While it was overcast and at best 70…I still went to the beach to work on my tan and take pics…clouds be damned!I  When it was time to eat I went to Via Sete, which I had walked by the day before and as it turned out was highly recommended by my concierge (even gave me a free drink pass). I chose from their combo plate menu and went with their Mahi Mahi w chimichurri, red quinoa salad (loved this stuff) and fries. A passion fruit caipirinha along with a mango & passion fruit juice washed it all down.

I decided to try my luck and get into Zuka, Rio’s latest Fusion “hot spot” for Dinner. I stopped by while strolling around Leblon and flirted with the hostess while looking at the menu…she said she would do what she could to get me a seat. Kudos to Verushka who did just that which resulted in my best meal of the trip and up there with best meals ever. I started with a caprisakinha w/lychee to get my juices flowing…while perusing the menu I was offered a shot glass of veal soup and bread sticks…for only 15 Reales! I declined, but the Manager gave it to me gratis anyway. It was good…but either you give it for free or put it on the menu. This is a cultural thing…we expect free water, bread and sometimes an amuse bouche here in the states, but in Europe and South America…not quite the case and often they will put stuff on the table…say nothing…then on your bill $10 bucks for bread.

I started with Zuka’s ceviche of white fish and hot peppers which not only was great…but it was a mound of fish that might have weighed close to a pound.There was so much protein here I felt my pecs and lats growing. Luckily it came with tasty pita like crisps to scoop it all up (when I left I saw a table of 4 working their way through one). I ordered a Tangerine caipirinha (is this like my new favorite drink?!?) to go with my main course of heart of palm tagliatelle in a horseradish milk infusion sauce w/seared tuna w droplets of teriyaki balsamic sauce. This is why you go to a restaurant….to pay someone to combine ingredients you would never think of and turn out something outrageously delicious! While the desert menu sounded yummy…I was a bit too stuffed…

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