by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
June 20, 2004
Before you sweep past the dance floor and performance stage, you’ll have already passed a tremendous hodgepodge of objects hanging from the ceiling, bolted to the wall—everywhere you look, there’s something different. Glittering antique Venetian chandeliers near a dangling vintage bike. A fake dinosaur skeleton lounging in the mini-library. An antique Asian armoire and stacks of old suitcases. Victorian ceramics and plastic gnomes. All of that and more, just on the first of three levels. Oh, yeah—and everything is for sale.
Call for reservations about a day in advance to make sure you get a table near the stage. We had a great view of the dance floor as well from our vantage point to the right of the stage. We were fortunate enough to catch Nicolas Krassik Conjunto, an amazing seven-piece ensemble group led by an insanely good violinist, Nando Duarte, and the best accordion player I’ve ever heard. I caught the guy mixing in Dire Straits and Medeski, Martin, and Wood bits into his sound. The female vocalist had a gorgeous voice, too. They definitely didn’t have any trouble working up the locals to dance away for most of their set. We didn’t dance ourselves—honestly, we were just having a blast watching the cariocas do their thing. And I’m telling you, they had serious moves. We checked to see if the band had any music for sale, but alas, not yet.
You’ll be given a card/menu when you sit down, and the friendly server just marks it each time you order something. Everything was surprisingly cheap—I ordered raviole de ricota ($18R), and my trusty companion had the file de salmao with roquefort sufle ($19R). At this point, on the last night of our trip, cheese was the last thing I needed to be eating, but it was actually pretty light, and of course very good. We also had a bottle of wine (or two?) and a few beers, trying to keep up with the locals around us.
Admission is $15R on weekdays, $18R on weekends. The cab driver on the way back asked us if there were lots of tourists there, which was a somewhat puzzling question because we didn’t see many at all. Maybe it gets busy in high season with tourists; who knows? Either way, our night at the Scenarium was definitely one of the most memorable things we did in Rio. For more info, check out their website here.
From journal Thumbs Up Rio!