In the mood for some good contemporary/ Moroccan food in Ipanema? Head over to ZaZa Bistro, a great restaurant inside a local house which as been converted into a cozy restaurant and painted bright blue. There are little colored lights decorating the outside patio area so at night you will be able to spot it pretty easily. Ok, I will admit it, I am a complete sucker for christmas/twinkle lights and its part of the reason I had to try this place. The other part being that it is recommended in almost every guide book or magazine; and now I understand why. The restaurant itself is very cozy and intimate. The second floor of the ‘house’ has a very ‘Moroccan’ feel to it ie covered with pillows and rugs surrounding tables where you can take your shoes off and sit on the floor. The menu (available in English) offers a wide selection of exotic drinks with lots of martinis and sake options to choose from (Sorry, no wine here). Start with the couvert: homemade chips with wassabi and tomato dips (so good) and bite size mini quiches drizzled with balsamic (delicious) shown below. The menu is light and balanced with flavorful spices and curry options all made with healthy organic foods.
I started with the organic green salad drizzled with truffle honey which was superb and a pleasant surprise (hard to find good salads in Rio). For the main course we had Thai curry chicken with vegetables accompanied by batsami rice, which was light but packed with flavor and had a nice ‘kick’ to it. For the ladies, the bathroom is upstairs and the stairs are bit windy and narrow. As you steady yourself (from those delicious cocktails) ZaZa provides with you some light reading (below) to keep you alert as you make your way upstairs.
With dim lighting and lots of light and spicy sharable plates, Zaza is a perfect date spot and you will have plenty of energy to enjoy the rest of your night;)