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10 restaurants for a romantic dinner in Rio de Janeiro

O Rio de Janeiro is gaining more and more space when it comes to gastronomy . Known for its bohemian life, the Marvelous City has always stood out when it comes to bars and taverns, but it has long stopped being recognized only for its more informal establishments. Dozens of restaurants have opened their doors in recent years in the capital, uniquely combining their unique vibe with good cuisine and a more refined and charming atmosphere, perfect for a date for two!

In fact, establishments in the city appeared this year on the Michelin Guide’s star list at an event that took place at the Copacabana Palace last month.

For those looking to make the occasion even more special, Lasai, by chef Rafa Costa e Silva, won two stars; Oro, by Felipe Bronze, Oteque, by Alberto Landgraf kept theirs; and San Omakase, in Leblon, won its first star.

But if the idea is something more affordable, there are other excellent options that bring together everything a romantic dinner needs.

Check out ten options for a romantic dinner in the city:

  • Xian

Xian, restaurant Rio de Janeiro

Literally disembarking in Rio de Janeiro, you already have an excellent option, whether for lunch, a romantic dinner or just a drink with an incredible view of the sunset with city portal cards.

Xian is located on the rooftop of Shopping Bossa Nova, right next to Santos Dumont Airport. Just walk a few meters from the landing and you will reach it.

There are 3,000 square meters divided into different environments. The plurality of Asia is the inspiration for the menu, which features a variety of small portions, giving you the possibility to try a little of everything.

Among the dozens of suggestions are Shrimp Dumpling, pasta stuffed with shrimp, steamed and grilled; the Pop Pig, breaded pork loin with sweet and sour sauce, pineapple, confit tomato and almond slices; and the exotic Ussuzukuri Thai, thin slices of salmon with cucumber slices, finger pepper, coconut milk and coriander sprouts.

Xian: Avenida Almirante Silvio de Noronha, 365, penthouse – Center – Rio de Janeiro
Telephone: (21) 2303-7080
Monday to Thursday, from 12pm to 11pm. Fridays and Saturdays, from 12pm to midnight. Sundays, from 12pm to 10pm.

  • Elena

Elena Salon

Still for those looking for a cool place for a party for two, Elena opened its doors about a year and a half ago in a two-story listed house in Horto, with impressive architecture and decor.

It has become one of the hottest places in the city, offering different experiences within the same space and going beyond just a place to have dinner.

There are four environments that can accommodate 150 people: the outdoor balcony gives that taste of Rio bohemia, with tables organized on the sidewalk; O Hall , with an aerial filled with plants, resembles a restaurant atmosphere, with a view of the dance floor of the kitchen separated by glass — a beautiful start to the evening that can end at the Gogo Bar, located on the upper floor; O rooftop in itself brings the mood in the name. With views of Christ the Redeemer and greenery everywhere, with the Botanical Gardens literally being yours garden is one of the most desired spaces for those looking for a more relaxed environment.

A drink menu, with classics and originals, is signed by mixologist Alex Mesquita. The kitchen is led by chef Itamar Araújo, with a menu of Asian and Oriental inspirations. For Valentine’s Day, the place will offer a special menu.

Elena: Rua Pacheco Leão, 758 – Jardim Botânico – Rio de Janeiro
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday, from 7pm to 1am. Friday and Saturday, from 7pm to 2am.

  • Si-Chou

Si chou - Environment - photo Rodrigo Azevedo (8)

Still for fans of Asian cuisine, Si-chou, led by chef Elia Schramm, has its menu based on the “Silk Road” serving inspirations from Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.

Located in Ipanema, its atmosphere is spacious and at the same time intimate, with special decoration full of references, pieces and old paintings from Asian culture.

In addition to finding several options of starters, hot and cold dishes à la carte, Si-chou created a special combo for June 12th, with a duo of truffled salmon belly, a duo of foie gras tuna, a duo of scallops with clarified butter , karasumi white fish duo, salmon and ikura gunkan duo; 4 spicy tuna; 6 temp roll; 5 tuna sashimi; 5 salmon sashimi and 5 special white fish sashimi. The combination is accompanied by two glasses of sparkling rosé (R$ ​​385 – 35 pieces).

Si Chou: Rua Barão da Torre, 472 – Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Opening hours: Tuesday to Wednesday, from 12pm to 4pm and from 7pm to 11pm; Thursdays and Fridays, from 12pm to 4pm and from 7pm to midnight; on Saturdays, from 12pm to midnight; on Sundays, from 12pm to 10pm.

  • Oseille

Oseille's environment has only 16 seats around the counter

On the top floor of the popular Toto, Thomas Troisgros opened Oseille (sorrel, in French) in February. In it, the chef resumed the original work he did at Olympe, the Troisgros family restaurant in Jardim Botânico awarded a Michelin star that closed its activities during the pandemic.

With only 16 seats at a marble counter positioned around the kitchen, Oseille is only open for dinner and offers five-course (R$490) or seven-course menus (R$650).

In addition to Thomas, Carlos Yusa also runs the kitchen. For those looking for a tasting menu option for Valentine’s Day, this could be an excellent option!

Oseille: Rua Joana Angélica, 155 (upper floor), Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Telephone: (21) 3854-1819
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, from 8pm. Booking is essential.

  • Babbo Osteria

Babbo Osteria - facade - Photo Rodrigo Azevedo

Also led by chef Elia Schramm, the Babbo Osteria takes you straight to a typical Italian house without leaving Rio de Janeiro. With light lighting and minimalist decor, it’s as if you were actually in your living room, a perfect setting for a date for two. Genoa, Turin and Milan are some of the cities that inspired the chef in creating the menu and also the concept of the restaurant, located in Ipanema since 2021.

There, diners will find a menu that brings back Elia’s childhood memories and what he was able to experience as a child in the Italian part of Switzerland, where he was raised until he was seven years old.

There is no shortage of options for starters and antipasti, but the fresh pastas are the ones that stand out, such as Ragú di Manzo, fresh pappardelle with meat ragú cooked in red wine for 12 hours; and Funghi & Tartufo, gnocchi doratti with mushrooms and truffle salsa. A bar with signature and classic drinks is also available to diners.

Tip: the restaurant does not charge corkage fees for those who want to bring their own wine.

Babbo Osteria: Rua Barão da Torre, 632, Ipanema
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday, from 12pm to 4pm; from 7pm to 11pm; on Thursdays, from 12pm to 4pm; from 19:00 to 00:00; on Fridays and Saturdays, from 12pm to 4pm; from 7pm to 1am; on Sundays, from 12pm to 6pm.

  • Grado

In a super cozy 1942 house in Jardim Botânico, Grado promises to be a special experience for those who like a more intimate environment. Its three-course menu offers Italian culinary delights and options to choose from starters, mains and desserts.

To start, there are eight suggestions, including eggplant parmigiana grilled on wood with buffalo mozzarella.

As mains, 12 options are available including pasta, meat and seafood. Wild boar agnolotti with cacio pepe; cavaca linguine and grilled octopus are some of them. Finally, among the suggestions the classic tiramisú is present! For Valentine’s Day, the location will offer a special reduced menu that can be accessed in this link.

Grade: Rua Visconde de Carandaí, 31, Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Telephone: (21) 99435-8386
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 7pm to 11pm; Saturday, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm and from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm; on Sundays, from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm.

  • Sult

Sult is an excellent option for those looking for a cool yet sophisticated atmosphere in the Botafogo neighborhood. Right at the entrance, your bar welcomes customers. There, you can have classic and signature drinks.

The lounge has hand-picked music, pleasant low lighting and a view of the dance floor from the kitchen, which is completely open. From there, dishes such as the famous meat lasagna with grana padano fonduta and pangrattato and house-made cavatelli made with crab come out, as well as other options that include meat and fish.

The wines are organic and there is always a vegan or vegetarian option, just ask one of the staff.

Sult: Rua Fernandes Guimarães, 77 – Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
Telephone: (21) 3486-6777
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm; from 7pm to 11pm.

  • Zazá Bistro

The light and cozy atmosphere with phrases painted on the wall and straw chandeliers at Zazá Bistrô bring a romantic atmosphere for couples looking for a special program.

The restaurant, which celebrated its 25th anniversary, is located in a two-story mansion on a corner of Ipanema, with the second floor being more suitable for those who want a more intimate atmosphere, with a candlelit dinner, for example.

There are good options to be tasted such as Tartar do Mar, cubes of fresh salmon and tuna, oyster and teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds, carrot and beetroot croutons, ginger pickles and crispy rice leaves and Grilled Prawns with Feuccine with lemon and green apple, in the vegan version it contains mushrooms, chestnut cream and green apple.

For Valentine’s Day, a special menu with starter, main course and dessert will be offered and will cost R$180 per person.

Zazá Bistro: Rua Joana Angélica, 40 – Ipanema
Telephone: (21) 99530-7173
Opening hours: Monday from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, from 12pm to midnight; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 12pm to 00:30am.

  • Our Gastrobar

Our Mezzanine

If you and your partner are bohemians and want drinks to be the protagonists of your date, Nosso Gastrobar, in Ipanema, could be a good option.

The place has different welcoming environments, ranging from its counters, through the lounge and up to the mezzanine, informal but at the same time welcoming, ideal for a dinner or drink for two. The bar is run by head bartender Daniel Estevan.

The kitchen is led by the chef and one of the partners, Bruno Katz, who will prepare a special three-part dinner for Valentine’s Day.

During the rest of the year, the menu, which is not extensive, has options to start with, such as catch of the day ceviche, oriental steak tartare and shrimp dumpling.

As for main dishes, five dishes are available, such as glazed octopus, catch of the day, prawns and linguine, crusted mignon tourniquet and “Mezze”, a dish that includes house-made falafel, hummus, tahini, curd, tomatoes, radishes and leaves. There are still dessert suggestions to finish off.

Our: Rua Maria Quitéria, 91 – Ipanema/Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, from 6:30 pm to 00:30 am; on Sundays, from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.

  • Duck with Orange (Leblon unit)

The trendy Dias Ferreira recently opened a new Pato com Laranja restaurant, run by chef Andrea Tinoco. There, customers find an intimate environment, with low lighting and completely different from the proposal of other units.

The menu features Asian options and classic recipes from the chef who have been famous in the city for 30 years.

Duck with Orange (Leblon unit): Rua Dias Ferreira, 410
Opening hours: every day, from 12pm to midnight.

Source: CNN Brasil

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