2008 Paraty, Brasil Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM

Exchange Rate R$1.66 = US $1


1. Our Favorites

1.1 Banana da Terra, Rua Dr. Samuel Costa 198, tel 3371-1725. We spent R$202, including the automatically added 10% tip. The room is nice and the service was quite good. The tables are big enough but the chairs are wooden and hard. Rating: 7.5/10

We shared everything. We chose to have the couvert (R$18) which was herbed bread and 4 small dishes: marinated eggplant, marinated tomatoes, a mousse of tuna, marinated mussels and a tasty butter with lemon and honey. We ordered a Tapiz Viogner from Mendoza R$47 and liked it, For our starter we had delicious scallops (vieras ao creme de limao) for R$21. For our main we had the signature dish of fish in a ceramic pot and it was excellent (posta de peixe cozida com banana na panela de barro/fish slice cooked with banana in ceramic pot, served with manioc flour sauce) for R$58. For dessert with had a ginger ice cream with pineapple which was very good.

1.2 Sabor do mar, Rua Domingos Goncalves de Abreu s/n, Centro Historico, Paraty, fon: (24) 3371-1872, web: www.eco-paraty.com/sabordomar This was a pleasant fish market and restaurant. We chose the fish we wanted (it was weighed and priced at the market), told them how we wanted it prepared and sat down to a fine meal. We spent R$117, including the automatically added tip of 10%. Rating: 7.5/10

We ordered a Trapiche (R$39), agua x 2 = R$4, cesta de pao/bread (R$3), legumes na manteca/very good vegetables in butter (R$18.90), arroz acafrao/saffran rice ($11.90), and .490 gr of fish perfectly grilled for R$30.38.

1.3 Porto, Rua do Comércio 15, Centro Historio, Paraty (atrás da Igreja Matriz), fon (55-24) 337i1-1058, e-mail: cibele@paratyweb.com.br, web: www.eco-paraty.com The total was R$140 and included a tip (acrescimo) of 10% and a "couver artistico" for the music, we guessed. The live music was wonderful--a piano and a bass player. The rooms are beautiful, with candlelight and art. Unfortunately, the food is not equal to the ambiance. Rating: 7/10

We shared one of everything: 1 couvert (R$9.90) of patê beringela/eggplant, manteigo/butter, alho confit/roasted garlic e caldo feijao/a shot of black bean soup (that needed some of the roasted garlic and some of the chive garnish to be tasty enough). Then we shared a consume de caldo de camarao, a very good shrimp soup (R$19.80) and a file de vermelho grelhadao limao, acompanha tomate ao manjeriao (R$27.90). The fish itself was tasty but not a great concoction. We had a Brasilian Vale de Vinhedos Rio Grande Chardonnay R$45.50 that was good. For dessert we had "sorvette do Porto", a caramelized ginger with ice cream; we could eat the ice cream but the ginger was too strong. The bass player was José Andreas and he was very good. He was also the artist of many (if not all) of the lovely paintings on the walls of Paraty. His address is: Atelier José Andreas, Rua Comendador José Luiz 40, Centro Historico, tel (24) 9832-2125, e-mail: ocarterio2007@yahoo.com.br and web: www.aquarelas.red-design.com.br

2. Good Restaurants

2.1 Ardentia at Trindade Beach. This outdoor beach restaurant had everything we wanted for lunch. Fresh oysters and a (frozen) squid salad in a nice vinaigrette. We spent R$46 (a little expensive but the location was exquisite). Rating: 7/10

The oysters (12 for R$10) were small and delicious. The squid/polvo salad was tasty but the squid was a little squishy. We also had a good juice.

2.2 Bartholomeo, R. Dr. Samuel Costa 176, Centro Histórico, Paraty tel: (24) 3371-5032 This was a nice restaurant and we R$132, including the 10% tip that was added. Rating: 6.5/10.

We shared everything and had a Finca Los Lirios Malbec & Sangiovese '06 from Mendoza (R$68) that we liked, a soup with carrot, ginger and orange that was very tasty (R$16), the Robalo no sal grosso which was also quite good (sea bass filet baked with salt and served with palmito "pupunha", potatoes, herbs sauce and garlic) for R$42. We also had 2 waters. There wasn't anything on the menu that we wanted for dessert.

2.3 La Castellet, Rua Dona Geralda 44 (em frente ao Teatro Espaco), tel (24) 3371-7461. E-mail: eco-paraty.com/lecastellet and web: www.paraty.com.br/lecastellet We had a crepe grande marnier and it was good.

3. Restaurants We Wouldn’t Recommend

3.1 Refugio Restaurante, Parca de Purto Loja 4 (Praca Bandieras), tel (24) 3371-244i7, e-mail refugio@paratyweb.com.br, web: www.eco-paraty.com/refugio This restaurant is recommended by everyone and it was very disappointing. The room is nice, with candles but the menu is uninteresting. We almost left because we couldn’t find things we wanted to order. We stayed and shared everything. We spent R$143.46, including the 10% tip. Rating: 5/10.

We ordered a Norton Malbec (R$56.80), an aliche/a starter of anchovy paste on toast (R$18) was uninspired, a good filet steak au poive (cooked the way we asked) which came with a tortilla-type thing of shreaded potato with green pepper and a side dish of rice (R$56.80) and one water (R$3). There was no dessert we wanted.