The Portuguese word “chama” translates to “flame,” which certainly suits Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse’s penchant for spicing things up. The tantilizing aromas of grilled meat waft from the kitchen’s charcoal grills, settling above a dining room where gauchos carve meats off skewers or expertly lasso drink orders. The refreshingly pared-down menu is divided according to the different cuts of beef, pork, chicken, or lamb available.
Taking its name from the iconic South American cowboy, Gaucho's serves up satisfying meals of smoked meats in traditional Brazilian steakhouse style. Black-clad servers swiftly cart out all-you-can-eat feasts of top sirloin, lingui?a sausage, pork ribs, and alaskan snow crab to hungry patrons, who signal their desire for more food with green flags and high-pitched baby-bird squeaks. Each steakhouse meal begins with a selection of tropical pineapple or pepper salads that prepare palates for the hearty spread of lamb, battered perch, bacon-wrapped chicken, and saut?ed shrimp. In addition to smoking tender, juicy meats on sword-like skewers, chefs at Gaucho's whip up an ? la carte menu of delightful prime-rib burgers, Philly-steak sandwiches, and chicken-parmesan sandwiches. Smaller plates include cheese and olives, calamari, and champagne-poached scallops.
Diners listen to live music amid the blonde woods and black-leather furnishings of the main dining room, or sip from a selection of 25 different martinis in the steakhouse's Twisted Martini Lounge & Nightclub. Guests celebrate wedding feasts and birthday parties at the private skyline banquet room, surrounded by cityscape photomurals and equipped with a full-service bar and seating for more than 100 guests.
Not a lot of ideas dreamed up on a first date come to fruition. But for Daniela and Brad, their first date in a Sao Paulo pizzeria grew into more than just a romance. With every successive date, their wouldn't-it-be-nice dream of opening a Brazilian-style pizzeria grew too shape. Not too long after, they decided to use the recipes handed down from their Italian ancestors to create their pizzeria, Fogo 2 Go.
In their cozy store-front?taken up by a main counter and an enormous brick oven?they bake crispy, Italian pizzas paired with unique Brazilian influences. Their pies come layered with everything from classic Italian sausages to more unique brie margherita and shrimp scampi toppings. True to the idea's Brazilian roots, they also cook up treats such as coxinha?an empanada filled with seasoned chicken and mashed potatoes?as well as desserts such as flan and Nutella & Banana pizza.
Aside from the Brazilian-Italian comestibles, Fogo's crown jewel is the brick-fired, charbroiled whole, half, or quarter chicken. Thanks to the intensity of the oven's heat and the incantations of the bistro's house shaman, the chicken quick-cooks, leaving a bacon-crisp skin and sealing in juices. What they never decided in their dream was the type of beverages to serve, so the pair let customers make that choice themselves with their BYOB policy. Fogo 2 Go even satisfies late-night hungers by staying open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Brazilian-born chef Jorgina Pereira relies on ingredients such as cassava root, collards, and coconut to infuse stews and stir-fries with tropical flavors at Sinh?. Pereira prepares her homeland's cuisine at home, welcoming guests into her historic brick townhouse for intimate meals in the mid-afternoon and private events in the evenings. In addition to doling out tropical comestibles at its brick-and-mortar location, the staff takes a custom catering menu on the road with Brazilian musicians, dressing for events in a Carmen Miranda-like uniform of flowing dresses and fruit-filled head dresses. Sinh? is a local favorite, and was even featured on ABC 7 Chicago News in a restaurant segment.
Inspired by the traditional eateries of southern Brazil, Al Primo Canto serves rotisserie-roasted meats and eats in a warm, inviting setting. Opt for a family-style meal of multiple courses ($30 per person), or select from an à la carte menu. Preheat your appetite with a classic Brazilian palate-tickler such as caponatto de beringela, a dish of roasted eggplant with tahini paste ($6). Then, move to a main course of veggie-friendly pasta such as homemade gnocchi caprese with tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella ($13) or slow-roasted, mouth-watering meats made in Al Primo Canto's brick-lined charcoal rotisserie, a Brazilian import. Entrees from this alchemical producer of food-gold include the restaurant's signature galeto al primo canto, a young chicken marinated in white wine, fresh garlic, and sage, rotisserie-roasted over natural wood charcoal ($16). Silence any last hunger pangs with desserts such as the Romeo e Julieta, a tragically tasty warm guava cake with vanilla mascarpone sauce ($5).
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.