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 for one ($42.99) 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.
Chefs preside over a meaty menu at Spoto's Steakjoint 2 and sear hunger with grilled fare and an exotic selection of wild game. Along with steaks hand-cut in the restaurant's own butcher shop, the grill also parades gruyére-smothered french-onion burgers ($11.90) with the Francophile grace of a rollerblading Julia Child. Boneless pork chops dress for flavorful victory in garlands of horseradish and mushroom sauce ($16.50). The seafood and poultry menu plates entrees as varied as swordfish steak swimming in a honey-ginger glaze ($19.90) and chicken orleans cloaked with a bourbon-walnut sauce ($17.90). With full meal service at the bar, patrons can paint mixed-media food masterpieces or steep themselves in the wine list before conquering the rotating wild-game menu. This carnivore's carousel of delights has introduced palates to market-priced cuts of antelope, kangaroo, rattlesnake, python, yak, and other curious comestibles.
Yuki Japanese Steakhouse satisfies wanderlustful taste buds with a tantalizing spread of authentic international fare in a family-friendly dining environment. Set sail toward appetizer island with the seaweed salad ($5) or head straight for dinner bay with the beef katsu, a breaded culet fried to a crunchy crisp and served with rice and vegetables ($17.95). Fresh sushi options include the Mexican roll, curled up with fried shrimp, smelt, avocado and mayo ($5.50), and the Rainbow roll, which cleverly combines the flavors of seven different types of fish with refracted ultraviolet light ($8.50). Harrowing hungers find a three-course solution with the filet mignon and scallops-teppan dinner, served with soup, salad, veggies, and rice ($21.95).
Living up to your dad's legacy can be tough when your dad was George Steinbrenner's go-to guy. Malio Iavarone often hosted "The Boss" during his tenure as the Yankees manager, serving him steaks at the original Malio's Steakhouse on South Dale Mabry. Today, Malio's son Derek works to produce similar hype at a new, swankier location in Rivergate Tower, where the one-word difference in the venue's name—"Prime" hints at the USDA Prime beef cooked within—belies the recipes’ faithful adherence to tradition.
Each steak, from the New York strip to the filet, receives a simple yet meticulously scattered dash of salt and pepper. Couples can even go all-out with a 40-oz. prime porterhouse for two, admittedly a more filling romantic dinner than catching and swallowing each other’s blown kisses. Aside from tender cuts of beef, the menu at Malio's boasts lamb and veal chops as well as lobster tails and Chilean sea bass cooked several ways, including blackened, Theresa-style, and pan-fried.
Like the patrons who like their steaks rare, Malio’s Prime Steakhouse seems enamored with the color red. Broad red columns stand between the windows overlooking the waterfront, and framed works by Joe Testa-Secca—Art Professor Emeritus at the University of Tampa—hang over the crimson semicircular booths. The reds from a list of more than 200 wines complete the motif.
Restaurateur Bob Spoto’s culinary clubhouse, open only for dinner, procures the warmth of Chicago's neighborhood joints with a menu of steak, seafood, and wine. Enter through an archway smattered with neon blue lights and share starters of calamari bruzzi ($9.90) ornamented with pepperoncini relish, sundried tomato aioli, and several layers of holiday lights. In the back kitchens, chefs cleave robust cuts of certified Angus beef porterhouse ($27.90) and baste it in a buttery robe of maitre d’ butter before tucking onto a king-size plate. Those averse to dunking their heads in gulf shores to catch a fresh meal may instead order from Spoto’s Grill 131’s seafood selections, choosing from regional favorites such as black Florida grouper picatta, ($21.90) or classic broiled lobster tails ($34.90 for twin tails/$23.90 for single tail). When finished, cozy up in a moody booth as the attentive wait staff fills flutes with Santa Margherita champagne ($35/bottle).