My week in Rio

Just came back from a wonderful week in Rio de Janeiro where I saw old friends, ate some of my favorite foods and attended a magnificent wedding.

I ate grilled fresh heart of palm and sipped lemonade with friends at one of my favorites: Via Sete, a perfectly located eatery in the heart of Ipanema, close to wonderful shopping and perfect for people watching.

I indulged in the delicious buffet of salads at Rascal, a shopping center restaurant that I love. The salad bar is beautifully presented as if prepared by an impeccable host. I could not resist and snapped a few pictures. Maybe I should send them to the Golden Corral…

Whenever I had a chance I ordered PICADINHO, a dish that speaks to my childhood and I am crazy for. Picadinho comes in many versions and each person imparts a special touch to the recipe. From the simple to the sophisticated version this counterpart of our Mac and Cheese is less fattening but equally comforting.  Even at the fancy wedding that I attended it was one of the star dishes of the buffet.

Years ago French Chef Claude Troisgros moved to Rio where he explored native ingredients and added sophisticated touches to our day to day dishes.  A movement was born and pride in our cuisine reached new heights.  You can now find typically Brazilian restaurants where familiar dishes have gained new life and refinement. One of them is Iraja where I had a very unusual but delicious version of picadinho.