Brazil Brasileiro’s enthusiastic staff celebrates Brazil’s culinary and cultural heritage with feasts of sizzling meat and sumptuous spreads of fresh fare. Traditional rodizio meals pepper taste buds with seven different cuts of roasted pork, chicken, and beef straight off the skewer, including the namesake rodizio, Brazil’s signature cut of steak and form of currency. Tableside servers generously carve off unlimited slices of meat garnished with seasonings of zesty pineapple and spicy cinnamon. In addition to dishing out all-you-can-eat roasted meats, Brazil Brasileiro lays out a buffet that satisfies more diverse appetites for tropical fare with a wide array of traditional Brazilian edibles. Like Pele’s brief conquest of the United States, Brazil Brasileiro aims to import an authentic atmosphere of Brazilian joie de vivre onto American shores by broadcasting South American soccer games on flat-screen TVs. Additionally, live music reverberates across the cozy, hardwood walls, and Brazilian souvenirs beckon to shoppers from the restaurant’s gift shop.
Hints of French and Italian cuisine mingle with Texas culinary traditions at Dino’s Steak and Claw House, where chefs deconstruct classic surf and turf inside a vintage bank building. In the kitchen, they slice fresh garlic and heirloom tomatoes between trips to the grill, which sizzles with 8-ounce beef fillets and 20-ounce porterhouses. Lobster can be ordered with a crabmeat crust or a puffy jacket of ravioli and a pistachio-froth scarf. Meals unfold atop white linen tablecloths dotted with fresh floral arrangements, and chandeliers illuminate the dining room with a glow as warm and inviting as a welcome mat made of jalapeños. Work by local artists accents the entire scene, and grand-piano ticklings turn up the classiness to a glass-shattering 11. A black-marble bar adds an extra layer of luxury, which extends to a patio made for al fresco dining.
• For $55, you get dinner for two, including an appetizer, two salads, two entrees, one dessert, and two nonalcoholic drinks (up to a $120 value). • For $100, you get dinner for four, including two appetizers, four salads, four entrees, two desserts, and four nonalcoholic drinks (up to a $240 value). • For $145, you get dinner for six, including three appetizers, six salads, six entrees, three desserts, and six nonalcoholic drinks (up to a $360 value).
Though chef Daniel Nemec specialized in classic French cuisine at the Texas Culinary Academy, his heart lies in the smokehouse. As the leader of Woodfire Kirby’s kitchen, he draws from his experiences growing up in Corpus Christi, where steaks and barbecue pepper the culinary landscape and are considered legal tender.
Nemec imbues hickory flavor in ribs, chops, and sirloin burgers, but demonstrates the wood’s versatility with a menu that also includes wood-fired soups and thin-crust pizzas. New york strip steaks and blue-ribbon fillets are cooked to a choice of six temperatures, including classic medium rare and charred-yet-red pittsburgh. Available raw, grilled, or poached, seafood showcases spices that range from asian to argentine to creole.
A private room welcomes up to 48 visitors with a high-definition TV and four banquet menus, and the dining room attracts nighttime guests with handcrafted cocktails and a buzz as vibrant as a birthday party inside a hornet nest.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
At Vila Brazil, summoning tender, hand-cut steaks is as easy as flipping over a card at your table. That action alerts the servers, who then present and slice several types of meat on towering skewers. Beef, chicken, pork, and lamb all make an appearance at dinnertime after a stint on the open grill where they are typically seasoned with just a sprinkling of sea salt to enhance their natural flavors. A few exceptions––the restaurant's signature picanha, a flavorful cut of the sirloin, may be enhanced with garlic, while pork loin arrives covered in melted parmesan cheese.
To counterbalance the meaty main courses, guests can peruse the salad bar, where 25 Brazilian sides await tasting. To add a sweet touch to the meal, servers also bring skewered whole pineapples tableside, where they slice off syrupy slivers to reveal the juicy ham inside.