Craving Good Pizza In Jardim Botanico?

Craving really good pizza in Brazil?! Head over to Braz Pizza Tradicional but try to get there on the earlier side as this spot is known to have quite the long wait! Lines form around 830, at this upscale yet relaxed pizza place (reminds me of Patsy’s in NY)

Famous for their PÃO DE CALABRESA theirfamous bread, filled layered with sausage and other spices, baked in wood-fired oven.’ It is incredible, *also comes in a spinach version for you vegetarians.  Get a nice bottle of red and it is the perfect combo to kick start your evening.

Yes they serve many other Italian dishes that did looked amazing, but this was a pizza mission.  With over 41 pizzas to choose from you are in for a real treat!

Under the strict teachings of Neapolitan pizza makers and with 100% Italian ingredients this pizza will satisfy any pizza craving you have (and I have been eating NY pizza for 5 years now!).  What I found to be a great surprise, is that you can have a combination of any 3 pizzas on the menu (perfect for those who can’t decide what they want because they want all of them!). I recommend the Caprese (your classic base of mozzarella, plump tomato slices, giant leaves of basil pesto and black olives), Primo (Procuitto de Parma and mozzarella) and Basílica (mozzarella topped with arugula pesto and cherry tomatoes).  The waiter will give you once slice at a time, as he sees you finishing that piece he will run over with more.

If it is a nice night, check out the garden seating in the back.  Great place for a group, if you are craving authentic pizza or just want a great casual night out, head over to Braz

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Dining Out In Paraty: Banana Da Terra

Located in the heart of Paraty, is Banana da Terra, a wonderful restaurant in a house that was originally built in the 17th century. The restaurant is run by chef Ana Bueno-she used to be the Paraty community TV broadcast reporter before radically changing her profession (great move!). She brings strong reference to caiçara and regional cuisine, but with an air of modernity.

We started off with the couvert which included the usual fresh bread basket (Brazilians love their fresh bread), salmon, a soup and a shrimp puff.  It was delicious way to start the meal.

Sticking to tradition, caicara culinary is all about the extract from wilderness, harmonizing with local mother nature… Believe me, chef Ana does and excellent job as her menu offers dishes made with fresh ingredients from the region.

Like the name of the restaurant, most items include some form of banana. The dorado I had was truly amazing, I was actually disappointed when it was all gone. The fish was grilled with herbs and garlic butter with banana and leek crisp, perfection!

 


If you are looking for a restaurant with a relaxing, tasteful ambiance and incredible cuisine selection, not to mention large wine list, head to Banana da Terra in Paraty.  Next time I go,  I am saving room for dessert (looked incredible)

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Want To Splast Around In the Natural Swimming Pool of Trindade?

While in Paraty, take a 30 minute drive over to Trindade where you will explore incredible beaches with the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding you.  For the first stop on our tour we went to Praia do Cepilho, waves were 10-15 feet high!

Then we drove over to the beach near the village “Ranchos” where our journey began.  Take a guided trek through the mountains to arrive at another stunning beach. Then another trek through the mountain (the ‘trek or hiking part is actually really fun)

Finally you will arrive at Caixa d’Aço the natural swimming pool. It is pretty incredible, a beautiful enclosed completely untouched area where you can swim, snorkel or climb on the rocks.  It’s incredible!

After you have had enough splashing around its time to trek/beach your way back for lunch at VAGALUME.  Located right on the beach near village “Ranchos” it is a fantastic spot for lunch. Considering that this is a fishing village, the menu is full of many fish choices as well as some traditional Brazilian beef/chicken options, note the yuka fries are a must try!   Warning there are a lot of bees, bring bug spray and if you can, have them move your table onto the sand, its more fun, kept the bees away and when huge waves rolled in, your feet get splashed!

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Looking For An Adventurous Dining Experience in Paraty?

You really work up an appetite after swinging from ropes and splashing around the waterfalls!! So why not extend your adventurous day of experiences by heading to Villa Verde for lunch! To get there, you have to walk across Indiana Jones style rope bridge (see below)

Once you make it across get ready to be enchanted by the beautiful gardens, full of floral and fauna. The bungalow style restaurant structure allows for a perfect view from any location. The menu has a number of delectable options, we went for the fresh made pesto pasta (best I have had since I got to Brazil) and the Brazilian style ribs with banana farofa.

Enjoy your meal while listening to the waterfalls cascading in the background then take a walk around the beautiful property before heading back on the road.  A truly adventurous dining experience!

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Looking For A Fabulous Restaurant In Paraty?

In the historical center of Paraty (near our hotel) there is an excellent restaurant named Bartolomeu ParatyBartholomeu Paraty has a warm and charming feel to it. The menu is stacked with a variety of fresh pasta dishes (the bolognese was fantastic), a number of fish options as well as the ‘sensational Argentine Rump Stuffed with Roquefor Sal Grosso’ (shown below) unfortunately we were not the ones who ordered it so were literally salivating over someone elses meal.

There is also a very cute outdoor area in the back, candle lit and very private, however it was a chilly night so we opted to sit inside.  The ‘gateau’ for dessert was delicious, but then again it seems to be a Brazilian specialty so it is great pretty much everywhere.  Overall, a wonderful dining experience that I would happily go back to and recommend!

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Gero Restaurant

While walking down the street in Ipanema you will come across what looks like a  big brick block…. It is Gero one of Brazil’s best restaurants and it happens to be owned by the Fasano Group (very chic).  Definitely a place to be seen, this is clearly where Rio’s elite prefer to dine (felt a little bit like NYC to me!). We were extremely lucky to be seated with out a reservation, come 10pm every seat is taken and the bar area is full!

Once seated you begin your dining experience with AMAZING zuccini chips (I think i devoured 3 helpings, they are very addicting so watch out!)

A wonderful selection of Italian dishes including fresh-made pasta, risotto, meats and fish.  The risotto with pumpkin and shrimp was to die for, honestly each bite was better than the one before it- highly recommend it.  The tune was grilled to perfection and was accompanied by some roasted vegetables and a delicious potato creative (no idea what it was but it tasted great!).  Note if you want to share a dish they will split everything up for you- a nice touch.

For dessert we opted for the Milefegeo (1000 layer cake dessert)… not my favorite since there was a hint of lemon (not my thing), but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it.  Don’t worry there were plenty of chocolate options too.  Brazilians LOVE their air conditioning so bring a sweater or wear pants (I was freezing in my dress!).  Gero is a wonderful upscale dining experience, great place for any occasion.

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Best Hidden Restaurant in Santa Teresa

Aprazivel (Rua Aprazivel 62) is hidden away on a small street high on the hills in Santa Teresa facing the Northern areas of Rio de Janeiro. Note: Taking a taxi in and out is a must as you have to drive through some ‘dodgy’ areas to get there. I would never have found it myself if it wasn’t for a friend who recommended it.  You could walk past the entrance without realizing the restaurant is right in front of you.

After walking down the steep narrow steps (tip for the ladies- walk very slowly!), we were welcomed by the friendly staff and shown to our table.  Since we did not have a reservation we were not seated in one of the ‘tree house’ style tables for this this restaurant is famous for.  Yes, I plan to make a reservation and go back to sit at one of those cute tree house tables.

Besides the incredible tree house tables, the rest of the candle lit tables are outside spread out in luxurious gardens.  It is a very charming restaurant with many intimate seating locations scattered through the property, great for a romantic night out. Check out the view (see below)

Food was delicious! Direct from the Amazon, it is prepared in an open kitchen with a lot of attention to detail and great taste.  Everything on the menu looked, and smelled fantastic.  Our fish was prepared perfectly, and our small beef with pumpkin starter hit the spot.  Aprazivel has an extensive drink selection- I recommend having champagne mixed with one of the amazonian fruit juices!

When visiting Rio, this restaurant is worth a detour if you are looking for a romantic escape and nice cuisine in Rio.

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