Review by Pedro Landim
At 1.92 meters high, João Paulo Frankenfeld wore the Flamengo shirt, played with Oscar at Maracanãzinho and thought about making a living from basketball. He would change his mind when he visited a teammate’s aunt’s restaurant. He entered gastronomy college and from there left for France, graduating from the institute of legendary chef Paul Bocuse (1926-2018). He cooked in star houses from Paris to Burgundy and, upon returning to Rio, he was called by chef Roland Villard to audition at the Le Cordon Bleu school. He ended up becoming head chef at the institution, where he left full of ideas for an authorial project.
The exquisite dinners prepared for a few customers were the genesis of Casa 201, where creativity came together with technique in the hands of the great revelation of 2023. “Cooking is equal to sport. I continue using manual skills, in an environment of adrenaline, competition and training”, compares Frankenfeld, 39 years old. He now welcomes guests with the stoves visible in an elegant, low-light room, subject to reservation, for twenty people. The ten-course menu (R$ 590.00) is all made on site, from the beautiful charcuterie to cheeses, such as those prepared with yeast brought from Serra da Canastra.
There are also scallops in a sparkling wine sauce with boudin blanc (typical French sausage), macadamia nuts and fried capers, an unforgettable oxtail and marrow tortelli with shiitake, and lamb in a cabbage crust and onion puff pastry. In terms of desserts, the sorrel sorbet with lemon confit and coconut shavings is a surprise. Better feeling than a 3-pointer.
Prices checked in October 2023.