March 25, 2011
Founded in 1958 by Domenico Magliano, an Italian from Turin, La Mole was at first an ice cream shop and pizza parlor on Rua Dias Ferreira, in Leblon. It pioneered by many years the culinary and shopping hub this charming street has become.
Gradually, La Mole became a favorite among families with a varied menu including dishes which are still best-sellers today, such as the Medalhão à Piamontesa, a cap of rump dish, and the four-cheese gnocchi. Later, Magliano's assistant, Francisco Rego (aka Chico), who bought the restaurant after his boss passed away, turned La Mole into a chain with branches in several Rio neighborhoods, such as Ipanema, Botafogo, Tijuca and Barra da Tijuca.
Popular among families for a meal that doesn't break the bank, La Mole has a rich couvert (initial appetizers, optional and not complimentary). New dishes are introduced regularly - some of the most recent are the sun-dried meat risotto and the apricot-filled queijo de coalho.
In 2011, the original restaurant reopened as a concept store, with a new menu which includes its famous couvert now available in a family version that serves six and exclusive dishes which serve two, such as Greek salad with cream cheese, pear ravioli, or salmon penne.
For travelers, La Mole branches in general come in handy when you're looking for a varied menu in the $35-for-two range and prix fixe lunch for $10, with options which vary for each weekday. There's also feijoada on Saturday ($21 per person).
La Mole Locations:
Find locations on the official website (www.lamole.com.br) under "Sobre o La Mole" and then "Endereços".
La Mole Barra (Av. Armando Lombardi 175 – Barra da Tijuca, phone 55-21-3460-0800, open daily 11 a.m. to midnight) is fully wheelchair-accessible.
La Mole Copacabana (Rua Dias da Rocha 31-B, phone: 55-21-3460-0800, open daily for lunch and dinner) and La Mole Ipanema (Rua Joana Angélica 159, phone 55-21-3460-0800) both offer dining in closed verandas.
La Mole Leblon (Rua Dias Ferreira 147-C,D, phone 55-21-3460-0800) has a veranda for outdoor dining.