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Restaurant in Focus – Sali

I have been touring the restaurants of Rio De Janeiro for quite some time now and several spots have become favourites of mine, but last month I discovered a new gem and figured it would be a cardinal sin not to share it with the world.

Nestled in the heart of Dias Ferreira, a new culinary experience awaits discovery: Salí. Inspired by dishes from several places and the brainchild of Chef Ricardo Lapeyre alongside restaurateur Eduardo Preçado have curated a menu that marries Mediterranean influences with a Brazilian twist, promising a gastronomic journey that will blow you away. This is fusion food at the peak of its powers.

A Fusion of Flavors: From the Mediterranean to Brazil

At Salí, guests are treated to a tantalizing blend of Greek, Lebanese, Algerian, Italian, and Moroccan flavours, infused with Chef Lapeyre’s French culinary background and a commitment to utilizing locally sourced ingredients. Embracing the essence of the Mediterranean, the menu embraces traditional cooking techniques while fusing a combination of different flavours to make each dish unique. 

A Fresh Start

There a several wonderful options to choose from when it comes to selecting appetisers here, but I opted to start with the oysters. Now oysters have to be fresh, it’s the number one rule. On this front Sali did not disappoint, they were delightful. Adding a touch of lime juice, and a pinch of salt before indulging yourself by devouring these lovely little morsels brings out a taste that has sweetness to it. These oysters are must-haves for me now when I visit and have become a little bit of an obsession. 

The Main Event

For the main course, diners can savour house-made pasta dishes like spaghetti with mussels, Lambretta, vongole, and dieppoise sauce, alongside a selection of locally sourced fish from Rio’s shores. The ever-changing Carioca, grilled to perfection and served with tomato compote and pistachio pesto, offers a taste of the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

After looking at the menu it was hard to narrow down what I wanted as the selection was so appetising. The menu isn’t overwhelming, but everything included is a viable option for me as it all looks so delicious. 

After much deliberation, I selected the shrimp ravioli. I have to say it was exquisite. The ravioli is handcrafted in-house and has a light airy consistency but maintains its structure. Inside it’s packed to the brim with shredded shrimp and is complimented by a rich creamy sauce that elevates this dish to a whole new level. 

Unique Libations Await The Weary Traveller

Complementing the culinary offerings are Salí’s innovative drinks, including the tantalising Bloody Salí. I love a bloody mary and this is a magnificent take on the classic cocktail. A bold and flavorful concoction featuring vodka, Sicilian, tomato juice, squid ink, olives, and paprika salt, it’s a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional mixology, and also their dedication to using fresh ingredients in every part of the process when creating a culinary experience for their diners.

Sali is an absolute powerhouse, its location is perfect, the service is excellent and the food is top-class. This is one spot that can’t be passed on and I’d say it’s currently my favourite restaurant in Rio. A must for any foodie.