional African-Brazilian cuisine. Try the Afro menu, a selection of contemporary West African cuisine. The piripiri (a spicy rice with ginger, coconut milk, and shrimp) is worth the price of R$65 for two. No credit cards.
Address: Rua Arnaldo Quintela 94, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Casa da Feijoada
Brazil's savory national dish is the specialty here, where huge pots of the stew simmer every day. The restaurant's desserts include a selection of traditional sweets with flavors like banana, guava, or pumpkin. Quindim, a coconut, yolk, and sugar cake, and Romeo and Juliet (guava compote with fresh cheese) are two favorite desserts. The caipirinhas are made not only with lime but also with tangerine, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry, or kiwi. Be careful -- they're strong.
Address: Rua Prudente de Morais 10, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Phone: 021/2523-4994 or 021/2247-2776
Chosen by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the 50 most exciting restaurants in the world. Chef Carlota opened this Rio restaurant after her original São Paulo digs became the toast of the town. As in the original, her Rio dishes are fresh and creative.
Address: Rua Dias Ferreira 64 – Leblon, Rio de Janerio, Brazil
The overall quality of food in Brazil is very good and I am sure Costao do Santinho restaurantes will be good. It will probably be a buffet, but I am sure it will be good, although probably not amazing or creative... For that go to the restaurants in Rio, there are a number of good suggestions if you do a search in Rio.
In Florianopolis I liked Ostradamus for oysters and seafodd. Florianopolis is the main producer of oysters in Brazil, so you should try them there. Marmassa (Italian food) is also a good option. Bistrô d'Acampora is supposed to be the best restaurant in the city, but I have never been there. Another good option is Bar do Arante for Brazilian food. If you do not wish to be stuck with eating at the resort all the time, ask them if they offer you the option of not including the meals in the package. I am staying in a resort in Natal next week and I ask them to not include my meals in the package. The difference on the price is not that big, but my husband and I prefer to go out and try new places rather than eat at the same restaurant every night.
No place in Brazil will be eating purgatory, and I am not beeing bias!
Between Buzios and Florianopolis I wouldn't know wich one to choose. I like them both. My last stay in Florianopolis was in December 2003. It was rainy and cold, so it was a bit disapointing. My last stay in Buzios was October 2002, the weather was perfect and I was in my honeymoon, so everything was great.