Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Osteria Policarpo

Traditional Italian styles where the lighter summer options are outshone by the hearty classics

Osteria Policarpo

Main courses from R$ 33 to R$ 80

Open Tue-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-6pm

Largo dos Leões 35 , Botafogo

Nearby Stations
Metrô bus Cobal do Humaitá

Osteria Policarpo website

In an arguably somewhat defeatist approach, Osteria Policarpo was originally intended to open for just six months but has happily just racked up 19 years of life in Botafogo, even though Italian owner Luis still looks like he just landed from his motherland. Jetissoning the theatrical world they were once emerged in for the life of the restaurateur, his family have never looked back, and it is easy to see why.

In keeping with its low-key location, tucked away off Largo dos Leões in Humaitá, the tables are full of what appear to be laid-back regulars, comfortable wiin their surroundings and adding to a familial and Italian atmosphere underlined by the diploma on the wall; 'Member of the Italian community'.

The summer menu has helped create something of an original approach to much of the menu, with cold, light sauces using seasonal greats like lemon, olives, rocket and fresh tomato to the fullest and combining well with hot, fresh pasta underneath.

On which note, the home made Ravioli di Triote (R$42), filled with truffle and ricotta and served in a tomato and grappa sauce sounds better than it is in practice, beaten hands down by the Ravioli d’Angello (R$44) with its more pleasingly robust lamb filling. The Spaghetti a Portobello (R$36) is also a sight for eyes bigger than stomachs, the sliced, fresh mushrooms with leek cooked in beef broth making for a hearty combination.

For dessert, the Tiramisu is literally the home favourite, created by none other than the owner’s son in accordance with traditions of Italian sponge cake instead of champagne biscuits that give the dish a true Italian hit.

27 Jul 2012.

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors
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