By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the weather cools down in Rio de Janeiro this winter, thoughts turn toward food and many restaurants and venues throughout the city are holding culinary food festivals and offering specialty dishes in honor of the season.
Festival de Inverno do Mercado Municipal do Rio de Janeiro – In the city’s North Zone, the second edition of the Winter Festival held by the Mercado Municipal do Rio de Janeiro also known as Centro de Abastecimento do Estado da Guanabara, or simply as CADEG, began on June 26th and will continue through July 12th.
The festival features many bacalhau (salted cod), pasta, beef, and lamb dishes as well as a large selection of wines, cheeses and gourmet items offered at special prices by the market’s many restaurants and emporiums. During the festival, there are also cheese, beer, and wine tastings and there will be live music performances on both the 11th and 12th.
The restaurants of CADEG are well known for their bacalhau offerings, with the market now annually hosting a culinary festival dedicated soley to the fish.
During the ongoing Winter Festival, the restaurant O Bacalhau & Cia will offer two special bacalhau dishes: handmade lasagna with bacalhau filling and a bottle of wine for R$59 and a bacalhau pastel served with a special Portuguese olive oil for R$19.
Café Dellas is offering a handmade pasta dish of ravioli stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, topped with pears and white sauce served with a glass of Aurora Varietal Pinot Noir 2014 for R$32 and Barsa, one of the more popular establishments within the CADEG market, is offering a special chicken and rice dish topped with Portuguese chorizo for R$62.
La Parrilla Del Mercado is bringing the tastes of Uruguay to the festival this year, offering a grilled special featuring Angus roast, chicken, sausage, steak, and three side dishes served with two glasses of Puklavec & Friends Gomila red wine. The meal serves two and costs R$143.
To learn more about the Winter Festival and additional meals and wine specials see the CADEG website.
Mercado Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, CADEG, Rua Capitão Félix, 110, Benfica. Tel: (21) 3890-0202 / (21) 3526-5717.
Chef Mix Gourmet – In Barra da Tijuca, this year’s edition of the Chef Mix Gourmet began on July 2nd and will continue through the 5th. The gastronomy festival features a gathering of the city’s best food trucks and food bikes at Shopping Metropolitano from 12AM to 10PM on Saturday July 4th and from 1PM to 9PM on Sunday, July 5th.
Produced by Patŕicia Metre, the event’s goal is to present a refined gourmet touch to street food. The twenty festival participants include the Super Paleta food bike, which is offering specialty burgers; Beer 21 and their craft and imported beer selections; the Brownine Bike, which is offering gourmet brigadeiros; and Graviola which is offering specialty chicken, and chick peas and carrot sandwiches as well as eggplant and zucchini lasagna.
Chef Mix Gourmet, Shopping Metropolitano, Avenida Embaixador Abelardo Bueno, 1,300, Barra da Tijuca.
Festival de Caldos e Sopas do Boteco Carioquinha – In Lapa, the fifth edition of the Festival de Caldos e Sopas (Stews and Soups) began at the Boteco Carioquinha on June 24th and will continue through July 13th.
The festival includes fifteen, specially priced soups, stews and dishes, meant to keep customers warm during the chilliest days of the season. Festival selections include Caldo Verde, chicken soup, black beans and various seafood soups including the “Mulão of Orla,” a soup with shrimp, squid, and octopus mixed with tomato, basil, peppers, parsley and onion.
In honor of the city’s 450th anniversary this year, dishes are named after Rio landmarks, including “Ribs of Corcovado,” a soup with red beans, sausages, ribs, bay leaves, onions, garlic and parsley.
Boteco Carioquinha, Av. Gomes Freire, n 822, Lapa. Tel: 2252-3025.
Inverno Gastronômico Lagoon – In the Rio neighborhood of Lagoa, the Lagoon restaurant will host the Festival Inverno Gastronômico (Winter Gastronomy Festival). The event will begin on July 8th; continue through the 12th; then begin again on the 15th; and continue through the 19th of July.
The festival will feature mini-sized specialty dishes, desserts and drinks priced from R$12.50 to R$20 and ranging from white fish ceviche to rice and rissotto dishes to temaki to soups to organic ice creams and craft beers, among other offerings.
Addtionally during the festival, there will be daily lectures, tastings, workshops and musicians including Bondeson, Mulheres de Chico, Folkami, Pixin Bodega, Jimmy Santa Cruz, and Jazzafinado will perform the best of MPB, jazz, samba and chorró live daily beginning at 7PM on weekdays and 4PM on weekends.
Lagoon, Av. Borges de Medeiros 1424, Lagoa. Tel: 2529-5300. Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4PM to 9PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12AM to 9PM.