Sugar Loaf is hugely responsible for giving Rio de Janeiro its picture-perfect good looks, and while it means cramming into a gondola with some sweaty tourists, a visit to this national treasure goes without saying. 

To reach the summit, passengers take two cable cars. The first ascends to the shorter Morro de Açúcar, 220 meters high. As we stepped off the first cable car, we discovered something unexpected: a lovely little respite called Abençoado. It’s a new full service restaurant on Morro de Açúcar, co-owned by João Vergara and Leonardo Rangel. The proprietors figured if there were going to be tourist kiosks atop this natural beauty, they might as well offer some authentic Brazilian cuisine! And so we made a pit stop for some Brazilian fare and a caipirinha…or four.

Moqueca, below, is a traditional Brazilian stew with shrimp, badejo fish, rice, mandioca, manioc flour and azeite de dende (a Brazilian palm oil). George doesn’t like to exaggerate, but this could be the greatest dish of our life. Seriously, a contender for Last Meal.

Overlooking the Pão de Açúcar peak, João and Leo brought out one caipirinha after another after another. You could call them experts on the drink: Leo’s family founded Rio’s famous Academia da Cachaça restaurants, replete with over 2000 bottles of this popular Brazilian liquor (made from distilled sugarcane).

After much delicious food and drink, we bid João and Leonardo adieu and rose to the top of Sugar Loaf. After all, one can neither sightsee nor photograph well if one has not dined well first.




07 February 2011
Abençoado Bar & Restaurant
Av. Pasteur 520, Morro da Urca, Rio de Janeiro BR
Shirt Tales
The Journal Of Pugnacious George
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