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Queueing up at Chico e Alaíde after a hard day on the beach you might be forgiven for thinking that this place has been part of the fabric of Leblon bar life forever. While it has been taken deep into the locals' hearts, this joint-project by best friends Alaíde Carneiro and Francisco das Chagas Gomes Filho, has in fact only graced this corner of the fancy Dias Ferreira street since 2009. The initial draw might be the lashings of ice-cold Brahma chopp being dished out by frantic waiters, but the real appeal here is the petiscos, or bar snacks. The maravilhosa de camarão (prawn marvel, roughly speaking) is as tiny as it is exquisite, but for those with heartier appetites the steak sandwiches are faultless, to the point where you might find it difficult to order just one. Chef Alaíde has created many signature dishes here such as the bolinho de aipim com camarão (manioc balls with prawns) which, once tasted, won't be forgotten - even after all that chopp. An alternative and equally excellent reason to head for Leblon's most famous restaurant street.
10 Jan 2012.