RIO DE JANEIRO
Continued (page 2 of 5)
ZAZÁ BISTRÔ TROPICAL
Rua Joana Angelica, 40
The top floor at this hip, postbeach restaurant with multinational grazing menus is supersexy, with its mountains of pillows, candlelight, and no-shoe rule. Ordercaipirinhas de saque; made with sake instead of cachaça; to wash down your ceviche and dim sum.
Rua Dias Ferreira
This street is gastronome-central, so if you don't like the look of this rival to Sushi Leblon (long the hot spot) or if the DJ's turned up the volume too far, just wander on down the block.
Rua Custódio Serrão, 62
Red banquettes, white slatted blinds, and wood floors are all part of the modern backdrop for the most celebrated chef in town, Claud Troisgros. Come here to woo each other with food: beef carpaccio with white truffle oil and quail's egg; grouper with caramelized bananas.
LE SAINT HONORÉ
Hotel Le Meridien
Av. Atlântica, 1020
For its views alone—sweeping across Copacabana Beach from the 37th floor—the Le Meridien restaurant would make a grand night out, but there's more: The place was recently redecorated and reinvented with menus by genius French chef Paul Bocuse.
Rua Aprazível 62
Tel: 55-21-2507-7334 or 2508-9174
Boho, cobblestoned Santa Teresa is an essential stop (get there bybondinho—the tram). Have lunch at this adorably homey (it actually was someone's home) traditional Brazilian place. Try to get a table on the mango-tree-shaded terrace for a heart-stopping view of the city spread below.
Rua Barão da Torre
With walls half-crimson, half-glass, and multihued mid-century armchairs, the surroundings are as au courant as the menus—by foodie-beloved Bolivian chef Checho Gonzalez. He makes tropical-Carioca food like ginger-coconut salt-cod fritters. You'll eat surrounded by the great and the good.
LOCANDA DELLA MIMOSA
Alameda das Mimosas, 30
Vale Florido Petrópolis
Drive about an hour to this ultraromantic deluxe rural retreat centered around a chic restaurant with brass sconces, gilded mirrors, and trendy seasonal menus. Everything served is handmade by the Italian expat owner/chef. Since the wine cellar is spectacular, you might even consider staying overnight in one of the six gorgeous suites.