It isn't often you have a meal in which every element is superb. Entering Cipriani you are genuinely greeted by the most charming hostess in Brazil (and, that is saying a lot.) The maitre'd Leonardo Capdeville is attentive, always there when needed, neither obtrusive nor obsequious just perfectly there. In fact, all the waiters and busboys know their jobs so well it makes the entire evening comfortable, relaxed and just a bit of perfect formality. Separating the restaurant from the cocktail lounge is a grand piano and Klinger Vieira at the keyboards. What a charmer he is making wonderful music. One of the two evenings we had dinner there friends of his, Fernanda and Fred, from Rio's opera company stopped by for some impromptu singing. It was one of those magic events you cannot plan. Dining late one evening and eating light, the tab was around US $90. per person. On another evening for a more complete dinner I spent over US $155. per person. A couple of menu items we tried and loved: Cipriani Green Tagliarini au Gratin with Ham (every bit as luscious as the one served in the flagship Venetian restaurant); Veal Rosette filled with black truffle and parmesan in foie gras sauce; Talharim Verde Apatinado (small green fettuccini, white cream finished under the broiler for a crispy top.
One evening began with an amuse bouche of foie gras crème Brule. Two of my favorites combined in a sinuous new way. How can you beat that? An elegant start to a flawless meal.
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