Telephone (21) 2529 2063
Metro Bus Baixo Leblon
The charming, self-declared café-bistrô Santa Satisfação nestles itself modestly amongst the other gastronomic offerings on the western edge of Leblon's high street Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva. Covering a smaller space than most of its neighbours, including the garish lights of late-night pizza mammoth Pizzeria Guanabara, it effortlessly conjures up delicious plates of good value food.
Pasta can err on the monotonous, but its presentation and finesse here is something to savour. Be warned of the plentiful portions though, a full-size portion is enough to share between two unless your stomach is feeling extra zealous, so the offer of half-sized dishes is welcome. The Spaghetti Alfredo, for example, consisted of a wonderfully moist chicken escalope with spaghetti in a white wine and mushroom sauce, arriving on a plate fit for a large pizza and blessed with a rich sauce and Calabresa pepper that provides the subtlest of kicks. Elsewhere on the menu are some enticing daily specials, appetisers including a soup of the day and carpaccio of salmon, a good selection of salads and hearty sandwiches (R$20-$23). Veggies and health nuts are well catered for with quinoa and wholewheat pasta, while the shrimp ceviche gets a pleasing chilli hit.
For lazy weekends, the selection of omelettes (R$23-$27, including the curious combination of banana and cheese) and set breakfasts are out to satisfy the brunch brigade, all served with a green salad and a good helping of Parmesan. All of which combines nicely with the rustic wooden décor for a homely feel a far cry from the usual Leblon hotspots. The original branch is still to be found in Copacabana, but it is easy to see why a second one was born. The slogan at Santa might be ‘sustainability, health and satisfaction’ but it’s the latter that seems most apt.