Restaurant Week is back for its biannual dose of discount dining, with around 200 restaurants taking part. We've picked out some highlights from amongst the ranks of less interesting chain restaurants. For the second time, chefs will create their menus around a theme – this edition will be 'flavours of Brazil' – in a bid, we suspect, to inject some creativity into the lacklustre offerings by some restaurateurs in recent editions.
Ones to look out for include the trendy Chez MIS and its brand new sister bar-cum-restaurant Chez Oscar. Our other favourites for their creativity in the kitchen and lively ambience are AK Vila, the buzzing Brado, Mexican-Thai-Brazilian fusion eatery Obá and the minimalist newcomer Mimo.
If you're planning a special evening out, make it the delightful French eatery Marcel, the contemporary Spanish spot Clos de Tapas, or late-night dining with fine wines at Bravin.
The best Brazilian bites can be found at Tordesilhas, Capim Santo or its lunch-only sibling Santinho. For Indian eats head to Tandoor, while for serious steak, make it either Corrientes 348 (the Higienópolis branch), Bela Vista's Templo da Carne Marcos Bassi or North Grill.
For Asian food, we recommend the fusion cuisine at Mercearia do Conde and Tiger, and the Japanese eats at Hideki and Sakagura A1. Hit up Killa and Chifa Wok for Peruvian pleasures.
Classic Italian eateries Vinheria Percussi and Vicolo Nostro, and the newer Mangiare, are in the line-up. Le French Bazar will be serving a reliably good steak tartare, while the French Felix Bistrot is a good choice for a long weekend lunch out of town with friends or family.
See the full list at restaurantweek.com.br. It’s worth noting that many of the best restaurants only take part at lunchtime, so if you’re looking to score brownie points on an evening date, check that the restaurant isn't lunch-only.
Big spenders who’ve got a Mastercard Black or Platinum can get a head start a week head (10-16 March), before Jo public gets their feet under the tables on 17 March 2014.