New Boteco – Boa Praça – for Ipanema

Many regular visitors to Rio in the 1970s, 80s and 90s will remember Barril 1800 on Ipanema Beach. Sadly Barril departed the scene in 2007 to be replaced by Bar Rio and then the Astor. But it appears Astor has not survived the pandemic and having been closed for nearly a year will give way to a branch of Boteco Boa Praça, a group that started life in São Paulo and opened a popular Rio branch in Leblon (Rua Dias Ferreira 12) in 2019.

The new Boa Praça is expected to open in May 2021 with plans for a third Rio branch in Barra (Av Olegário Maciel) by the year end.

No news yet as to what may happen to the upper floor in Ipanema that some will remember during Barril’s time as Jazzmania (1983-1994) where you could have been lucky enough to catch the likes of Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Toots Thielemans, Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, Marisa Monte, Hermeto Pascoal, João Bosco, Jorge Ben and many, many others.

Rio’s New Restaurants in early 2021

Crisis? What crisis? Pandemic? What pandemic? Despite what is going on in and around the world, Rio de Janeiro has still seen the opening of a number of new restaurants since the start of the year including recently the 600 seater Nordic Steakhouse, O Nórdico, in Av Olegário Maciel in Barra which comes with a Viking theme!

More tempting may be Escama, a new seafood restaurant in Rua Visconde de Carandaí in Jardim Botânico. While you can find fish on the menu at most restaurants in Rio, actual seafood restaurants are surprisingly quite few and far between.

A new Italian, Amalfitana, has opened up in the space vacated by Quadrifoglio in the Village Mall in Barra, while Leblon has a new bistro, Sole, in Rua Dias Ferreira. And Burgers Rio has opened a new branch at Rua Voluntários da Pátria 1 in Botafogo to add to the one at Rua Aníbal de Mendonça 55 in Ipanema.

New Pelé documentary premieres on Netflix on 23 February 2021

23 February will see the premiere on Netflix of “Pelé”, a new original documentary, that chronicles the life of Edson Arantes do Nascimento – or Pelé.

The documentary looks back at the extraordinary period that Pelé, the only player to win three World Cup titles, went from a young superstar in 1958 to a national hero, amidst a radical and turbulent era in Brazilian history.

With rare and exclusive filmed access to Pelé himself, the film showcases the star reflecting upon his career. The documentary also includes rare archive and interviews from former legendary team-mates at Santos Futebol Clube and the Brazilian national team, including Zagallo, Amarildo and Jairzinho, as well as testimonials from family members, journalists, artists and other personalities who witnessed the golden age of Brazilian football. that culminated in Brazil winning the 1970 World Cup.

All Brazilian final to the Copa Libertadores in Rio

There is to be an all Brazilian final at Rio’s Maracanã Stadium to the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, when Palmeiras and Santos will play on 30 January 2021 having respectively knocked out Argentina’s River Plate and Boca Juniors in the semi-finals.

It is only the third time in the history of the competition that two Brazilian teams have played the final. It means that Brazil will now have had the most finalists in the history of the competition with 38, compared to Argentina’s 37, but even with Brazil’s 21st title in 2021, Argentina still leads with 25 titles.

The current holder of the Copa Libertadores is Brazil’s Flamengo. Santos is a three time winner of the Libertadores (1962, 1963 and 2011, losing one other final) and Palmeiras has won once in 1999 (but has lost three finals).

The final on 30 January is to be played at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and will kick off at 17.00 (20.00 UK time and should be shown in Britain on the BBC).

Flying Down to Rio with British United

A blast from the past when British United flew between the UK and Brazil.

British United took over BOAC’s South American routes to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on 5 November 1964. Those routes, flying VC10s via Madrid, Lisbon, Las Palmas or Freetown, became profitable for United by late-1968. In November 1970, the airline was sold and merged into Caledonian to form British Caledonian that continued to fly to South America, replacing the VC10s with Boeing 707s in 1972, which allowed for a non-stop service between London Gatwick and Rio.

British Airways took over the routes from British Caledonian in 1985.

Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2020

Despite all the challenges faced by the hospitality industry, the annual list of “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants” was announced on 3 December. Bragging rights for the top spot went to Don Julio in Buenos Aires.

Nine restaurants on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants are to be found in Brazil. They are A Casa do Porco, D.O.M., Maní, Evvai, Mocotó and Corrutela in São Paulo; Oteque and Lasai in Rio de Janeiro; and Manu in Curitiba.

The full list to give food for thought is:

  • 1. Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2. Maido, Lima, Peru
  • 3. Central, Lima, Peru
  • 4. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 5. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 6. Boragó, Santiago, Chile
  • 7. El Chato, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 8. Mishiguene, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 9. Rosetta, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 10. Osso Lima, Peru
  • 11. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 12. Oteque, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 13. D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
  • 14. Pangea, Monterrey, Mexico
  • 15. Alcalde, Guadalajara, Mexico
  • 16. Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 17. Sud 777, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 18. Kjolle, Lima, Peru
  • 19. Chila, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 20. Isolina, Lima, Peru
  • 21. Lasai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 22. Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
  • 23. Maní, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 24. Mayta, Lima, Peru
  • 25. Harry Sasson, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 26. Evvai, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 27. Leo, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 28. Parador La Huella, José Ignacio, Uruguay
  • 29. Rafael, Lima, Peru
  • 30. Le Chique, Cancún, Mexico
  • 31. Nicos, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 32. De Patio, Santiago, Chile
  • 33., Mocotó, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 34. Gran Dabbang, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 35. Mil, Cusco, Peru
  • 36. Máximo Bistrot, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 37. Mérito, Lima, Peru
  • 38. Osaka, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 39. El Baqueano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 40, Narda Comedor, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 41. Restaurante 040, Santiago, Chile
  • 42. Maito, Panama City, Panama
  • 43. Aramburu, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 44. Manu, Curitiba, Brazil
  • 45. La Mar, Lima, Peru
  • 46. Ambrosía, Santiago, Chile
  • 47. El Preferido de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 48. Nuema, Quito, Ecuador
  • 49. Celele, Cartagena, Colombia
  • 50. Corrutela, São Paulo, Brazil

Veja Rio picks best restaurants for 2020

Despite Covid-19 and lockdown Veja Rio has still managed to produce its annual guide to Rio’s bars and restaurants and pick its best in a number of categories.

As a taster the top three for Brazilian cuisine are Maria e o Boi, Sabores de Gabriela and Capim Santo; for contemporary it is Oteque (photo), Lasai and Iraja Redux; for meat, Malta Beef Club, Esplanada Grill and Corrientes 348; for French, Emile, Didier and Chez Claude; for Italian, Cipriani, Grado and Anna; for Portuguese, Gajos d’Ouro, Rancho Portugues and Adegão Portugues; for seafood, Venga Chiringuito, Satyricon and Posi Mozza & Mare; for Pizza, Ferro e Farinha, Ella and Braz; for Japanese, Naga, Mitsuba and Haru Sushi Bar; and for vegetarian, Org Bistro, Naturalie Bistro and Prana Vegetarian. 

Changes at Fasano in Rio

All change at the Fasano Hotel in Ipanema in Rio, at least as far as restaurants go. Out goes Fasano al Mare, which never had much of a fan base, and in comes a branch of the Fasano’s Gero offering sophisticated, contemporary Italian cuisine.

The standalone Gero, in Aníbal de Mendonça, now becomes a more relaxed branch of Panini Gero, offering sandwiches, pastas and pizzas. Gero Barra, remains closed for now, but Gero Trattoria in Shopping Leblon has reopened as has the hotel’s own beach kiosk on Ipanema, Marea.

New Executive Director for Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau (RCVB) has a new Executive Director, Roberta Werner.

Roberta is experienced in working with international events as well as the hospitality industry having worked in Brazil for Windsor, Caesar Park Ipanema, Sofitel Rio, Grand Hyatt and, most recently, Fasano. At the RCVB she replaces Philipe Campello who now heads up TurisRio, the State of Rio Tourist Board. 

Fro more information about the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau CLICK HERE

 

 

Michelin Starred restaurants in Rio & São Paulo 2020

Michelin has announced the restaurants in Rio and São Paulo to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star for 2020. With two stars are Oro and Oteque in Rio de Janeiro and D.O.M. and Ryo Gastronomia in São Paulo. One Star was awarded to Cipriani, Lasai and Mee in Rio; and Evvai, Huto, Jun Sakamoto, Kan Suke, Kinoshita, Maní and Picchi in São Paulo.

In “Michelin 2020 Bib Gourmand,” the category that recognises more informal restaurants with good quality and good value cooking, six restaurants in Rio de Janeiro are listed in the 2020 Michelin Guide (Artigiano, Didier, Miam Miam, Lilia, Pici Trattoria, and Maria e o Boi) and 33 in São Paulo (AE! Cozinha, Ama.zo, Arturito, Baianeira, Balaio IMS, Banzeiro, Barú Marisquería, Le Bife, Bio, Bistrot de Paris, Brasserie Victória, Casa do Porco, Casa Santo Antônio, Cepa, Charco, Corrutela, Ecully – Perdizes, Fitó, Kith 2º Andar, Komah, Manioca, Mimo, Mocotó, Nit, Petí Gastronomia, Petí Americana, Piccolo, Più, Più Iguatemi, Tanit, TonTon, Tordesilhas, and Zena Caffè).

According to Michelin 85%, as of 20 September 2020 of Michelin Starred restaurants worldwide at 35 destinations are currently open for dining either inside or outside. In Brazil 72% of the Michelin Starred restaurants are now open, but in the US just 14% of Starred restaurants are welcoming guests again. In Europe, Belgium has 95% of its Michelin Starred restaurants back open; in Spain and Portugal, the percentages have risen to 86% and 93% respectively; while the UK it is at 73%.