My last visit to one of the most spectacular cities in the world was last July and exactly like every time, I spent my way back to Europe thinking that, sooner or later, I will go to live there.
With deep trust on indigenous, I started asking everybody where I could find a good place to eat and every time the answer was a prompt: at Marius of course! Curious by such enthusiasm I decided to give the so-called top restaurant of the city a try. Beautifully set in front of Leme Beach, adjoining to the worldwide famous Copacabana, it’s by no means the run-of-the-mill example of a five-star restaurant.
As soon as you reach the longed spot after a battle in Rio’s traffic, you’ll find yourself facing the first hard choice of your adventure: fish or meat? In fact, apparently for the endless variety in the menu, there are two versions of the same restaurant, one beside the other. In a typical Brazilian style, your journey will start with a never-ending buffet with all sort of appetizers, starters and dishes.
But Rio de Janeiro offers an impressive range of restaurants, for every taste, pocket and style. One of my favourite lunches is in the typical “Galletos” places that you can easily find all over the city. The last one I visited is in Ipanema, precisely in Rua Visconde de Pirajà. It’s in a corner and in its simple façade a big menu is shown. Basically, you will have half chicken well spit-roasted and a consistent side course at your choice.
The choice is various and colourful, where we can match the chicken with farofa, rice, beans, salad and so on. My drink is of course Guaranà. The price is around eight reals per person, which means around three euro for a portion I had hard time to finish. I go very often to Brasil and its galletos are for sure on my to-do-list.
From luxurious restaurants to simple bistros, from genuine ‘lanchonetes’ to ‘coconut stands’, all over the city the possibilities to get refreshed are countless and everywhere the warmth of brazilian weather and people will make you feel at home.
While you are enjoying the best “Farofa” you have ever had, charming waiters will succeed each other with traditional and brand new choice of spit-roasted churrasco in the “meat-version” of the restaurant.
If, instead, you’ve chosen fish, after tackling a swordfish-based ‘muqueca’ and a ‘catupiri’ with small, delicious prawns, I feel compelled to mention the toilets: they definitely are worth a visit. Ground and sinks filled with mock-precious stones, characteristic fish-shaped taps and heady incense perfume. Miles far away from the classic conception of restaurant, Marius is the latest generation of luxurious holiday destinations.
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