by Maira Amorim, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – This month the first ever Rio de Janeiro Restaurant Week takes place between May 11th – 24th, with a total of 60 restaurants involved. The concept of ‘Restaurant Week’ was born in New York 16 years ago, designed to tie in with the city’s famous Fashion Week. With restaurants offering a top quality menu for a lower price, the goal was to increase customers during a low season, when traditionally the restaurant business was at its quietest. The event was a huge success and it didn’t take long before other cities began copying the idea.
The establishments are offering a special menu with a starter, main meal and desert for the fixed price of R$25+1 (lunch) and R$39+1 (dinner). The added R$1 is going to be donated to “Projeto Uerê”, a social project at Favela da Maré that invests in children’s education, so it is a good opportunity to help a worthwhile cause as well as visit some restaurants that usually require a higher investment to eat in.
This is the case at Sawasdee, the refined and normally expensive Thai restaurant at São Conrado Fashion Mall. They are participating with a lunch menu and have as starters; mixed green leaves or Thai soup and as main meals; jasmin rice prepared in the wok with a mix of vegetables and slices of chicken, or rice pasta with vegetables and thin pieces of beef in soy sauce, sake and toasted garlic. The desert options are coconut or vanilla ice cream with orange sauce and toasted coconut flakes.
Gato Rosso’s participation on the other hand is restricted to the evening. The Italian restaurant has created a special menu for the event; ravioli filled with roast picanha with a pepper and Roquefort sauce, sealed fresh tuna with grilled vegetables, mashed wassabi with basil and a red wine and Bailey’s Parfait, and a desert made of whisky, dark chocolate and biscuits.
The Food’s, in Leblon, has at luch menu a potatohead soup or a light salad with green leaves, smoked salmon and baby carrots (starters); an executive meal with one grilled meat with two side dishes) and ice cream for desert. At dinner time, the starters are the same, but the main meal includes two options: a fish served with jacket potato and fetuccine with Alfredo sauce, chicken breast slices, vegetables and parmesan cheese. The desert at dinner is the “Psycho Tower” (on the picture): two ice cream scoops with crunchy biscuits with red fruits sauce and chantilly.
At TGI Friday’s, the special menu is offered at lunch and dinner and includes onion rings, Cajun-fried chicken salad and chicken fingers, and Oreo Madness for desert at lunchtime, or loaded potato skins, special steak or blackened chicken and brownie for desert in the evening.
Some of the other restaurants participating at Rio’s Restaurant Week are:
- Allegro Bistrô (Copacabana)
- Applebee’s (Barra)
- Aquim (Leblon)
- Azzurra (Barra)
- Bar d’Hotel – Marina All Suites (Leblon)
- Blason – Casa Julieta de Serpa (Flamengo)
- Benkei (Ipanema)
- Gloss (CasaShopping; Barra)
- Gula Gula (Leblon, Rio Design Leblon, Gávea, Ipanema, Jardim Botânico, Rio Plaza, Fashion Mall, Barra and Rio Design Barra)
- I Piatti (Humaitá and Barra)
- La Pasta Gialla (Barra)
- Lorenzo Bistrô (Jardim Botânico)
- Manekineko (Leblon, Barra, Shopping Tijuca, Itanhangá e Humaitá)
- Mensateria (Barra)
- Miam Miam (Botafogo)
- NamThai (Leblon)
- Skylab – Rio Othon Palace (Copacabana)
- Tizziano (Barra)
- Vegetariano (Leblon)
- Vizta – Marina Palace (Leblon)
- Zazá Bistrô (Ipanema)
From May 11th to May 24th, 2009
São Conrado Fashion Mall, Estrada da Gávea 899, 101-A – São Conrado
Av. Ministro Ivan Lins, 270, C and D – Barra da Tijuca
Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 270, Lj 313 – Leblon
Shopping New York City Center
Av. das Américas, 5000 – 201