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Rio has its fair share of excellent Italian restaurants. Fiorino on Avenida Heitor Beltrão in Barra da Tijuca is one fine example of this. Serving an authentic Italian feast made with the freshest ingredients available, the joint is associated with Bologna's prestigious organization Accademia Italiana Gastronomica. Housed within a romantic, old house in a residential neighborhood, Fiorino offers a delectable grub that is both visually and gastronomically appetizing. Needless to say, a visit here warrants a happy customer!
This is one of those historic restaurants where presidents, writers, actors, poets have frequented. It opened its doors in 1874 and has been doing a roaring trade ever since. The decor is simple, traditional and classic, spacious with wooden chairs and tables, and white tablecloths that match the white columns. The menu at Café Lamas Restaurante is traditional, and the steaks are most popular. Try the famous Lamas Steak and the fillet with chips, onion, ham and peas. Another good option is codfish cakes to be savored with cold draught beer.
One of the very best French restaurants in the country, owned by maitre Claude Troisgros, from the world-famous Troisgros family. Claude has been in Rio for more than ten years. Always putting his cooking know-how to work with Brazilian ingredients, a true alchemy of Brazilian foods - raviolis stuffed with potatoes baroa or quail with jabuticaba sauce - delicious recipes with careful presentation. The restaurant is in a beautiful house classically decorated. The service is in the best French style.
Zozô Rio certainly makes the most of its enviable location at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain because the roof is retractable, allowing for unspoiled views of the famous peak. However, this chic restaurant has plenty to offer besides the view. Chef Michael Tanus has headed up kitchens in Sao Paulo and New York, and his French-inspired dishes are a real treat. The emphasis is on French sophistication, with truffled mushrooms, tartins and other elaborate dishes prepared with love and presented with style. Moreover, the wine list here is a major selling point too, with some good Brazilian wines to be found among the more expensive imports from South American wine-producing neighbors Chile and Argentina. There is a good lunch buffet, and a-la-carte dinner, and a romantic spot for a dinner date, so Zozô is pretty hard to beat.
Opened in early 2012 at the smart Windsor Atlantica Hotel, Alloro has established itself as one of the top spots in the city for Italian food. The head chef, Luciano Bossegia, has long been one of the most acclaimed chefs in Sao Paulo, and has brought his culinary skills to Rio de Janeiro. The appointment has clearly been a wise one - the food on the menu here is of the highest quality, with meat cuts cooked to perfection and each dish exquisitely presented. The sea views, minimalist decor, excellent service and top quality food make a meal here worth the expense.
Candlelit tables, an intimate atmosphere, and delicious food combine to make Le Blé Noir a favorite spot for romantic types to bring their dates. French chef Alain Caro has taken the idea of a creperie to new heights-here there are almost 80 varieties, all created with Blé Noir, a type of dark flour that is naturally gluten-free. The result is deliciously light, and the choice of fillings will have you pondering the menu for quite some time. One indulgent choice combines French mushrooms with white wine, cream and palm hearts, while dessert fillings include seasonal fruits with toasted almonds.
A brainchild of chef proprietor Ronaldo Canha, Quadrucci is an elegant restaurant offering delicious Italian cuisine in Rio's Leblon neighborhood. The food served here doest not stick to traditional Italian methods, but blends in an international touch. The result is innovative dishes like mushroom ragu prepared with gorgonzola and Paris mushroom and gratin made with funghi and gnocchi. The menu changes seasonally to reflect the best ingredients of the time. Dim lighting surrounds a charming decor, giving Quadrucci Leblon a romantic ambiance, making it an ideal option for dates.
Zuka offers a smart but relaxed dining experience without pretension either in the restaurant itself, nor on the menu. The lunchtime menu changes regularly but the reassuringly ever-present burgers are some of the best you will find anywhere in Rio. By night as the mood changes and the lights dim, complimentary starters of soup shots' get this started nicely. Excellent seafood, pastas and risotto make Zuka an excellent destination on a street that isn't short on options.