By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The traditional high-end restaurant and hotel guide series by French tire manufacturer Michelin has announced its first guide book in South America to be about Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. However, none of the restaurants in the two cities has reached the highest grade of three stars in the 2015 Michelin Guide that will be published on April 8th.
The Michelin Guide, initially founded for motorists more than a century ago, is famous for citing the best restaurants in a city and giving a very strict review. The guide book currently exists for 24 countries on four continents.
The highest rating for fine-dining is three stars and equivalent to the recommendation “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”. While none of the restaurants in Brazil so far received this rating, the D.O.M. in São Paulo with chef Alex Atala has reached two stars (“Excellent cooking, worth a detour”).
In Rio de Janeiro, six restaurants received one star (equivalent to “A very good restaurant in its category”). The restaurants are Lasai, Mee, Olympe, Oro, Le Pré Catelan and Roberta Sudbrack.
In Sâo Paulo ten restaurants reached the one-star category, among them the Fasano, Maní and Jun Sakamoto.
In both cities, several establishments were cited in the non-star category Bib Gourmand that stands for “exceptional good food at moderate prices”. In Brazil, a complete menu with first course, main dish and dessert needs to be around R$90 to enter the category.
In Rio de Janeiro, Artigiano, Cais, Entretapas, Lima Restobar, Miam Miam, Oui Oui, Pomodorino and Restô have made it into the Bib Gourmand category.
Despite the strict review, Michael Ellis, international director of the publication, saw a “strong potential in the Brazilian gastronomy scene,” and shared that his inspectors had found “very promising” establishments in both cities.