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The polar opposite to Chez Burger’s pervasive white, the even newer Chez MIS is all about black, from the wall tiles to the full-length curtains. Even the chairs and tables are painted black. By day, the glass box of a restaurant, erected behind the MIS (Museu da Imagem e do Som), fills with natural light and lends a calming view out over the museum gardens. By night, many of the same trademark elements that punctuate its sibling restaurants are there, from the mirrors to the light bulbs, ropes and Chez Lorena’s wall of dripping candle wax.
That modern design aesthetic and the novelty of its location, have made Chez MIS an instant hit with a fashionable crowd. So much so that on our Saturday visit – which coincided with one of the museum’s sell-out sunset parties – hungry hipsters queued for up to an hour at lunchtime as well as after the party.
If you do end up waiting, kick things off with a cocktail by the bar. We tried a pisco sour (R$27), which was all pisco and not enough sour (or sweet). To nibble, we ordered fried, cheesy polenta sticks (R$20) and goat cheese and grape bruschetta (R$25), and both were sublime.
For mains, we tried the cheeseburger (R$34) – a well-proportioned, tasty hunk of ground beef, that was only let down by the lukewarm shoestring fries; a salad Niçoise, with a pleasing proportion of chunky bits (R$39); and the deliciously rich mozzarella-filled gnocchi (R$41), covered in a nutmeggy cream sauce and topped with crunchy bread crumbs.
Worth the wait? Definitely. Worth the cost? Probably not.