The Lumps Eat… Espírito Santa!

  • Website: espiritosanta.com.br
  • Location: R. Alm. Alexandrino 264,  Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
  • Good for: Dates, a view, chilled vibe, flashing your cash
  • Bad for: Your budget (we saw a couple leave after reading the menu and almost did the same), innovative cuisine

We’re fans of collective dining and (given the rather high prices) we opted to go for a few small plates to share rather than forking out for the mains. We had Coalho Cheese Poppers with Açaí Chutney, Trout Pastéis with Umbu Chutney, and Duck Spring Rolls.

The cheese poppers were quite nice, crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The açaí dip was a pleasant little accompaniment and was very reminiscent of cranberry. The poppers definitely should have been more cheesy though. Never skimp on the cheese. The only thing that has enough cheese is cheese.

The trout pastéis were okay, though there was little to differentiate the flavour of the trout from tinned tuna chunks. Wrapping it in pastry and deep frying it certainly helped. The Umbu chutney (whatever it is) was amazing. It definitely pulled this together and made something out of very little.

The duck I was most excited about. Alas, I was bitterly disappointed. As an aficionado of all things duck I can be exceptionally picky about it so I’ve learned to scale back my criticism. This time though there was simply nothing I could enjoy. The duck was stringy and only tasted like salt. It’s a sad day when the best part of a spring roll is the outside. Because it only tasted like salt this was Marta’s favourite.

Best part of the meal was either the beer – Grande Imperial – or seeing an Opossum in the bushes afterwards. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

  • Food: 2/5
  • Value for money: 1/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Atmosphere: 4/5

Save your cash. Hit up a hole-in-the-wall churrascaria place instead. They’re everywhere and most are better than this for about one fifth the cost.

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