Rio de Janeiro takes a casual approach to fine dining - think casual chic dress codes, rather than jacket and tie, and Ipanema's best upscale restaurants are elegant without being stifling. But while even the best restaurants here lean towards the informal, the food and service are taken very seriously indeed.
Seafood fans, in particular, do well in Ipanema, with two top seafood restaurants - Fasano Al Mare and Satyricon - located in the neighborhood, while there's an endless supply of top quality meat at Rio institution Porcao (the name may mean 'big pig' but don't let that put you off!). There's truly fine dining to be enjoyed just a couple of minutes' walk away, at Le Pre-Catelan, an upscale French restaurant, while taking a stroll along the beach will uncover some surprisingly upscale dining options right on the beachfront, and the stunning backdrop makes any beachfront meal feel extra special. Ipanema is also the place to try a fine version of the national dish - feijoada - at a restaurant dedicated to this meaty beanfeast.
For small plates, the super-chic bar Baretto-Londra, at Hotel Fasano Rio, is the place to come to sip perfectly-mixed cocktails and nibble light finger foods while listening to DJs spin a rock and roll soundtrack to a crowd that regularly includes actors and models.