Review: Eleven Rio

18 July 2017

The next day, still ticked off at that ridiculously crappy evening at D.O.M., I was counting the hours to getting out of São Paulo. Don’t need this BS. Thank goodness my flight out was at CGH Airport instead, so the traffic was nowhere as stupid.

Got there and thank goodness not much drama on the short flight to Rio de Janeiro. But once again ripped off by the taxi cartel because they don’t allow Cabify to pick up there. Ugh…total rip-off… But it got me to my hotel in the Botafogo area and I checked in. Chilled out and ran a few errands, like getting a Metro card and buying water. The weather was turning quite awful…

I just relaxed the afternoon before heading to dinner down in Ipanema. I fought the rush-hour commute on the Metro, which was extremely unpleasant…and got down to a stormy Ipanema. Walked along the beach and it was…well, there was no girl from Ipanema walking around there that’s for sure.

I got to my dinner destination, Eleven Rio, at 7pm. They were not ready…seems they got the time mixed up and was opening at 7.30pm…but they quickly got their act together after some idiocy, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But after the service hell last night at D.O.M., it’s making me worried already…another Michelin (1*) mess here?

As I was enjoying my martini they said I can go to my table, so I did. Finished my drink there as I looked over the menu. Things started to move well now, so I was happy to go with a full tasting and wine pairing. Let’s hope this goes better than last night’s clusterf**k

Service is already moving better than last night, done with care and courtesy. A nice pink bubbly is poured and with some bread the snacks begin to appear.

01a-snacks

A nice selection of items focused on seafood, from the ceviche to the spring roll-like cone. A nice start. Then some jamon…

02-jamon_edited

Not bad, with some goat cheese and pumpkin jam. The server also mentioned that it’s the chef’s trademark to have a wee piece of tomato on each dish, and I appropriately finished each dish from this point on with that tomato. Then we started into the larger courses once a nice Argentinian pinot grigio was poured…

03-langostine_edited

Oh, this langostine was divine. Such beautiful flavours of quality ingredient. Compared to that horribly stringy thing at D.O.M. last night, this was perfection. Wow… The crayfish salad was also fantastic. An excellent dish to say the least, blew away last night already!

I breathed a sigh of relief sensing tonight was going to go well, from the solid service to the excellent food. I was starting to smile. I had worried that Rio was going to be worse than SP, but it’s not proving to be the case at all so far. Then the next dish was tuna.

04-tuna

In various preparations, but the seared pieces were excellent. Avocado was nice addition. Another good dish! Another good pour of a Portuguese alvarinho and we shifted to the next item.

05-seafood stew

This was another excellent dish, a seafood stew with another good prawn. But the base of the stew was foie gras! Fabulous aroma and flavour. The cabbage tho got stuck together, but another excellent dish!

I was really enjoying this dinner so far, and it’s helping me block out last night’s nightmare — which I will likely revisit when I see my credit card statement. But nevertheless, another white is poured and we moved into a fish dish.

06-mullet-squid_edited

A local red mullet, very tasty. The mushroom sauce was fabulous, and so was the baby squid on top. An excellent dish overall! I’m saying that quite a lot tonight! Then another floral white from Portugal is poured and I assume we’re still with seafoods — and that’s perfectly awesome as it’s been excellent tonight! They need to give D.O.M. a lesson in sourcing!

07-rock lobster

Next up was rock lobster, which was fabulous. Full of rich natural flavour that was extremely intense. Unfortunately the risotto was a bit mixed, parts were good but parts weren’t…a bit of a cooking blunder here. But still that rock lobster was just stunning…

Then a pour of a shiraz signals a change, and I chuckled to myself when this dish was presented and described…

08-chicken

Free-range chicken. Lovely taste here, but I couldn’t help myself but laugh as I had a flashback to the film Cidade de Deus (City of God) and the chasing of that poor “free-range” chicken in the favela… But it did taste good! Tonight is a masterclass of good cooking and good service that D.O.M. ought to learn, if they get off their high horse… A pour of a Portuguese red and we have the last savoury course.

09-filet mignon_edited

Filet mignon. Not my favourite cut, and was probably the weakest dish of the night, sadly. In any case, the seafood procession has been fantastic, one of the best series of seafood dishes I’ve had in ages. An excellent night. A quick pre-dessert puff and then a very cute item…

10a-tree

The dessert tree! I picked the fruit happily and enjoyed it. Then we had the next, main dessert item based on chocolate and beets.

11-chocolate beets_edited

Not bad, a good closing number — though I did remove that annoying edible gold to the side…

Then I had another drink and coffee and enjoyed some closing nibbles, and chatted with the server for a little, talking about Portugal and SP and things. Really nice evening overall. That opening mishap was quickly sorted, which is a sign of a good FoH. My complements to the management here.

Overall this was a rather excellent dinner, the procession of seafood dishes were spectacular. For one thing, I feel far more confident about Rio’s dining scene now, which puts me at more of a rest for the next few nights. I headed out into the stormy night very happy.

Eleven Rio
Avenida Vieira Souto 234, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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2 thoughts on “Review: Eleven Rio

  1. Pingback: Review: Olympe | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Review: El Baqueano | melhuang1972

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