Rio de Janeiro
Destination dining: Set in an old house from 1938 in Rio de Janeiro’s Botafogo neighbourhood, Oteque is the temple of Alberto Landgraf’s unique modern, seafood-based cuisine. With six large, round wooden tables looking onto a completely open kitchen and fish tank, guests can admire the chefs at work while observing their seafood not long before it is brought to the plate. Landgraf favours produce over technique, serving a minimalist cuisine that tastes sensational without appearing fussy.
Flavour from the sea: Drawing on his Japanese lineage, the Brazilian-born chef treats the ocean’s produce with the utmost respect, serving the freshest fish in preparations such as raw bluefin tuna with seaweed vinaigrette, pine nuts and caviar. His eight-course tasting menu also takes in seasonal bites such as oyster with palm heart and parsley oil, slipper lobster ravioli and a blackberry sorbet with strawberries, fermented pollen and beetroot.
Cerebral chef: When Landgraf closed his debut São Paulo restaurant Epice in 2016, he took two years off to reflect and research before deciding what he wanted from his next adventure. As a result, every little detail at Oteque is well-thought-out, from the playlist to the flow of air through the restaurant, inspired by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who says a fluid design brings a calm, peaceful atmosphere.
And to drink? Oteque has become a destination not just for Landgraf’s food but also for its award-winning wine list, with natural labels selected by sommelier Leonardo Silveira and his assistant, Laís Aoki. There’s also an excellent cocktail menu with refreshing classics like whisky sour and negroni, and there’s a stylish bar at one end of the restaurant to sit with a pre- or post-prandial tipple.