Cidade das Artes
Telephone (21) 2431 1177
With Scandinavian-looking sideboards sporting Mediterranean olive oil bottles and a 1960s minature television to one side and the usual retro American-inspired wallpaper lining deep-red booths to the other, Pappa Jack is a restaurant of contrasts. Along with its smaller, more intimate sister café around the corner, the Jack's have the difficult task of luring hungry folk off Barra's booming Avenida das Américas and into the less-than-inviting Le Monde office complex, and as such have adopted an open-armed approach to their menu.
The lunchtime crowd is wooed by a sizeable buffet (R$39.80) which incorporates a host of salads and an unusual combination of hot dishes (beef ribs, chicken stew and poached fish feature), as well as build-your-own pastas and various pizza slices from the less 'gourmet' end of the broad selection housed on the menu. Throw in a devilishly rich chocolate mousse and the essential pudim (a Brazilian take on crème caramel) and if you have the time and the appetite it isn't hard to get your money's worth.
Pappa Jack's sells itself to the bold and beautiful of Barra in the evenings and at weekends with its broad pizza menu, however, and the promise of its famous Panne dela Toscana pepperoni-bread starter. The cheese purists might cock a snoop at the brie used in the Pepper Marmaletta, but smothered in spicy chilli jam, it is hard not to fall for its ample charms. The Grana Padano, on the other hand, uses the real Italian deal scattered in great chunks and slithers all over rocket and mozzarella for a lighter, sharper slice.