Bar Teto Solar
Telephone (21) 2244 0125
On the edge of Botafogo, close to the Rio Sul Mall and the tunnel to Copacabana lies the inviting, stylish bar-cum-restaurant Miam Miam. Its menu gives a Brazilian twist to the obvious French influences, and the cocktail menu is suitably extensive too, best perused slowly in the New York-ish interior - comfy, zebra print sofas, 1950s chrome and a host of unusual knick-knacks are dotted around inside.
To make navigating through Miam Miam's simple menu even easier, the dishes are helpfully divided into entrées from the sea and from land. Traditionally Brazilian seafood like cod and moqueca stew peacefully coexist with French homey ratatouille and herbes de provence on the side of the menu devoted to the sea. Nonetheless, the best bet is the shrimp with spaghetti shredded from pupunha (palm heart) (R$49.80) accompanied by roasted garlic coulis and a farofa made of breadcrumbs, pinenuts and herbs, a show-stopping study in textures: delicious al dente palm, addictive crunchy topping and smooth sauce. Ordering from the land calls for the cubed filet mignon with a mushroom sauce and fried potatoes (R$44.80), hearty and comforting but crafted with considerably more elegance than one might expect.
The extensive list of dessert veers toward a Brazilian-French fusion, the chocolate mousse (R$18.40) with mango ice cream taking centre stage with its gooey, bittersweet chocolate batter, along with the banana parfait with fried crêpes (R$17.90), a chilly treat that bursts with the flavour of the tropics.
Original dishes in stick-to-your-ribs sizes served in cozy, kitschy surroundings keep this place packed from Tuesday to Sunday, so booking ahead is highly recommended. Good service also helps make for a pleasingly different evening in the normally student-orientated Botafogo.