Starting last year, and continuing in 2012, Copacabana has seen a migration of prized chefs running away from the high rental prices of Ipanema and Leblon; attracted by the largest concentration of hotels in Rio de Janeiro, several new restaurants have opened, and we have selected a few of the most notable ones:
For the past 12 years Dominique Guerin was responsible for the delicate and exquisite desserts and breads served at the renowned Le Pré-Catelan restaurant at the hotel Sofitel, but now, all of his wonderful creations will be available at his new Guerin Boulangerie. Homemade breads made with family recipes brought from France are available for that special picnic, or to eat right there as sandwiches or an afternoon tea. The assortment of patisserie includes macarons, tartes, éclairs, and many other French inspired irresistible delicacies.
A few blocks from there, another French chef opened a charming boutique of sweets called Paradis, which offers an incredible array of macaron flavors, ice-cream locally made and bonbons made with Valrhona chocolate.
In an area filled with bars (the famous “botecos”) known by locals as Baixo Copacabana, a new gastrobar, ZOT, has lured a more refined crowd, following the trend of slow food paired with wines, the only alcohol served at this restaurant. On Wednesdays, live jazz makes the place one of the busiest in the street, so arrive early.
At the opposite end of Copacabana, the luxurious Windsor Atlanticahotel recently inaugurated their new venue with high expectations: to become the best Italian restaurant in town. Luciano Boseggia came from Italyto work at the prestigious Fasano restaurant in São Paulo. Now, 20 years on, he has moved to Rioto become the chef of Alloro. The menu he created pays homage to his country going from antipasti to risottos, homemade pastas, and the freshest seafood chosen by him, one of the advantages of living in a coastal city, says Luciano.
Another Italian chef, from the already well stablished Osteria dell Angolo restaurant, is now sharing his attention with the new Bacaro do Lido, described by the chef as an Italian bistro. Located under a beautiful art deco building at the Lido Square, the focus of the house is seafood turned into antipasti, bruschettas, carpaccios, or mixed with fresh pasta made at the spot.
Of all these novelties, the Charleston Bubble Lounge is definitely the most different. Inspired by the cabarets of the 20’s, the waitresses wear pearls and feathers in their hair. On Thursdays the house has live jazz and blues sessions that are being praised by patrons. And as the name suggests, the stars here are sparkling wines: French Champagne, Spanish Cavas, Italian Prossecos, as well as fantastic Brazilian and Argentinean options, something hard to find in other countries, so we suggest you start with these.
Close to the Copacabana Fort, the Arpoador region has always been associated with surfers and their supply shops that populate the area. But ever since clothing brands identified with the Carioca style like Osklen and Reserva opened stores in this area, a young cool crowd has flocked to this section of Copa (as they call the neighborhood) after their day on the beach. One of the new spots is Beijo Carioca with its salads, sandwiches, quick snacks, crepes, pies, cakes and locally produced gelatos. The care and attention to details and ingredients is to the merit of the owner, Georgiana Mello, wife of the all mighty Executive Chef of the Sofitel and Le Pré-Catelan restaurant, Roland Villard, who convinced his wife that Copacabana is the place to be!
Alloro:Windsor Atlantica Hotel, Av. Atlantica – 1200. Daily from 12PM to 4PM and from 7PM to mid night.
Bacaro do Lido: Rua Ronald de Carvalho – 21. Tue to Sun from noon to mid night.
Beijo Carioca: Rua Francisco Otaviano – 20. Mon to Fri from 11AM to 8PM, Sat and Sun from 10AM to 8PM.
Charleston Bubble Lounge: Rua Rodolfo Dantas – 26B. Daily from 5PM to 1:30AM.
Guerin Boulangerie: Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana – 920. Daily from 8AM to 8PM.
Paradis: Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana – 776, Mon to Sat from 10AM to 7:30PM.
ZOT: Rua Bolívar – 21. Tue to Thu from 6PM to mid night, and Fri to Sun from 6PM to 1AM.
By Guest Contributor: Bruno, Rio local – 2012
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