The Santa Teresa Hotel in the neighbourhood of Santa Theresa, Rio De Janeiro, is supposed to be one of the new(ish) hip-and-happening, eco-chic spots in the city. It's restaurant, the Tereze, promotes itself as a sophisticated, yet casual venue.
I have now visited the restaurant twice - once last year during Carnival, and again last week, as part of a small group of business travelers.
On both sets of occasions, my dining experience was poor. I did not rate the restaurant on after my first visit, giving it the benefit of the doubt during the busy Carnival season. But the second time has confirmed my fears and has prompted this note.
Where to start? The basic necessities of any decent restaurant must be good food, attentive service and a pleasant ambiance. This restaurant lacks all of these.
As I mentioned, we were a business group of about 20 people, who pre-reserved the restaurant some months ago. Furthermore, we agreed on a fixed menu of a choice of two started, two mains and two deserts. Easy, right. We had also pre-picked one choice each of red and white wine. Still and sparkling water.
While we were have a pre-dinner drink on the deck, the waiters took everyone's preferences down, so as to get the kitchen ready. Sadly, two hours after having sat down, the starters had not arrived. It was only after going into the kitchen to chase them up, that the food arrived.
The waiters where in disarray. No topping up of wine and water glasses. No ability to bring small extras to the table, such as salt or more bread.
By midnight, before the desert had arrived, everyone was so exhausted that we trooped off.
The Hotel Santa Theresa is miles and miles from the Ipanema and Copacabana areas of the city, up winding, cobble-stoned roads. Like all trips, the going there is much more exciting than the getting back, both trips which take more than an hour each.
So, unfortunately, my advice to would be visitors is, don't bother. There are so many nice eateries in Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon, where I am quite sure you will be staying if you visit Rio.
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