Well, I landed in Rio de Janeiro, first time there, and wasn’t totally sure where to go eat. I was hungry after a long commute but didn’t want to settle for just anything. Brazil has a number of traditional dishes, mainly focused on meat, cheese and bread items, with the addition of fresh fruits and juices. However, I was able to find a number of places that really changed my mind about that, and one of them was Zazá Bistrô Tropical in Ipanema.
Drawn in by the whimsical twinkle lights strewn about the dining patio, the blue painted restaurant caught my eye. I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. But whatever, the place looked cool, so, I checked out the menu and it seemed as lovely as the aesthetic.
To start, I ordered The Wallpaper (cachaca with passion fruit, sugar, vanilla bean and pepper). This drink was so amazing, I actually didn’t even care if the food was any good. There are different dimensions to this drink, making it really unique. You first get a sweetness from the passion fruit, which almost then turns into a sort of cotton candy flavor. Then, there’s a really nice heat that follows, which is especially nice since they really don’t use spicy ingredients in their cooking in Brazil.
Then, I had their Organic Salad Leaves (with stewed vegetables, gorgonzola, green apple and hazelnuts). This was such a delightful salad, it was fresh, had great textures and a nice, light citrusy flavor from the dressing. There’s just something magical about the combination of a tart apple, the bite of gorgonzola cheese, and the sweet nuttiness and crunch of hazelnuts.
Name: Zazá Bistrô Tropical
Location: Rua Joana Angelica, 40 Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the place is really charming and the food and drinks are awesome.
Would I recommend it? For sure. Also, if your Portuguese is, well, not awesome, they’re very English friendly here.