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Espirito Santa, Santa Teresa

264 Rua Almirante Alexandrino
Santa Teresa
Rio de Janeiro
Tel: 55 21 8154 9793's insider take:

Chef Natacha Fink has made this Santa Teresa's most popular restaurant with her creative take on cozinha amazônica, offering a seven-page menu as exotic to most Brazilians as it is to foreigners. Try the piranha soup; the tambaqui—a giant river fish that grows to an astonishing 66 pounds—in coconut milk and spices; or the equally zesty but lesser-known namorado or matrinchã fish. There's a scattering of meat-based Brazilian staples for the seafood-averse: Highly recommended is the feijoada de rolo (rice rolls filled with black beans and pork), spiced with a superhot chili sauce. Fink returns to the Amazon for desserts based on bacuri, a yellow fruit favored for its sweet, gummy pulp, and cupuaçu, which so resembles cacao that mothers feed it to their children as a chocolate substitute.

Open Mondays and Tuesdays noon to 6 pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays noon to midnight, and Sundays noon to 10 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.