Mar 19, 2009
Incredibly enough, it’s hard to find reliable restaurant recommendations for Salvador on the web. There are listings galore, but... who to trust? Hard to say. So I was very glad when I received at home the latest edition of Joyce Pascowitch’s lifestyle magazine, which came with a cute little pocket guide of Salvador. Per-fect! At last, tips I could trust. Since the guide is not available online, I thought I’d share Joyce’s restaurant recommendations here… (And for those who don't know Joyce, she's the queen of Brazil`s online media: her Glamurama portal is one of the most accessed in the country.)
Chef Edinho Engel has long been known in Camburi, a beach/village near São Paulo where he opened his very famous Manacá restaurant. After many years of cooking at this sleepy beach Engel decided to try his hand at a city restaurant. Instant hit! J.P. Viaja says it’s hard to score a table on the leafy deck at the back during summer.
Av. Contorno, 660, Cidade Baixa, Tel. (55-71)3322-3520
J.P. Viaja says Saturdays are the best days at this steakhouse: that’s when feijoada is served and there’s live music (chorinho).
Avenida Antonio Carlos Magalhães, 3363, Pituba, tel. (71) 3270-3000
This old classic reopened in 2007 with a view of Baía de Todos os Santos. J.P. Viaja says redesign was done by celeb architect David Bastos, and chef is Caudê Durazzo, from São Paulo (a disciple of French chef Erick Jacquin). Expect French classics like steak béarnaise or au poivre.
Rua Gamboa de Cima, 11, Aflitos, Tel. (55-71) 3328-1566
This restaurant is right over the water, with vast wooden decks. J.P. Viaja says “with a menu by chef Carla Pernambuco, Lafayette is currently one of the most charming restaurants in Salvador. Location is first-rate, among the boats of the Bahia Marina”.
Avenida Contorno ,1010 - Bahia Marina, tel (55-71) 3321-0800
Marc le Dantec
Year in, year out this restaurant is voted best in town for contemporary food. Chef-owner Marc le Dantec is from Bretagne, France.
Avenida Oceânica, 3001 Térreo, Flat Pier Sul, Ondina, Tel. (55-71) 3331-3854
This place feels a bit like a French bistro, thanks to the dim lighting and framed photos of Paris. J.P. Viaja says the specialty is the soufflée, which now comes in two new flavours, foie gras and lobster. There are also sweet versions, for desssert: guava, chocolate, etc.
Avenida Contorno, 1010 Bahia Marina, Comércio, Tel. (55-71) 3321-4765
This Japanese is where the celebs like to go. Its charmingly located in an old townhouse in the more traditional neighbourhood of Graça, J.P. Viaja says.
Rua Flórida, 41, Graça, tel. (71) 3337-3732
This Japanese restaurant with Brazilian influences has been around for 10 years but continues to pack them in.
Avenida Lafayette Coutinho, 1010, Bahia Marina, tel. (55-71) 3322-4554
This is probably the most famous restaurant in Salvador, and for good reason. First of all, it’s beautiful and has great views. Secondly, it managed to stay at the top since it opened 10 years ago: no easy feat! The breezy room has been recently redone, and J.P. Viaja says “it gained splashes of navy and brown leather couches, which made it cozier”.
Avenida do Contorno, 2, Comércio, tel. (55-71) 3326-2211
Although it’s located within the private Yacht Clube (right on a pier, actually) it’s open to the public. Very old-fashioned cuisine.
Avenida Sete de Setembro, 3252, tel. (55-71) 2105-9131