Part of the Senac restaurant school, Senac Bistrô (Rua Marques do Abrantes 99, Flamengo, tel. 21/3138-1540, www.senacbistro.com.br , noon–4 p.m. and 7 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun., R$30–40) is located in a splendid early-20th-century domed mansion constructed by a Czech tycoon. At very affordable prices, this model restaurant serves up (very) carefully prepared contemporary bistro fare with Brazilian accents—cashew-crusted stone bass with banana puree and raisin chutney is just one example. During the week, the executivo lunch menu features an entrée and main course for R$25.
Miam-Miam (Rua General Góes Monteiro 34, Botafogo, tel. 21/2244-0125, www.miammiam.com.br , 7:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Tues.–Fri., 8 p.m.–1:30 a.m. Sat., R$25–35) is a tiny but very cozy and romantic café/bar, owned and operated by Roberta Ciasca out of her grandmother’s early-20th-century house. A decade ago, 21-year-old Ciasca went backpacking through Europe and ended up at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. When she opened Miam-Miam in 2006, her creative comfort food—arugula rolls stuffed with roast beef and parmesan, and chicken pancakes with asparagus, mushrooms, Emmenthal, and tarragon—quickly seduced the city’s gourmets.