10 places to have a drink in Rio

2014-05-02 16.52.33Recently  World Travel Guide  invited me to share with their audience my top 10 bars to go out for a drink in Rio. In the same article they interviewed the Chef and Author, Leticia Schwartz, to list her Top 5 restaurants in Rio. If you are in Rio for the World Cup, you should check her favourite restaurants. You can read the whole article here.

Now I share with you here my list of favourite bars and some photos I found in my photo gallery!!

When talking about going out for drinks, Rio has a great range of options to fit all budgets. From the most simple boteco (that’s what we call very simple bars) to the more sophisticated and fancy decorated bars, you’ll easily find one that fits your style.

  •  Bar Urca (Rua Candido Gaffree 205, Urca) is a very traditional bar in the quiet Urca neighbourhood. The tables overlooking Guanabara Bay are the perfect spot for a cold beer and a plate of delicious bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish balls).

Guanabara Bay night view from the seawall in front of Bar Urca

  • Azul Marinho (Avenida Francisco Bhering, Hotel Arpoador Inn, Arpoador) is a beautiful bar in front of Arpoador Beach. This is the perfect spot to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in Rio, as the sun falls behind Dois Irmãos Mountain. The prices are a little expensive but the stunning view makes up for it.
  • Paris Bar (Praia do Flamengo 340, Flamengo) is one of my favourite choices when I’m in the mood for something a little more sophisticated. Located on the second floor of Casa Julieta de Serpa cultural centre, Paris Bar draws a hip, young crowd. Alex Mesquita, elected Rio’s best barman in 2013, has a great selection of drinks and cocktails on offer. My favourite is the Parfait Amour, a purple liqueur served in a tea cup.

Paris Bar, Casa Julieta de Serpa

  • The lively mood of Shooters Cocktails Bar (Rua Nelson Mandela 100, Botafogo) makes this bar one of my favourite for drinks in the Botafogo neighbourhood. Try to go midweek, when it is not so crowded. It is definitely a great choice to hangout with friends, try different cocktails and listen to music.

Absolut Punch, my favourite drink in Shooters!

  • OsBar (Avenida Calógeras 18, Cinelandia) is a bar and restaurant in Cinelandia, the downtown neighbourhood close to the National Museum of Fine Arts. As in any boteco, don’t expect any sophistication in OsBar! But you can taste the coldest beer on earth and the food is great as well. On Fridays they have a delicious and typical Brazilian feijoada (a traditional beef and pork stew). It is a great choice for lunch, especially during happy hour.
  •  Deck Bar (Avenida Atlântica 2964, Copacabana) is a bar on the rooftop floor of Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel. Order a beer, a caipirinha or a glass of wine, and enjoy the breathtaking view of Copacabana Beach. If you like to party, go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday when the resident DJ takes to the decks.
Deck bar,my choice for a girls happy hour!

Deck bar,my choice for a girls happy hour! (Photo by Monica Amon)

  •  Rio Rock Blues (Rua do Riachuelo 20, Lapa) is the place to go for those who love rock music and want to have a lively experience in Lapa. A nice selection of appetizers, all kinds of drinks and good quality live rock and roll makes this a winner for those looking for a party.
  • Bar D’Hotel (Avenida Delfim Moreira 696, Leblon) This trendy-chic restaurant on the second floor of Marina All Suites Hotel is great for a couple of romantic drinks or to have dinner with friends. The great variety of cocktails and the retro décor are the highlights. For a table with a beach view, it’s better to make reservations.
  • Paxeco Bar (Rua Pacheco Leão 724D, Jardim Botanico) is in the heart of the Jardim Botanico neighbourhood. The bar has an open terrace where you can view the Botanical Garden’s palm trees and a great night view of Christ the Redeemer. Again, this is a place more suited to romantic, intimate drinks on a moonlit night.
  •  Antigamente  (Rua do Ouvidor 43, Centro) is my favourite bar in the bohemian corridor of Rua do Ouvidor for its informal and pleasant atmosphere. The excellent food (try the cod fish dishes), delicious appetizers and good service makes it a great choice for lunch. Take a table on the sidewalk, drink a cold beer and taste the delicious pastel de costela (spicy meat cakes) while waiting for your mains. Perfect! 

Tapioca for breakfast

After 3 months indulging in cookies, lots of ice cream and having pizza for dinner in almost every weekend, besides not exercising in a regular basis you can imagine what happened. I gained back those 3 kilos that I’m always fighting back and that last year I finally managed to lose with a rigorous poor wheat diet and regular running training. So I’m officially back to square one when talking about maintaining my weight.

But last week as school holidays ended and I have the afternoons for myself while my kid is in school I decided it was time to stop giving excuses and start back my ever lasting diet and exercising routine. Since my nutritionist has taught me that tapioca is one kind of gluten-free flour that I can use to substitute wheat flour, I’m kind of in love with it.

Today for breakfast I made tapioca filled with cheese, tomatoes and basil (tapioca is a kind of pancake made with tapioca flour). It is so easy to make and the result is so delicious that I just got a little addicted to it and once in a while I make it for breakfast or for an afternoon snack.

All you have to do is put a non stick frying pan to heat up, and then put the tapioca flour directly on the dry pan until the flour fuses on low heat, to avoid burning. Flip it once and top it with  cheese or as you like it.

The result is delicious!!!

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If you got curious about tapioca flour and want to understand a little more about it , take a look at this post by Saskia in her blog A Taste of Brazil or this other one by Tom in his blog EatRio .

If you ever come to Brazil you got to try tapioca. In Rio you will find them in many street food carts, in some cafes and sometimes in your hotel’s breakfast. Enjoy it!!!




Baking cookies

It was the first time I baked cookies wiht the help of my 5 year old boy. He enjoyed the experience so much that after baking Gingerbread Chocolate Cookies to give as a Christmas gift for his school teacher, he asked me to bake  those “Vanilla Cookies” as he call this recipe. In fact,  the right name for those cookies are Biscuit Sandwich Cookies“.

The Gingerbread Cookies were easy to make, although there are many ingredients to deal with, my boy loved to mix the batter and to roll the little cookies balls. Although the kitchen got a complete mess, the delicious smell that filled all the house, the delicious cookies and the smile on his teacher’s face to see that he made himself her gift made all the work worth it.

But the experience baking the Biscuit Sandwich Cookies was not so successful. Although  they ended coming out delicious, it was the first time I tried this recipe and we had a lot of trouble in the kitchen.

This Biscuit Sandwich Cookies recipe might be perfect to be made during the north hemisphere winter, but I think they are not very appropriate for the beginning of the tropical summer of Rio de Janeiro.

I had a lot of difficult to roll the dough and cut the cookies,although I followed all the recipe steps, the dough started melting down just after 5 min I took it out of the freezer. So I had to keep freezing it for 20 min, cut some cookies pieces and when they started to melt I had to put it back on the freezer for other 20 min. Then cut another pieces, and repeat this operation for more 5 or six times, till all the dough was cut.

You might already imagine that in the second round of this operation my son had already left me and I had to do all the work alone.  But when I finally finished and all of them were on the oven, the smell of fresh-baked cookies was fantastic, and at the end everyone approved the result. Even not looking at all like with the cookies of the recipe photo, our cookies came out delicious and we ate almost everything in the same day.

Tomorrow morning we are planning to repeat our baking fun and  prepare another Gingerbread cookies for the Christmas day. We heard that Santa Claus loves cookies!!! So we just wanna be sure that if he comes tomorrow night he will find the most delicious Gingerbread cookies by the Christmas tree!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Finding a piece of Paris in Rio

Yesterday afternoon I found a little piece of Paris in Copacabana neighborhood, Paradis Délices Français, a french patisserie leaded by the french chef Pierre Cornet-Vernet.

The cozy and charming store located in Avenida Nossa Senhora Copacabana, just a few blocks away from Boulangerie Guerin, another french spot in Copacabana, was the perfect place for a break after a doctor appointment.

As you enter this little patisserie you can see a colorful macaroons display on your right and an ice cream display freezer on your left. A great variety of chocolate is displayed right ahead  and in the back of the store there are some tables, for those who want to have some leisure moment having an espresso and eating the tasteful macaroons and chocolate.

I indulged myself with the raspberries and the Sicilian lemon macaroons with a cup of Nespresso.  They were good, but personally I prefered the ones from Boulangerie Guerin.

Today I had to go back to Copacabana for another meeting and passed by Paradis again. As it was a warm day I decided to try the mango ice cream. It was delicious!

If you have a chance, don’t hesitate to pay a visit to Paradis, it’s totally worth it!

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Paradis Délices Français – Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, 776

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A recipe to cheer me up

Since the beginning of this week I’ve been feeling blue. I really don’t have any special reason for that, maybe it’s just the approach of my birthday.

Birthday blues maybe?? No, not with me, I’m that kind of person that loves birthdays! I really don’t know what it is!  But  rather trying to understand the reason I decided  to stop this immediately!

So today after taking my kid to school I headed to the groceries and bought some lemons, strawberries, mint leaves and ginger. Arriving home, after washing everything, I mixed everything in the blender with some ice water and made this delicious, refreshing and full of vitamin C smoothie.

IMG_2879 IMG_2885It was like drinking the “elixir of life”, I started feeling better immediately!

My recipe, for 1 glass of smoothie

– 5 strawberries

– juice of 1 lemon

– 4 mint leaves

– grated peeled fresh ginger

– ice water