Telephone (21) 2226 1064
With one eye firmly on the after work crowd, Ovelha Negra catches the early birds in search of the fizzy stuff after a hard day's work by opening its doors at 5.30pm and closing entirely at the weekends. Specials chalked up on boards behind the bar help create a fairly authentic French feel to the old converted building on the peaceful Rua Bambina just off one of Botafogo's busiest thoroughfares, São Clemente. The space inside is small and fills quickly, so it doesn't take long for the bubbly to kick in and the volume to soar.
Glasses of the no-frills champagne (from R$5.50), mean there is no need to splash out for the most expensive bottle (around R$215) if you don't feel so inclined, helping attract a few inquisitive students as well as the ladies and gents fresh from the office. Grab a bottle of the Gran Legado Champanoise (R$78) and casually drop in the fact that this was the first and only Brazilian bubbly to win a gold award at London's International Wine Challenge in 2011. The Santa Augusta rosé from the south of the country is also a good starting point, well teamed with one of the excellent Parma ham bruschetta (R$16) or trios of 'kebabs' (R$28), with chicken, bacon and onion, or cherry tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil among the options.