Apr 15, 2009

Le Pré Catalan, in Rio: when hotel dining is done right

I'm always wary of hotel restaurants in Brazil - many tend to be souless and corporate-feeling, especially when they're in a big chain hotel.

Rio`s Le Pré Catalan is an exception to the rule. It's located in the mezanine of the Sofitel and serves some of the most refined and inventive food in Rio. Chef Roland Villard, a Frenchman, bien sur, serves high-end food that combines French technique and Brazilian ingredients. Examples? Rack of tambaqui, a huge Amazonian fish.

Some dishes don't seem the most appropriate for the tropics - like his rigatoni stuffed with shredded quail and foie gras, au gratin.

Le Pré Catalan's claim to fame is its dessert cart, also done à la française. Think crème brulée, mousses and fruit tartelettes. But the view, too, is hard to beat: the salon faces famed Copacabana beach.

Le Pré Catelan (Hotel Sofitel Rio)

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