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.
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open-flame grill and serving its diners with a luscious meaty mélange of multiple steak selections. The full dinner ($46.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, as diners welcome a continuous flow of flavorful proteins, including brazilian sausage, filet mignon, flank steak, and bacon-wrapped chicken breast. 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. Diners can also 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 cheese, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
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 Sinhá. Pereira prepares her homeland's cuisine at home, welcoming guests into her historic brick townhouse for intimate meals, morning to mid-afternoon. 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. Sinhá is a local favorite, and was even featured on ABC 7 Chicago News in a restaurant segment.
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 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Bustling with plates heaped with zesty comestibles and the musical trickle of wine, Al Primo Canto mimics the lively atmosphere of a Brazilian galeteria with family-style dishes and festive fire-toned lamps. Celebrating pairs and dual-pairs can compare bite marks in thick pieces of roasted eggplant, drizzled with tahini, lemon, and olive oil, before launching pieces of roasted mushroom and goat-cheese bruschetta at each other with a catapult. Side dishes including crispy-fried polenta, shimmying under a shower of grated parmesan cheese, dance around main dishes such as young chicken, marinated in white wine and slow-roasted gaucho-style, or leg of lamb marinated in 15 spices. A bottle of wine lubricates bicameral paper-or-plastic debates among pairs, and two bottles serve as twin juggling clubs for four sure-handed diners.
The lengua burritos, Jarritos, and red and green sauces that smother enchiladas aren't the only authentic south-of-the-border touches at Changarro Cocina. Its drink list also brings some traditional flavor. The granite bar area, part of the new owner's renovations, hosts more than 70 different tequilas and margaritas made fresh without any mixers. Patrons sip these beverages while nibbling ceviche, huaraches, and tortas and cheering on soccer matches, baseball games, and ice-fishing tournaments broadcast on TVs throughout the restaurant.
The grill gurus at Gino's Steak House plate dishes from a menu of American classics that includes succulent steaks and fresh seafood. Wake up groggy tongues with the roasted peppers, marinated in a 60-year-old recipe ($7), or the oysters rockefeller with spinach, bacon, and mascarpone ($11+). Ten juicy steak selections include the 20-ounce prime-cut porterhouse, cloaked in mushrooms and caramelized onions ($33), and the 9-ounce filet mignon, floating in a red sea of béarnaise ($28) and packed with enough protein to bully a vending machine into giving you its quarters. Those preferring surf to turf can hook a tooth on the Atlantic salmon in a boozy champagne-dill-cream sauce ($21) or the 16-ounce Australian coldwater lobster tail (market price).