In Porto Belo, Ilha de Pirão (Av. Governador Celso Ramos 2207, tel. 47/3369-4941, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Tues.–Sun., 7–11:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 11 a.m.–11:30 p.m. daily Dec.–Feb., R$25–40) is a relaxed and inviting little restaurant owned by a couple of agronomical engineers who began cooking as a hobby. The menu features dishes such as grilled octopus with vegetables and seafood with Spanish rice (portions feed two people). Start out with a caipirinha made from locally produced cachaça.
With a wide balcony overlooking Praia de Bombas, Camarão Peixe e Cia (Av. Leopoldo Zarling 1045, Praia de Bombas, tel. 47/3369-2999, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–midnight Fri.–Sat.; 11–midnight daily Dec.–Feb., R$20–35) specializes in regional fish and seafood dishes such as the aromatic caldeirada de frutos do mar, a seafood stew for two prepared in a clay casserole. Three can easily feast upon the sequência de camarão, an endless parade of shrimp cooked in various manners.
Cantina Lopes (Rua Vereador José Manoel dos Santos 800, Loja 101, tel. 47/3369-0341, noon–midnight daily, R$20–35) serves up tasty Italian fare. Aside from various homemade pastas, the chef has a predilection for seafood. The plat de résistance is the gran piato del mare: a banquet of delicacies both chilled (raw oysters, marinated squid, octopus, and shrimp) and hot (lobster, salmon, crab) that costs R$140 and feeds at least two people. If you have any room left order the abacaxi surpresa, a pineapple filled with neapolitan gelato and topped with a salad of “red” fruits.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition