Dining at Churrascaria Plataforma is a ritual. Each prix-fixe meal begins with a “first course” that requires restraint not to overdo, since it consists of a banquet-style buffet that features four different casseroles and countless delicacies. When diners are ready to move on, they flip a coaster-sized chip from its red side to its green side. This not only proves the other side isn’t made of sweet, sweet chocolate, it also signals the restaurant’s meat cutters to bring over the prime beef, which they carve tableside and pass out on skewers. During this main course period, servers also bring the fish of the day and slice off hunks of the whole roasted suckling pig that winds through the dining room on a cart each night. Finally, the dessert cart arrives bearing chocolate fudge truffles and coconut flan. This rodizio dining style, which originated in southern Brazil in the 19th Century, has a fitting accompaniment: bossa nova and samba music play throughout the meal.
Vintage bicycle-themed artwork and patches of exposed brick add a certain cozy charm to Zebú Grill’s dining room, where the chefs serve everything from housemade Brazilian sausage to flan. Tropical ingredients accent most of the food and drinks—shrimp braises in coconut milk, wild salmon wears a coat of açaí sauce, and caipirinha cocktails made from Leblon cachaça muddle fresh lime and sugar.
Two of the eatery’s signature dishes include a churrasco platter with steak, chicken, sausage, rice, and beans, and Brazil’s national dish, feijoada: a black-bean stew with sausage, pork, and beef. For less-meaty dishes, the chefs also hollow out acorn squash, carve a hungry face into its surface, and fill it with seasonal veggies.
Inside this cozy Brazilian café, a window looks out onto a laundry line of European football jerseys—each emblazoned with the name of Brazilian greats such as Kaka or Robinho. Above the bar, flat screen TVs belt out play-by-plays of European football matches. With this nod to Brazil’s national pastime, the team at BarBossa cultivates a convivial atmosphere—where one might pop in for a match and stay for a bowl of soup and pressed sandwich. For heartier appetites, there is house-made pasta and Feijoada—a traditional Brazilian black bean stew with collard greens, farofa, and rice. Bartenders keep the tradition going with caipirinhas, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça, sugar, and lime.