Dec 23, 2009

New Year's Eve in Floripa: A Small World's best addresses list!

Out today: exclusive website A Small World has a feature on Florianópolis, a.k.a. Floripa, with all the best addresses. A must-read for anyone going there for New Year's.

Here's the link to the full story.

And here are the places they recommend:

Il Campanário Villagio Resort Avenida dos Búzios, 1760, Jurerê Internacional
Phone: +55 48 3261 6000
Praia Mole Eco Village Rodovia Jornalista Manoel de Menezes, 2001, Praia Mole
Phone: +55 48 3239 7500
Majestic Palace Avenida Beira Mar Norte, 2746, Centro
Phone: +55 48 3231 8000
Floripa Inbound Rodovia Jornalista Manoel de Menezes, 2001
Phone: +55 48 9609 0000
Ostradamus Ribeirão da Ilha, 7640
Phone: +55 48 3337 5711
Bar do Arante Rua Abelardo Otacílio Gomes, 254
Phone: +55 48 3237-7022
Sabor da Costa
Boat leaves from Lagoa da Conceiçao at Cooperbarcos
Must inform that the destination is "Sabor da Costa"
Phone: +55 48 3335 3070 / +55 48 9973 7778
Cooperbarcos (Lagoa da Conceição to Costa da Lagoa)
Rua Senador Ivo D'Aquino, 145 - Lagoa da Conceição
Phone: +55 48 3232 8266
Thai Restaurant Estrada Geral da Joaquina, 555, Lagoa da Conceição
Phone: +55 48 3232 4181 / +55 48 8406 3991
Pizzaria Basilico Rua Laurindo Januário da Silveira, 647, Canto da Lagoa
Phone: +55 48 3232 1129
Restaurante Patagônia Rua Laurindo Januário da Silveira, 1233, Canto da Lagoa
Phone: +55 48 3232 5679 / +55 48 9983 8038
Fatto a Mano Avenida Afonso Delambert Neto, 103, Lagoa da Conceição
Phone +55 48 3232 3272
Sushi Roots
Phone: +55 48 3232 8458
Café Riso Rua Bocaiúva, 2090, Centro
Phone: +55 48 3223 8753
Bistro D'Campora Rodovia SC 401, 10300, Santo Antônio de Lisboa
Phone: +55 48 3235 1073
Il Caravaggio Av. Luiz Boiteux Piazza, 3180, Cachoeira do Bom Jesus
Phone +55 48 3284 8210
Pacha Rodovia Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho
Phone: +55 48 3282 2054
Phone: +55 48 3282 2533
Confraria das Artes Rua João Pacheco da Costa, 31, Lagoa da Conceição
Phone: +55 48 3232 2298
El Divino Lounge Avenida Beira Mar Norte, Centro
Phone: +55 48 2335 1266
Yaah! Temakeria Rua Bocaiúva, 2297, Centro
Phone: +55 48 3879 9693
Taiko Lounge Rua Madre Benvenuta, 687 (ground floor Iguatemi Shopping Mall)
Phone: +55 48 3029 1099
Vecchio Giorgio Avenida Afonso Delambert Neto, 103, Lagoa da Conceição
Phone: +55 48 3232 0600
Cafe de la Musique Avenida dos Merlins
Phone: +55 48 3282 1325
Reveillon Boutique and Carnaval Boutique Alameda Cesar Nascimento, 500, Jurere
Phone: +55 48 3222 4009

Dec 22, 2009

Lolitta, Pelu, etc: São Paulo's 10 top fashion designers

I was asked by IN, a super cool Chilean magazine, to choose São Paulo's top up-and-coming fashion designers. The story is out this month, in their annual shopping edition. They published a summarized version, so here is the full version:

Lolitta isn’t just her brand name, but also a perfect way to describe budding talent Lolita Hannud, who’s only 21. She began designing when she was a mere 13-year old. Hits are the Hervé Leger-inspired bandage dresses – a craze in Brazil – and knits reminiscent of Missoni.

Helena Bordon and Marcela Tranchesi are fashion royalty, the beautiful young daughters of Eliana Tranchesi and Donata Meirelles, the powerhouse duo behind the Daslu empire. After a childhood spent following their moms to the haute couture shows, the girls launched 284.  Like Britain’s phenom Top Shop, it’s fast fashion, with well-priced clothes changing often to reflect trends.
Av. Chedid Jafet, 131, 2nd floor, tel. (55-11 3841-4000)

The daughter of Tufi Duek, one of Brazil’s most respected fashion moguls and owner of the famed Forum boutiques, studied fashion in London and São Paulo. Her style was girly and fun, but has matured in synch with the opening her first boutique on posh Oscar Freire street.
Rua Oscar Freire, 736, tel. (55-11) 2359-5972, 

Pedro Lourenço
Pedro Lourenço’s mother and a father are both renowned fashion designers in Brazil (Glória Coelho and Reinaldo Lourenço). He was given the helm of his mother’s second brand Carlota Joakina at the tender age of twelve: the youngest designer ever to show at São Paulo’s fashion week! He’s launching his eponymous brand next February, in New York.

Bianca Ranucci
Taffeta, silk organza and other luxe fabrics are turned into elegant, fitted dresses and blouses that make a statement by Bianca Ranucci, whose latest collection is splashed with florals.
Rua Oscar Freire, 236, tel. (11)3083-7805

This little gem of a boutique started off as an outlet where it girl Helena Linhares could sell her carefully curated selection of pieces by up-and-coming brands. In 2006 she launched the shop’s own collections, designed by Cacá Garcia.
Alameda Lorena, 1257, casa 2, Jardins, tel. (55-11) 3891-1229

The queen of viscolycra. That’s quite a title for a designer who’s only been around since 2004, when she held her first , small runway show. Juliana Jabour’s cool and edgy fashions are now sold throughout Brazil and shown at Rio’s fashion week.

Lilly Sarti
Sisters Lilly and Renata Sarti only popped on the radar two years ago, but quickly became media darlings. At 25, Renata is the businesswoman of the duo, while 23-year-old Lilly designs the clothes. Their trendy fashions are very of-the-moment, and are sold at their new flagship in Jardins.
Rua Peixoto Gomide, 1749
Jardins, Tel.: 55 11 3063-1551

In São Paulo there are hundreds of great bikini stores. But since local girls spend every summer weekend lazying by the beach or pool, the demand for one-of-a-kind suits is high. Enter Amanda Senna and Elaine Koto: their exclusive swimwear –subdued and elegant, in somber tones - is sold at their showroom, by appointment.
Rua Joaquim Floriano, 111, sala 9, Tel. 55 11 3845-9789

Encouraged by their mother, who designs Daslu store’s namesake shoe collections, sisters Fernanda and Juliana Piva de Albuquerque launched their own footwear brand, Pollignano al Mare. The look is ladylike, featuring peep-toe pumps in luxe materials. Aunt Pati Piva set up a lovely café within the boutique, selling her famous jewel-like confections.
Rua Oscar Freire, 154, tel (55-11) 3062-5046

Click here to read the full story in IN magazine, including top fashion designers in Buenos Aires, Guayaquil, Lima, Quito and Santiago.

Dec 21, 2009

New Year's Eve in Brazil: still time to book a bungalow at Ponta dos Ganchos

Feeling good about your year-end finances? Want to go on a last-minute New Year's escapade to Brazil? Here are the 7-night and 4-night packages being offered at one of Brazil's top hotels, the small and ultra exclusive Ponta dos Ganchos, near Florianópolis:

7 nights, checking in December 27, out Jan 10:

R$ 20.860
Super Luxo
R$ 25.900
Super Luxo Duplo (3 pessoas)
R$ 33.460
Super Luxo Duplo (4 pessoas)
R$ 41.650
Bangalôs da Vila
R$ 33.600
Bangalô Especial da Vila
R$ 40.600
Bangalôs da Vila Esmeralda
R$ 44.800
Bangalô Especial da Vila
R$ 58.800

4 night-package, checking in Dec. 28, out Jan. 4

R$ 14.900
Super Luxo
R$ 18.500
Super Luxo Duplo (3 pessoas)
R$ 23.900
Super Luxo Duplo (4 pessoas)
R$ 29.750
Bangalôs da Vila
R$ 24.000
Bangalô Especial da Vila
R$ 29.000
Bangalôs da Vila Esmeralda
R$ 32.000
Bangalô Especial da Vila
R$ 42.000

Governador Celso Ramos – Santa Catarina - Brasil
Tel. +55 48 3953-7000 

Click here to read more about Ponta dos Ganchos, a Relais & Châteaux property.

JK Iguatemi mall set to open in 2010, Iguatemi mall has two new pop-ups


Set to open in October of 2010,
Shopping JK Iguatemi will be a giant in a city of giants. Three office towers, one luxury mall with 240 boutiques, etc. etc. - the numbers (of millions being spent on construction, of the square footage) are staggering.

We know São Paulo is huge and increasingly rich but are there enough shoppers for yet another temple of consumption? And super close to megastore Daslu, on top of it? Not sure...

In the meantime, the original Iguatemi, which for many years has been the poshest mall in town, is rolling out new stuff. November saw the opening of an 
Isabella Giobbi pop-up store, selling not only the designer's summer collection (think lots of silk and firefly prints) but also coffee table books and things for the home.


Another it-girl, the raven-haired beauty Helena Linhares, also opened a pop-up store at the Iguatemi, which will be up and running until January 31.  The fashions, designed by Cacá Garcia, are inspired by the Miami of the thirties and forties. Here's one of the articles on the opening, showing Cacá (at left) and Helena (at right) with songstress Marina Lima, Helena's vvgf (very very good friend).

Dec 17, 2009

Mario Testino's book on Rio: still time to order for X-mas!

I pretty much love any book by Taschen, but there's a new one out by them that is the perfect Xmas gift for anyone planning a trip to Brazil: Mario de Janeiro Testino.

Peruvian by birth, Testino has been fascinated by Rio de Janeiro since his earliest summer vacations. "When I was 14, on holiday, and going from my house to the beach and seeing everyone walk everywhere in their tiny bathing suits—the girls and boys were so sexy and carefree and wild—I just could not believe it."

Rio has been his muse ever since and he's used the city as backdrop for countless photo shoots (he is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair and several Vogues). 
MaRIO DE JANEIRO Testino, like the city itself, is sensual, colourful, naughty, life-loving.
Here are two photos featured in the book:

The book includes:
• Foreword by bossa nova legend Caetano Veloso
• Introduction by actress/TV personality Regina Casé
• Essay by supermodel Gisele Bündchen
• Softcover with plastic jacket—for beach reading—available in yellow, orange or red, inspired by Rio's sunsets

And click here to read about Taschen's other new book on Brazil: Bahia Style.

Dec 15, 2009

Santo André, Bahia, is Brazil's hottest New Year's destination



Santo André, Bahia: remember that name. The tiny village just North of Porto Seguro has been chosen by the well-heeled paulistas as their New Year's destination and they'll descend en masse right after Christmas, flying in from São Paulo as soon as family Xmas obligations are dealt with.

Who's to blame? DJ and party organizer Duty, who's throwing a mega-blaster New Year's Party to end all New Year's parties, dubbed Dolce Vita at a farm called Fazenda Amendoeiras.

Photos: courtesy of Brazilian blogger Olímpia Pacheco Calmon




Dec 14, 2009

New Year's parties in Trancoso, Bahia

Better safe than sorry: if you plan on being in Trancoso for New Year's Eve, I recommend that you buy tickets for some of the parties now, before they run out...

Here's what's on the schedule:

 Pré-réveillon at the Uxua Praia Bar. 

Pré-reveillón at CACAU restaurant
31/12 Taípe rave, a Trancoso tradition, and also dinner-dance New Year's Party at the Estrela d'água hotel

party at Pousada Aldeia do Sol on the Praia do Rio Verde.

You can buy a package which includes entry at all parties EXCEPT the ones on New Year's Eve, which all have an open bar, R$ 350 (girls) and R$ 500 (guys).

More info here.

Dec 11, 2009

Le Figaro's restaurant critic François Simon praises São Paulo restaurant scene


François Simon, the intimidating restaurant critic at France's Le Figaro, was in São Paulo a few months ago and fell in love with the city's vibrant restaurant scene.

Now he's released a video on You Tube, narrated in French, of course, where he praises very highly D.O.M., Fasano and Aizomê restaurants.

He also loved Mocotó, a whole-in-the-wall specializing in food from the Nordeste, except that he called it, mistakingly, Tordesilhas. OOOOOooops! Who every said renowned critics don't err?

Dec 8, 2009

New Year's Eve in Rio: Copacabana beach has biggest party on earth

Photo credit: Riotur

The réveillon (New Year's party) on Copacabana Beach is the biggest party on Earth, and here's why:

Every year on the 31st of December millions of cariocas, the natives of Rio, flock to Copacabana beach, all dressed in white, from all corners of the town and the country, to bid farewell to the year that is ending and toast the arrival of the new year. And yes, I said millions. Two million people, on average, gather on the sands, all in a peaceful party vibe.

Rich, poor, young, old, white, black.

Many bring elaborate offerings (miniature boats containing lit candles, food, drink, etc) to ship out to sea to Iemanjá, African Goddess of the Waters. Candles light the sand as the crowd waits for the big event: the fireworks display, the biggest of its kind in the world.

Riotur says "the World Records Academy gave the Fireworks Company the award the "Biggest Pyrotechnic Show on Barges in the World" during the New Year´s Eve in Rio de Janeiro which lighted the 4Km of the Copacabana Beach during 22 minutes."

The city puts on several outdoor concerts, all free of charge and very well organized. Cops are everywhere, to guarantee that tourists and revellers stay safe.

After midnight, Brazilians all walk down to the crashing surf and hop seven waves on their right foot, an ancient custom that is thought to bring good vibes and start off the new year on a high note.

Then they all dance the night away.

What's not to love?

New Year's Eve: why Rio is the place to be

I could go on an on about why I love Rio, but I'll leave it to my friend and travel guru Ricardo Freire, a.k.a. Riq, author of several travel books and blogs, to explain that oh-so-unexplainable allure that no other city in the world can beat. His text, below, is a beautiful love letter to Rio:

Blame it on Rio, by Ricardo Freire
A boardwalk takes you from Arpoador to Ipanema and Leblon

If you ever ask me why I travel, I’m probably going to answer “In order to see if I can find any place more enchanting than Rio”.

So far I haven’t. Other towns may be superior in one way or another, but get low grades in so many items – such as Bahianas’ wing, enthusiasm and headpieces [items judged in carnival parades] – that on average Rio wins by far.

If you insist on international standards of judgement, OK, here we go: Rio gets Oscars for scenery, art direction, casting, (lack of) costumes, screenplay and original soundtrack. Where else on this planet can you find perfect beaches, a great cultural scene, world-class gastronomy, ample shopping opportunities and an exotic people, everything packed in a single place, yours to enjoy anytime of the year?

Prainha, still pristine in the outskirsts of town

To begin with – and I love to say this, because I manage to infuriate at once both Paulistas and Cariocas – Rio is the best thing about São Paulo.

The very Ponte Aérea [the Air Shuttle between São Paulo and Rio, the first of its kind in the world, dating from the 60's] is a fabulous idea – an invention made in Brazil, mind you, product of the alliance between Capital and the desire to flee Labor. The entire flight is gorgeous. Provided the weather is good, you’ll get 30 uninterrupted minutes of coastline being drawn right under your nose: Ilhabela island, Ilha Grande bay, Marambaia cape. Landing is even prettier. The plane dives dangerously toward an airfield that lies beside a Lilliputian Manhattan-like skyline – but as soon as you find yourself out of the plane, the vision of Sugar Loaf mountain at the left corner of the frame eliminates any doubt and welcomes you to Rio de Janeiro.

Lisboa reinterpretada por Burle Marx
Sidewalk waves: From Lisbon to Copacabana

After being intensely fought over by three different women who tease you with the same provoking words (“Taxi, Sir? Taxi?), you get on an old Chevrolet cab and glide along the 1950’s lawns of Aterro – the old money of Flamengo beachfront buildings contemplating you from the right hand side, the Sugar Loaf getting closer and closer on your left hand side, and the complete works reminding you that this country has already had cooler aesthetic aspirations.

A little bit later you’ll cross the tunnel and get to Copacabana – the country’s lost ID, the broken mirror of our soul (I give up. No definition I may come up with will be sharper than “Purgatory of beauty and chaos” © Fausto Fawcett).

If Brazil decided to undertake an orthomolecular treatment and had to cut a single hair for sample, this hair (originally curled, then chemically turned straight) would be Copacabana.

We are all there: broke millionaires and emerging favela-dwellers, big land owners and homeless children, retired elders and office boys, upper middle class, lower middle class, fatter middle class, thinner middle class, people of every SPF and from a plethora of genders sharing an one-bedroom neighbourhood complete with six life-saving posts. Copacabana doesn’t live: Copacabana exposes herself. Being able to walk barefoot in Speedos by Nossa Senhora de Copacabana avenue at rush hour reveals more about our civilization than five years studying Social Sciences at the local U.

Cristo tá vendo
A tale of two postcards: the view from the foot of Christ the Redeemer statue

I love it but – no, thank you. I’d rather watch Copacabana from a safe distance – at Ipanema or Leblon. It’s prettier; you can go to Plataforma steakhouse invoking the late Jobim (when the truth is you’re going because of the after-beach air-con); and you can always answer “Pela Lagoa” (”By the way of the Lagoon”), no matter what the taxi driver asks.

Lagoa em quadro, nos fundos da Rocinha
The Lagoon, perfectly framed at Rocinha favela

Farther than that you may only go (and come back as soon as possible) to the Reserva or Prainha beaches; to Quinta, Bira’s or Tia Palmira’s restaurants; or exceptionally to a concert at Citibank Hall.

At Copacabana

In other words: skip Barra da Tijuca. So far Barra doesn’t regard out-of-towners as you and me. Living at Barra seems to be some sort of space program made available to the local taxpaying folks. Barra da Tijuca is Copacabana’s Moon.

(By the way: don’t be fooled by the assumption that in order to go the beach you must go to Barra. It’s true that Barra beaches are cleaner and less crowded than Ipanema or Copa. But if you want beaches that are cleaner and less crowded than Rio’s, then don’t come to Rio. The most interesting natural aspect of Rio beaches is the fauna. It’s not worth going though weekend traffic just for a quick taste of the mineral kingdom.)

What makes Rio an outstanding place to spend your vacation is the fact that here the tourist is never an intruder. The tourist is just taking part at local people’s vacations.

This is no criticism. In fact, everything done outdoors in Rio looks, smells, tastes and feels like vacation. Cariocas probably don’t realize, but jogging at the seabord by 6 AM is like going on vacation for half an hour everyday. Having a beer at a sidewalk bar after work (even if you did Japanese-long hours) is a piece of vacation. On a sunny Sunday, your city may stop dead – but Rio goes on vacation. It’s such a pleasure to spend your vacation in a place so well equipped for its own dwellers’ vacations.

But then again you’ll never understand any of this, if you live day and night under acquired paranoia syndrome.

At Leblon

I know, it’s stronger than you. You’ve read about it in the press. You saw in the movies. Friends have warned you time and again. But tell me something: if Rio were that dangerous, how come there are so many people in the streets all the time? How do you explain the groups of old ladies who go to the theater? Why do so many people still insist on going to the beach? The really dangerous cities are those that will keep you at home, three remotes in hand, for not offering anything fun to be done outside.

The truth is: no crime is bigger than forgetting that the the most interesting city is a 10 or 12-hour tops flight from any major city in the West.

But going to Rio doesn’t have anything to to with justice. It’s all about pleasure.

Feliz ano novo
Dress in white and live the most unique New Year’s Eve in the world

Go, go, go.

And please don’t shy away of doing all the touristy stuff. Go up the Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado; watch a Flamengo match; go on parade on a samba school – and realize that sometimes clichés can be justified. Follow the latest trend – it may fade in about 15 minutes, but it’s going to be fun. Revisit the classics. Have tea at Confeitaria Colombo, attend a show at Teatro Rival, stalk TV actors at Dias Ferreira restaurant row, have a pork sandwich at Cervantes, start a movement to include Bracarense’s black bean broth at the Unesco cultural treasures list.

And, whenever in doubt, answer “Pela Lagoa” (PAY-luh Lah-GO-uh) no matter what the taxi driver asks.

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Brazil's hottest New Year's Eve destinations

Photo: Ayrton Camargo, Riotur

1- Rio

2- Santo André, Bahia

3- Trancoso, Bahia

4- Boipeba, Bahia

5- Barra Grande, Bahia

6- Floripa

So, in short: when in doubt, go to Bahia for New Year's! :)

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Asia restaurant, in Santa Teresa, Rio: beautiful décor, exotic dishes

Crédito: divulgação

And now continues the renaissance of the bohemian Santa Teresa district in Rio, with the opening of yet another hip and pricey restaurant, called Asia, owned by a Brit and a man from Malaysia.

The place is quite beautiful, and the food is... you guessed it: Asian! We've heard and read mixed reviews: slow service, packaged fruit juices, etc., but good food.

Here are more details, from the press release:

A truly Asian taste experience, Asia restaurant is situated in the heart of Santa Teresa’s bohemian community, 10 minutes from downtown via the picturesque Bonde, the only surviving tram service in Rio. It’s also just 15 minutes from Copacabana, and 20 minutes from Ipanema.


Its beautiful heritage building has been transformed with stylish modern designer interiors, offering dining and drinking on four levels, overlooking the lush tropical terraced gardens that form a part of one of the largest urban forests in the world.The menu, prepared by a team of Gold Medal award-winning master chefs, offers the tastes and flavours of Asia, including specialities from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and India.


Asia also introduces Dim Sum to Rio for the first time, a selection of steamed, fried and baked delicacies, similar to Spanish tapas. As well as Dim Sum, there is a menu with wider Asian influences, including traditional Malaysian Satay, stir-fries, exotic curries, and mouth-watering desserts. For the uninitiated, sampler menus will enable guests to experience the full range of these exciting new taste sensations.Asia is also introducing an extensive selection of specially imported Chinese teas.


(...) The glass-walled kitchen level offers tables as well, allowing guests to see the chefs at work, with special Dim Sum and noodle-making demonstrations during service. "

Asia Restaurante E Bar: Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 256Santa Teresa, Tel: 55- 21 2224 2014


Dec 7, 2009

Punta del Este: Brazil's hottest New Year's Eve destination


Yeah, yeah, of COURSE we know Punta is in Uruguay. But it might as well be called Brazil South, especially at this time of the year. We're everywhere, throwing the best parties and increasing the hotness quotient. This blog will be reporting directly from Punta starting Dec. 30!

Dec 6, 2009

Boox, in Ipanema, is coolest supper club in Rio

Supper clubs are everywhere, and the reason why they keep proliferating is obvious: everyone loves to be able to go out to dinner and then be able to stay on at the same place for the post-dinner party. Call it a two-in-one deal.

From what I hear, Boox in Ipanema is Rio's answer to the supper club craze. Asian-fusion-impossible-to-describe food is totally beside the point: go for the beautiful décor and the party vibe. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that it's only a few blocks away from the hottest hotel in town, the Fasano.

Boox Lounge
Rua Barão da Torre, 368 - Ipanema
tel. 55 21 2522-3730

Fasano, Brazil's top hotel and restaurant brand, launches country hotel and condos


After years of braving huge traffic jams to get to their manses-by-the-beach, São Paulo natives decided that driving two hours from the city to their beach houses had become too great of a hassle. Many are flocking to the "campo". Hence the flurry of new ultra-luxurious developments in Sao Paulo's countryside.

The most high-profile of'em all, of course, is the one that bears the Fasano seal of quality. The Fazenda Boa Vista, so named because it is being built in what once an actual fazenda, or farm, is a gated community of weekend homes for the ultra rich, located in Porto Feliz, two hours west of São Paulo.

JHSF, the developers, even tennis pros Maria Sharapova and Gisela Dulko (da Argentina) to be the stars at the official launch, this weekend.

Lot owners must choose from a list of renowned architects who have been recruited for this project, so that the resulting look of the place is harmonious in its elegant modernity (Marcos Tomanik, Marcio Kogan, Erick Figueira de Mello, Thiago Bernardes and Paulo Jacobsen, Cândida Tabet, Antônio Scarpa, Sig Bergamin, Carolina Maluhy and Isis Chaulon).

Some houses will be built by the developers themselves, and will be called Villas Fasano. These will all be designed by Isay Weinfeld, Fasano's signature architect.

Why would any of this interest someone visitting Brazil? It wouldn't. Unless the person knows someone who's bought one of the fazenda's lots. Only their friends and acquaintances will be able to book a room at the first ever country-style Fasano, a small hotel to be run by the Fasano family with a mere 26 rooms.

The hotel, also designed by Isay Weinfeld, will have an adjoining Fasano restaurant, bien sûr, and also an outpost of the famed Baretto, São Paulo's chicest piano bar.

We'll keep you all posted on the progress.

Dec 3, 2009

Jewelry designer Camila Sarpi launches her Galáxia collection

In a veritable sea of jewelry designers - Brazil is awash in girls who claim to be the new H.Stern - it girl Camila Sarpi stands out. Her pieces are thought-out and completely unique (and it doesn't hurt that she is a stunner, single and fab).

This week Camila launched her latest collection, Galáxia. The name is pretty self-explanatory, but I especially love the kryptonite bangle, large and rough and gorgeous.

Here's where you can find Camila's jewelry:

And more:

Camila Sarpi on show at New York's MoMA

Camila Sarpi's official website

Camila Sarpi's new collection launch: photos on RG (Vogue group mag)

Nov 23, 2009

Alex Atala reclaims helm of Dava e Dito restaurant in São Paulo

The number one term searched by those who visit this blog is "Alex Atala", and I'm sure that's no coincidence. He is, in fact, the country's top food ambassador and in the past couple of years acquired the status of celeb-chef, showing up in mobile phone ads, multiple magazine covers and on the 50 Best Restaurants list.

So I feel I should give an update on his much talked-about second restaurant, Dalva e Dito. A while after a scathing review in Veja São Paulo, Alain Poletto, the French chef who'd been put in charge of the place, was pulled out (he says he left to pursue a new challenge, but don't they all say that?).

In Poletto's place, Atala very intelligently put... himself! :)

He understood that the public had turned against something they saw as a pricey exercise in branding, rather than a project that Atala actually had his heart in.

So now Atala's steering the ship, and he's thought up a new menu filled with real homey classics that every São Paulo native knows from family meals. Genius: the Brazilians go for comfort food, the gringos go to discover what real home-made Brazilian food tastes like. Hopefully, the execution in on par with what is expected of him.

I've decided to reproduce here the menu in its entirety, since I've gotten a few requests from readers. Voilà:

Dalva e Dito

Brazilian Food

Prix fixe lunch 47 Reais (or 72 reais on weekends and holidays with the dessert of the day)

Dalva e Dito salad: greens, tomato, fresh heart of palm, onion

Sides: white rice, brown beans, black beans, crisp potatoes, wilted kale, farofa

Enjoy a choice of:

Contrafilé steak,

Pork tenderloin

Roast chicken


Crispy Saint-pierre

To start...

Cuscuz paulista (traditional cornmeal terrine with tomatoes, peas and eggs)

With shrimp and salad

Salad of cavaquinha (Brazilian langoustine)

Slow-poached sous vide and served with heirloom cucumber, tomato, citrus and a bisque vinaigrette

Salad of fradinho beans and pulled beef tendon

The meat is slow-cooked until tender, served shredded and tossed with onion, green pepper, brown beans, parsley and green peas.

Fresh heart of palm salad

Cooked and raw wedges of rustic heart of palm, diced pienaple, marinated shrimp, herbs, cream and cinnamon.

Lambe-lambe clams

An homage to the classic seafood stew served at the beach restaurant Dalmo Bárbaro

Oysters from Santa Catarina state

Garnished with lime and salt

Cod brandade

With black beans and julienne of wilted kale

From land and air...

Red rice from Northeastern Brazil with skewer of coalho cheese and grilled vegetables

A rice dish typical of the arid countryside paired with the charred cheese that is the quintessential Northeastern beach snack

Pig in a can with potato mash and pequi

Confit of pork ribs slow-cooked in a can combined with the exotic flavour of the pequi, a fruit that grows in the plains of Central Brazil

Oxtail with and canjiquinha

A classic of Minas Gerais state, a hearty mix of slow-cooked oxtail, crunchy watercress and white corn porridge

Roast chicken with homestyle risotto

Roasted and soft chicken made by our Rotissol. Only it knows how to do that

Quail stuffed with dried bananas and cashews

A very Brazilian stuffing enhances the flavourful bird. On the side, a lighter and tropical take on the risotto: less creamy and made with the common agulhinha rice instead of arborio.

Skewer of picanha beef, Gaucho style, with farofa

The classic from Rio Grande do Sul state: 300 grams of prime steak grilled on the spit, served with the traditional farofa (toasted manioc flour)

Beef tenderloin with sautéed onions, topped with a fried egg, and white rice

A São Paulo classic, served at most family tables

Steak milanese with potato salad

Another classic: generous portion of crisp, breaded deep-fried meat and a cool salad as contrast

Rack of lamb with crispy potatoes

Lamb prepared gaucho style on the spit and served pink, with chimi curri sauce and potatoes.

Rack of goat with broccoli tossed in olive oil, and baked onion (for two)

From the water…

Pirarucu a la plancha with Brazil nut vinaigrette and ratatouille of vegetables from the Northeast

The largest fish species from our rivers, farmed sustainably, paired with diced and roasted manioc, maxixe, jiló, okra, sweet potato and jerimum squash

Surubim with jambu and lemongrass, white rice and manioc flour

Also farmed sustainably, guaranteeing even quality and flavor, the fish is served with jambu, a herb from the North which is unique in that it makes the tongue tingle

Salt-crusted catch of the day with crispy potatoes

Whatever is best at the market. Please allow a 35 minute preparation time.

Bahian moqueca with white rice and fish porridge

Badejo steaks in a traditional palm oil and coconut milk stew (for one, 45 reais)

(fresh chopped cilantro is optional)

Capixaba moqueca with white rice and fish porridge

Light, delicate and tasty. The moqueca typical of Espírito Santo state

Shrimp in the pumpkin

A Brazilian classic: shrimp in a thick and creamy Catupiry cheese sauce served in a pumpkin, with white rice on the side

Shrimp a la plancha with mandioquinha mousseline

Extra-large shrimp served sizzling and topped with chopped parsley and lime, with a silky purée of Brazil’s tastiest root vegetable

Dona Dalva cod

Top-notch Dias salted cod served in a casserole with stewed tomatoes, potatoes and onions and the best Portuguese olive oil

Octopus with manioc mash

Grilled tentacles served with chunky concassé of roasted manioc

In homage to the cookery of Brazilian grandmas, aunts and mothers...

Homestyle risotto

Not at all like the Italian version: baked casserole of rice, peas, tomatoes and carrots, au gratin

Manteiguinha beans from Pará state

The name of these beans translates to “little butter” – and for good reason...

Roasted Pupunha heart of palm

A great ingredient, baked whole, in the palm trunk

Mousseline of mandioquinha

A silky purée of Brazil’s tastiest root vegetable

Ratatouille of the Sertão

Diced and roasted exotic vegetables from the Northeast region - manioc, maxixe, jiló, okra, sweet potato and jerimum squash – finished with a drizzle of manteiga de garrafa, Brazil’s version of the Indian ghee butter

Crispy potatoes

Fried whole, rustic and delicious

Potato salad

Diced potatoes tossed with eggs, chopped onion and mayo


Toasted manioc flour

Broccoli tossed in olive oil and baked onion

Potato mash with pequi fruit

Classic mashed potatoes laced with the exotic scent of Brazil’s heartland

Manioc mash

Chunky concassé of roasted manioc

To sweeten life...

Selection of farmstead compotes

With fresh cheese

(As traditional as it gets)

Romeo and Juliet

The pairing of guava paste and Catupiry cheese got this name because it is a match made in heaven. To our version we add guava cream and guava sorbet.

Açaí with banana, guarana, spices, tapioca ice cream and granola

A dressed-up preparation of the Amazonian fruit, served unsweetened as is the custom in its place of origin.

Papaya cream with a drizzle of catuaba

Papaya whipped with vanilla ice cream and topped with drops of catuaba liqueur

Brazilian fruit sorbets

Exotic even to Brazilians, although they shouldn’t be...

Cashew fruit, graviola, and papaya with pitanga

Fruits of the moment

Chocolate and priprioca custard

Single-origin cocoa in a silky cream laced with the essence of an exotic root from Pará state

Crème caramel

Brazilian-style and in a generous serving, to overcome my childhood yearning

Ambrosia with passion fruit jam

A classic dessert made with milk, eggs and sugar. Souvenirs of my father

Flambéed strawberries

Served with cinnamon ice cream

Mango mousse, coconut ice cream, ginger syrup

The only sugar in this light dessert is the fruit’s own

Raviolis with banana and passion fruit stuffing, tangerine sorbet

Baba à la cachaça, golden egg custard

Dalva e Dito
Rua Padre João Manuel, 1115, Jardins, 3062-6282

And more Alex Atala on this blog:

And also, two videos I made at D.O.M.: