Brazil – Buzios
February 8, 2008
(January 31, February 1, 2) Except for the overheard sibilant sounds of Portuguese and the almost total absence of Americans, one would assume this was a town in the Caribbean. Green hills rise up near the sea, beaches abound, and in the streets, there is a carefree atmosphere. This particular visit the atmosphere is a little more than carefree, it is definitely party-like it is Carnaval weekend. The hotels are mostly called pousadas and range from ours, called Casas Brancas to the extremely modest. Restaurants abound with prices on par with London but lacking their quality.
Sebastian, our charming concierge, recommended a new restaurant called Casa Nativa, opened by a former colleague at Casas Brancas, Celina, and her partner. Its claim to fame is that all the pasta is house made.
Every night there is a choice of pasta with tomato sauce, pesto, shrimp or steak, as well as two ravioli specials. Gary had the ravioli with fig and provolone in a sage cream sauce while Varian chose the ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese, no doubt in the same sauce. Both were substantial enough that we couldn’t finish.
In town, we liked the looks of Cigalon, with its white tablecloths and terrace over the beach. We also liked the looks of the $32 three-course menu. It turned out that our instincts were good. There was actually an amuse bouche, albeit an unidentified and unidentifiable one.
Gary’s zucchini gratin was very tasty and Varian’s salad satisfied her need for some rabbit food quite well. Both our main courses, pepper steak and chicken, were served with pasta and could have fed two more people. The desserts were good but not worth describing.
Since we are not late night party-goers, we missed Carna val completely. In fact we may have seen some stragglers on their way home as we were getting up in the morning. What we did notice, however, was the efficiency with which the cleaning teams had the whole town ship-shape before lunch.