By Sarah Brown, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The traditional New Year dinner in Brazil (known as Ceia da Virada) grants an opportunity for friends and family to gather together and celebrate the arrival of the new year. For those that are superstitious, it is also the chance to serve and eat food that supposedly will bring luck and good fortune.
Several restaurants in Rio de Janeiro have stuck to their traditional roots and created various dinners that use ingredients that are associated to new year’s luck. Chef Tande Bittencourt from the restaurant, Restô, has used grapes in the dishes that apparently bring happiness and luck to those that eat them.
On the menu include the Champignon do Coringa (R$32 for four units) which is mushrooms stuffed with grapes, goat’s cheese with a crusty layer of parmesan and almonds and the Fantastia do Pescador (R$78 for one) that is a fillet of sole and grilled shrimps served with a curried cream, tomato chutney, a risotto of grapes with a terragon and shrimp bisque.
In BioCarioca, chef Bruno Moline will use lentils in his dishes, an ingredient attributed for bringing good fortunes. Moline will prepare lentil rice with onions (R$21.90) and Indian curried lentils with banana and apple (R$8 for large and R$6.50 for small). Restaurant Fellini in Leblon will also serve lentils with crunchy onions (R$110 per kilo).
Lamb is considered an ingredient that will give a prosperous year ahead, something accounted for at the restaurant Flashback in Ipanema. Chef Pierre Landry will serve lamb marinated in wine with light seasonings and vegetables, cooked in its own sauce and accompanied by a light risotto of fresh mushrooms (R$82).
At the Camelo Pizzeria e Restaurante, chef Eduardo Lyra will prepare the shredded lamb accompanied by rice with lentils, peas and crunchy onions (R$48). At the Rampinha, chef José Caetano also has jumped on the lamb bandwagon serving his take on lamb ribs with sauteed potatoes and rice with raisins (R$75 for one person, or R$140 for two).
Where: Rua Joana Angélica, 184, Ipanema – Tel: (21) 2287-0052
When: Monday to Sunday – 12PM to 1AM
Where: Rua Xavier da Silveira, 28, Copacabana – Tel: (21) 2523-4820
When: Sunday and Monday – 11:30AM to 6PM. Tuesday to Saturday – 11:30AM to 11PM
Where: Rua General Urquiza, 104, Leblon – Tel: (21) 2511-3600 / (21)2274-2966
When: Monday to Friday – 11:20AM to 4PM and 7:30PM to 12AM. Saturday, Sunday and holidays – 11:30AM to 5PM and 7PM to 12PM.
Where: Rua Paul Redfern, 33, Ipanema – Tel: (21) 2274 7657
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays – 7PM to 12:30AM. Thursday – 7PM to 1:30AM. Friday and Saturday – 7PM to 2:30AM.
Where: Av. Henrique Dumont, 57, Ipanema – Tel: (21) 2274-2303
When: Monday to Thursday – 12PM to 4PM and 6PM to 12AM. Friday and Saturdays – 12PM to 1AM. Sunday – 12PM to 12AM.
Where: Av. Praça da Bandeira, 201, Praça da Bandeira – Tel: (21) 2273-7647
When: Monday to Sunday – 11AM to 12AM.