happy birthday niemeyer!

Famous Brazilian architect (and Sushi Samba’s favorite) Oscar Niemeyer turned 104 today! His modern, concrete-based works are known – and located – internationally (from the cities of Brazil to the Mondadori headquarters in Italy to the UN in NYC). Sushi Samba dromo in Miami is named after the Sambadromo (pictured above) in Rio de Janeiro.

We pulled the shot above ‘O Rio de Antigamente’ blog. They have some other awesome vintage photos of Brasil to check out…

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joão gilberto

 

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catedral metropolitana

 

Here are a few photos of the Catedral Metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro (Metropolitan Cathedral) where Gionia took us on our trip to Brazil this past summer. The church was built through the 1960s-1970s in honor of São Sebastião, the patron saint of Rio. Outside it reminded us of some sort of conical space craft… a ‘modern art’ style of cathedral. Inside, its massive stained glass windows bring a magical warmth and color to the space. It’s a must-see when you’re in Rio!

 

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térèze restaurant, rio

One night in Rio we climbed the winding roads of Santa Teresa to Térèze Restaurant (inside Santa Teresa Hotel, Relais & Chateaux)(Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 660). Thankfully, our guide and friend in Rio, Gionia Belmonte, was able to get us a reservation on short notice, despite the restaurant’s local – and international – popularity. (More on Gionia and Rio CVB later…amazing people!). Chef Damien Montecer (from Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse and Garcia & Rodriguez)  is known by many for his Franco-Brazilian style cooking.

Of the more stand-out dishes:

Pupunhas: slow cooked fresh palm heart with crunchy cured cheese and sugarcane dressing

Moquecca Risotta: grilled tiger prawns flamed with Magnificia cachaça, colored peppers in palm oil, ginger, coconut and coriander risotto

Rio-London-Paris: cooked dulce de leche roll, crumble, served with a peach sorbet

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run free

Graffiti in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro:

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burle marx

How fitting that today is Roberto Burle Marx’s birthday and we just had the chance to walk his famed Copacabana sidewalk? Read more about his awesome work here.

So great to learn something new every day! High five, Google.

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yemanjá (the restaurant)

On Saturday night in Salvador, we ate dinner at Yemanjá (Av. Octavio Mangabeira 4655, Jardim Armacao) for a traditional Bahaian taste.

Caju (Cashew Fruit), Passion Fruit and Kiwi Caipirinhas to wet the palate.

Casquinha de Siri – traditional Brazilian dish made with crab meat. We tried this dish a few times here in Salvador, Bahia (where the recipe is said to have originated) and noted that it’s always served in a crab shell-like porcelain dish.

Camarão ao Molho de Maracuja (shrimp with passion fruit sauce) served with rice and raisins. Heavy and sweet; another traditional favorite. (Rice and farofa in the background for the Moqueca)

Moqueca Mista made with Pescada Amarela (Brazilian yellow fish) served with white rice and a classic side of Pirão (essentially a fish ‘gravy’ made from fish broth and cassava flour).  The Moqueca broth was served bubbling and all of the ingredients were totally submerged with the exception of some floating red tomatoes. So far throughout our trip every Moqueca (and feijoada) we’ve tasted has been served in a beautiful, traditional ‘Panela do Barro’ (handmade clay pot). It’s a very rustic look and it perfectly suits these hearty dishes.

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yemanjá

In Salvador we ate at a well-known, traditional Brazilian restaurant called Yemanjá. But before I take you there – here’s a little bit on the goddess it’s named after (from our conversations with the locals and a some extra online research)…

Yemanjá is a famous goddess in Brazilian religions – both Candomblé and Umbanda. As the Goddess of the Ocean, she’s the patron deity of the fishermen. She’s honored across the country on different dates depending on location….

In Salvador, Bahia (where we visited early this week) – Yemanjá is celebrated with huge feasts every February 2nd and December 8th. On February 2nd – thousands of people awake in the morning to leave gifts of flowers, perfume, jewelry and make up at her shrine in Rio Vermelho (where we stayed). These offerings are then gathered and taken out to the sea by local fisherman. Throughout the day mediums, (maes and filhas de santa) chant and dance to call the spirit of Yemanjá.  At night, there’s a huge street party in her honor. The second tribute in Salvador, the Gift to Yemanja, occurs on December 8 in the Pedra Furada, Monte Serrat with similar festivities.

Back in Rio, Yemanja is honored on New Year’s Eve (Révellion, which we also celebrate at Sushi Samba) when millions of people dress in white and gather along the beach to toss white flowers to the sea in her honor and then watch the fireworks. Some people even send her gifts out to see in tiny wooden boats to pay their respect with the hope that she will fulfill their wishes in the coming year.

And, in Sao Paulo – she’s celebrated the first two weekends of December on the shores of Praia Grande. Since Sao Paulo City is land-locked, many people decorate their cars with her image and colors and drive miles to Praia Grande beach to cast their offerings out to sea.

Since we weren’t able to see it for ourselves – here’s a beautiful photo-documentary of it by artist Baden Powell – taken this year:

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