Alfaia, in Copacabana, serves some of the most famous codfish (bacalhau) in Rio de Janeiro.
Opened in 1989, the restaurant is a favorite with locals; during the week, you'll dine in the company of Rio business people and on weekends, the restaurant is popular with families, many from other Brazil states.
The name of the restaurant, a Portuguese word of Arabic origin, means "home adornment" or "jewel". Pronounce it al-FYE-ah.
Codfish is the star of the rich Alfaia menu, which includes other great Portuguese specialties such as the cozido - a hearty stew - which is served every Tuesday (reservations recommended) or dishes made with sardines or paio, a Portuguese sausage.
Bacalhau à Patuscada justifies its delightful name (patuscada is a Portuguese term for a festive get-together). One of the most popular dishes at Alfaia, it consists of codfish in garlic served with broccoli, potatoes, boiled eggs and black olives.
Though codfish dishes are not very cheap (around $50), they generously serve two people.
Norway Codfish Club:
Though Alfaia is Portuguese to the core, the codfish on your plate comes from seas further up north. Alfaia is a member of the Norway Codfish Club.
Top-of-the-line conservation and rehydratation of the dried codfish are an important factor in Alfaia quality. Codfish stocks are renewed often, conserved in dry cold and rehydrated in icy water. According to the Norway Codfish Club, on average Alfaia serves 1 ton of codfish a month.
A visit to Rio de Janeiro is all the more complete when you sample Portuguese sweets, an important contribution of the city's many Portuguese immigrants to local culinary. At Alfaia, you'll find some classic Portuguese desserts, all of them very sweet and rich in egg yolks.
Toucinho do Céu ("Bacon from Heaven"), with notes that clearly evoke the Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula, is an almond cake moist with syrup. Pastel de Santa Clara, or cream-filled pastry puffs, and Ovos Moles de Aveiro ("Soft Eggs from Aveiro") are other desserts served at Alfaia.
Holy Week at Alfaia:
While some other restaurants have Holy Week codfish specials, Alfaia serves the regular menu - when you're already a codfish specialist, why change?
The restaurant in open through for lunch and dinner through Easter Sunday.
Happy Hour at Alfaia:
Check for specials for happy hour at Alfaia, such as discounts on the wine list.
Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - midnight, Sun 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Alfaia Address & Contact Information:
Rua Inhangá 30 - Store B
Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Phone: 55-21-2236-1222 and 55-21-2255-8882