Rio & Brazil host Copa America 2021

Originally planned for Argentina and Colombia in 2020, and then moved to 2021 due to the pandemic, the Copa America was finally switched to Brazil at the very last moment with games taking place from 13 June to 10 July 2021. Brazil had hosted and won the cup for the ninth time in 2019.

Group games will be played across four stadiums – Nilton Santos (Rio), Olympic (Goiana), Arena Pantanal (Cuiaba) and Mane Garrincha (Brasilia) – with the final to be played at the Maracanã in Rio.

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.

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

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%.

Gajos d’Ouro – New restaurant for Ipanema

Some positive gastronomic for Rio de Janeiro with the opening in Ipanema on  22 July of Gajos d’Ouro.

The reason for the excitement is that many of the people involved in the project (front of house and in the kitchen) are well known for their time at Antiquarius, considered for decades to be Rio’s top Portuguese restaurant – and generally one of the city’s best – until it closed its doors two years ago.

So as well as familiar faces, diners will also find at Rua Prudente de Moraes, 1008 some familiar and favourite dishes on the menu. For the moment Gajos d’Ouro can handle 30 guests in the main room and 20 in the garden-patio.

The group is also responsible for the bar-restaurant Entre Amigos Gastronomia in Botafogo.

Covid-19 impact on Carnival 2021

Sadly it is looking increasingly likely that Rio’s carnival in 2021 will be badly disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, including the famous parade of the top samba schools – scheduled for 14 and 15 February – as preparations require people to work in confined spaces and close proximity.

It is also seen as impossible to have the normal crowd of 75,000 plus in place unless a vaccine for Covid-19 is found. The same for the schools to parade as each would have over 3,000 people dancing and performing in close proximity, a total of over 50,000 performers over the two nights.

Until an official decision is taken by LIESA (League of Samba Schools), probably in September 2020, the schools will continued their preparations for carnival 2021, that might even get pushed back to later in 2021.

Viradouro, the current champions, hope that if the carnival parades do go ahead in 2021, it can defend its title with a theme that will focus on the carnival and Rio of 1919, the first carnival after the First World War and  the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918 that killed so many people in Brazil. The samba is “Não há tristeza que possa suportar tanta alegria” (“There is No Sadness That Can Endure So Much Joy”).