Rua Conde de Irajá, 109 - Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22271-020, Brazil

Chef Pedro de Artagão went from fresh-faced promoter to celebrity chef at Irajá, where instead of trying to take things more haute, he gathered traditional—maybe even disdained—Brazilian ingredients and transformed them into something spectacular. The restaurant’s mansion setting requires guests to squeeze past the kitchen to the dining room, on a high-ceilinged loggia, framed by a vertical garden. Locals marvel at what Artagão does with once-lowly cassava, now stylishly presented as high-toned aipim (whole fried), farofa (fried meal), mash, or tapioca. Regulars and out-of-towners alike enjoy sampling ingredients from the Amazon, such as tucupi (manioc juice), jambu (a Brazilian guava), and tacacá (a spicy seafood, pepper, and jambu stew).

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