Oct 6, 2009

Aquim restaurant, in Leblon: charming spot for lunch or dinner

The adorable Café Aquim, in Leblon, is a true family business, run by the Aquim family. The chef is Samantha Aquim, who studied at the École Lenôtre and spent some time working under überchef Joël Robuchon.

At first, the focus was on breakfast and tea, and the place served incredible pastries. With time, they've shifted direction. They stopped serving breakfast and put all the emphasis on lunch and dinner - a decision that has left some longtime regulars like food expert Constance Escobar puzzled and even a bit disappointed.

At night they serve, among other things, a plateau of assorted cold canapés: foie gras cone, crusted pineaple, tomato financier and haddock savarin.

At lunchtime, they offer a few options of prix fixe:

Fórmula 1 – R$ 37,00: Appetizer and main course

Fórmula 2 – R$ 37,00: Main course and dessert

Fórmula 3 – R$ 48,00: Appetizer, main course and dessert

Fórmula 4 – R$ 60,00: Appetizer, main course, dessert, glass of Terrazas wine, bottled water and Illy coffee

At night the menu is more ambitious. Appetizers include a shrimp bisque (24 reais) and fresh heart of palm roasted whole and paired with prosciutto chips. Mains include a lamb and black rice risotto and magret of duck with almond risotto and caramelized apple.

The elegant room is done in purple, chocolate brown and gold, and the furniture was designed by Fernando Jaeger. Antiques and pieces brought from the family's travels are sprinkled throughout. Beautiful bronze branches are used as room dividers, and a white onix table with gold-leafed legs is the centerpiece of the décor.

Café Aquim
- Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva 1240 – loja B – Leblon, tel. (21) 2512-4670

And more Rio dining on this blog:

  1. Roberta Sudbrack: the best chef in Rio?
  2. Terzetto Café: great breakfast spot in Ipanema
  3. The best restaurants in Rio according to the experts
  4. Bráz, Carlota... São Paulo restaurants open Rio outposts
  5. Where to eat bacalhau (cod): the best Portuguese restaurants
  6. Le Pré-Catalan at the Sofitel: when hotel dining is done right
  7. Bráz, São Paulo's best pizzeria, opens outpost in Barra da Tijuca
  8. Livraria da Travessa, in Barra da Tijuca, has an outpost of Copa Café serving great burgers

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