Shirley (Rua Gustavo Sampaio 610, Loja A, Leme, tel. 21/2542-1003, noon–1 a.m. daily, R$18–30) is a small and modest neighborhood haunt on a shady street in Leme. Since 1952, it has been serving up tasty and generous portions of Spanish seafood dishes such as paella and zarzuela. Try to avoid it during peak weekend hours—when the kitchen gets harried and, as a result, the food isn’t always up to par.
Also in Leme is one of the city’s best-kept Italian secrets. Refined and discreet D’Amici (Rua Antônio Vieira 18, Leme, tel. 21/2541-4477, noon–1 a.m. daily, R$55–70) is a favorite lunch spot for execs and politicians, not to mention socialites who swear by the robust portions and eclectic menu. Specialties run the gamut from simple classics (melt-in-your-mouth osso buco and lasagna Bolognese) to more sophisticated and daring dishes such as ostrich carpaccio and wild boar roasted with herbs in a wine sauce. The sommelier is one of Rio’s finest. Although it’s not listed on the menu, the petit gâteau de goiabada (guava jelly) served with a white cheese sorbet is pretty sublime.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition