Botafogo newcomer that finally bucks the boteco trend
This venue closed on January 2013
If Rio’s newest buzz bar doiZ were in London, New York or São Paulo it would undoubtedly struggle amid numerous similar, probably more inventive bars. But this is Botafogo, and its arrival here - home to the student bar, the grotty but loveably lively hostelry – signals an interesting shift in trend in this part of the city.
A fanciful mix of the sumptuous (huge, squidgy bar stools more like motorbike seats) and the tacky (see glow in the dark staff t-shirts and metres of fluoro lighting), the mere addition of a decent soundtrack of bumping Chicago house instantly sets it out from the crowd – music in bars bizarrely still remains secondary to a good bit of telly in Rio.
Six types of gin vie for the attentions, from the noble Hendricks (R$27) to the staple Gordons (R$17), and the lovingly mixed Old Fashioned (R$22) is perfectly balanced sweetness among a host of enticing cocktails. Reassuringly the nu-rave bar staff look like they know exactly what they’re doing professionally if not sartorially, and even the now-ubiquitous caipisake de lichia (R$14) became a revelation. And yes that is a caipirinha with the booze switched for sake and the lime for lychee.
The peckish drinker can rejoice in the fact that the house fish and chips (R$26) is a lightly-battered wonder even served in requisite paper (oh, and a colander) as well as substantial enough to be a main course, and the lemon risotto (R$19) scored both for texture and lip-smacking flavour. Avoid the mixed penne with Tuscan sausage (R$21) simply because a decent banger, it seems, is still out of the question.
It is no coincidence that owner Fábio Batistella is a paulistano, and in bringing a slice of the big-city’s nightlife to Rio, the daily crowds pouring in, out and around (he also owns Meza just up the road) prove it is just what they’ve been waiting for.