I first discovered Botero during the Comida di Buteco bar food competition and I was instantly won over. Located in a covered market space called Mercadinho São José, Botero has an informal atmosphere combined with seriously good food.
Many items on the menu may not sound hugely out of the ordinary (pastel, meatballs, feijoada, etc), but just try them! The pastel on the menu are not just “meat” or “cheese” – they are “pork rib with bordelaise sauce” or “Oxtail with watercress”. The last time I went we had meat balls made from pork belly and they were possibly the best meat balls I’ve ever had. But top of my list of favourites at Botero has to be the Stracotto – beef slow cooked in black beer with confit garlic and parmesan cheese. You can have stracotto in a sandwich or served with gnocchi. This is seriously good eating.
I should also quickly mention the drinks and the service, both of which I have found to be very good. Their caipirinhas have a delicious honey flavour that is worth trying.
Pros: Mouth watering food in a relaxed atmosphere; samba or other live music on Sundays.
Cons: Things can get quite busy on weekends – you may have to stand while you wait for a table.
Address: Travessa Euricles de Matos, 46 – Laranjeiras
Telephone: +55 (21) 3235-6314