Petrópolis has become somewhat of a gourmet destination, but like the region’s best accommodations, many of the finest restaurants are located far from the city center, requiring a car to get to them.
In the center itself, Rink Marowil (Praça da Liberdade 27, tel. 24/2243-0743, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and 6–9 p.m. daily, R$15–25) has a nicely priced per kilo self-service buffet with a wide choice of dishes as well as an à la carte menu at night.
Occupying a lovely old house with vaulted ceilings, Massas Luigi (Praça da Liberdade 185, tel. 24/2244-4444, www.massasluigi.com.br, 11 a.m.–midnight daily, R$20–30) is a fine place to go for tasty homemade pasta and pizza. Try the cannelloni with carne seca (sun-dried beef) in a creamy Catupiry cheese sauce.
A great option for a light meal or a lavish high tea (complete with croissants and madeleines) in imperial surroundings is the Museu Imperial’s Bistro Petit Palais (Av. Imperatriz 220, tel. 24/2237-8000, noon–7 p.m. Tues.–Wed., noon–8 p.m. Thurs., noon–midnight Fri.–Sat., noon–7 p.m. Sun., R$15–25). Aside from main entrées, there are quiches, salads, and sandwiches.
Empada Brasil (Rua Dr. Nelson de Sá Earp 234, tel. 24/2237-7979) makes some of the most tasty empadas around. Fillings range from heart of palm to leek with crab meat.
If you want to venture out of town for an unforgettable meal in an unforgettable setting, one of the closest and most delicious options is the
Pousada da Alcobaça (Rua Agostinho Goulão 298, tel. 24/2221-1240, www.pousadadaalcobaca.com.br, 1:30–10 p.m. daily, R$45–55). Located in the bucolic region of Correas (11 kilometers/7 miles) from the center of Petrópolis), this beautiful pousada occupies an early-20th-century Norman country house surrounded by fragrant herb and vegetable gardens that supply the produce for the excellent breakfasts, lunches, and teas prepared by owner and chef Laura Góes. What Góes doesn’t grow or raise herself she purchases from neighbors who do. Specialties include trout in delicate sauces, roast veal and duck, and a highly reputed feijoada that is served on Saturdays. Reservations are a must.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition