By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The restaurant scene in Rio is still growing with the arrival of forward-thinking restauranteurs, which is certainly appreciated by expatriate and local foodies. Coccinelle Bistrô, the French-inspired eatery next to Centro’s Arco do Teles, celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, a milestone year that, according to owner Yves de Roquemaurel, has been full of surprises.
“I like to remember only the good ones,” says a laughing Roquemauerel, “From the opening party with Gotan Project DJ set in the kitchen of Coccinelle, to the hilarious wine tasting with Ed Motta, and many other great events that have place at Coccinelle.”
Roquemaurel, a Parisian restaurateur in Rio via Tokyo, and Madame Coccinelle, a Japanese-born internationally trained chef, designed the concept and core values of Coccinelle based on their experiences working, traveling, and enjoying life around the world.
Many things may have changed in the bistro’s first year, but some things remain the same: Coccinelle’s commitment to quality ingredients, creative classic recipes, and a focus on customer satisfaction.
These three pillars have garnered Coccinelle a dedicated following of clients, have converted hordes of lunchtime diners that are ready for a break from the kilos and luncheonettes that crowd the downtown lunch scene.
Roquemaurel is not resting on the bistro’s hard-earned success. Instead, he is daily looking for new ways to improve the bistro’s offerings, to provide new and returning clients with an experience that will always bring them back for more.
“After a year we have noticed that our first idea that our lunchtime crowd would drink more soda, mineral water, maybe some beer was incorrect. It turns out that our customers usually will pair a glass of iced tea, or one of fresh fruit juices with their meal,” says Roquemaurel.
The observation has prompted Roquemaurel to less demanded sodas and beer from the menu and in their place expand the menu of fresh fruit juices and iced teas.
Cocinelle now offers and larger selection of fresh fruit juices (e.g., watermelon, passion fruit, pineapple) as well as a tasty selection of freshly made ice teas (e.g., black tea, green tea, mate, hibiscus with ginger).
But it is not only the fresh fruit juices and iced tea that bring many customers into the modern dining room at 11, Travessa do Comercio. Many visit because Coccinelle has one of the most respectable selection of organic French wines served by the glass, a great pairing with some of Coccinelle’s signature dishes.
Coccinelle’s commitment to organic wine is part of the bistro’s larger commitment to organic cuisine, to healthy and sustainable products produced locally. The focus on organic products, prepared in unique and flavorful way is at the core of Coccinelle’s identity.
Even when trying different recipes (such as the new artisanal ice cream and sherbets the bistro will offer) the bistro stays true to its vision, which keeps happy customers coming back.
“The second year of Coccinelle will be interesting, we know exactly the direction now,” says Roquemaurel, “I just want to thank of all our regular customers, and our great suppliers and partners, especially Fazenda Cafundo for the top quality vegetables and Bionysos for the outstanding French organic wines.”
Travessa do Comercio, 11
Centro, near Praça XV
Rio de Janeiro 20010-080
(+55) 21 2224-8602
Mon – Fri: 11:30 AM – 7PM
Sat: 11:30 AM – 5:30 PM