Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Just as the surrounding Theater District transports audiences to faraway places, Brazil Grill's dining room immerses guests in the rich culinary traditions of Brazil. Though it boasts a substantial selection of entrees, the eatery's specialty is radizio, a traditional Brazilian dining style where passadores, or meat servers, present diners with an endless rotation of skewered morsels. Patrons can nosh to their hearts' content on beef, pork, lamb, duck, and the other meats that continually appear tableside during the course of the night. To complement the authentic dishes, servers can also recommend options from the restaurant's selection of wines culled from Chile, Italy, and New Zealand. Most nights, guests eat as they absorb the sounds of live Brazilian music, the play-by-play of Brazilian League soccer matches, or napkins practicing their Portuguese accents.
Brazil Brazil Restaurant spirits diners away from the helter-skelter streets of New York City into a space rife with french doors, exposed brick, and blond hardwood. Its back patio—a white-trellised three-seasons room and kind of solarium—surrounds guests with lush flora and wrought-iron furniture that exudes the feeling of the tropics, with the scents of grilling seafood wafting over the secluded tables.
This spot is one of the best places to relax in the city, with the New York Times even lauding the patio as a “romantic retreat” and “an ideal place to escape the city’s rapid pace.” Chefs plate flavorful Brazilian dishes such as wine-marinated shrimp or pan-seared red snapper in mango sauce with sides of yucca and fried bananas. Late in the evenings, a Brazilian band starts serenading guests lounging in the bar’s cushy sofa chairs, creating a festive atmosphere. Located next to a host of Broadway theaters, the bistro is a great pre-show spot for on-the-go eaters.
With its crisp white tablecloths, glimmering chandeliers, and elegant banquets, the American Dream Steakhouse exemplifies the classic American steak house. A soaring photograph of Lady Liberty watches over the dining room, where nimble servers balance trays of fine steaks, juicy burgers, and sizzling chilean sea bass. Diners clink wineglasses over slices of new york cheesecake drenched in fresh berries and clouds of whipped cream.
Combining the white-tablecloth elegance of fine dining with the camaraderie of a casual pub, Jake's Steakhouse pleases both formal and informal guests with its wide selection of tasty steaks and frosty brews. Dinner-timers can scan the menu for a hefty hunk of delicious meat, from Jake's filet mignon, topped with melty blue cheese and port wine sauce ($38), to the American rack of lamb, served with either gravy or a heated mint jelly ($34). Hungry land sharks and vacationing dolphins can gain perspective on how the land views the sea with a plate full of shrimp scampi, sautéed with white wine and garlic and paired with sensuous steamed broccoli ($27). For lunch, meat mavens can still wolf down Jake's famous baby back ribs, a sweet and smoky entree glazed in savory barbecue sauce ($30). Jake's beer menu overflows with tasty craft brews, from the Arcadia Hop Mouth IPA ($6.50 for a 20 oz. draft) to the malty Sly Fox Oktoberfest ($7 for a 20 oz. draft).
Recently renovated, Assembly Steahouse's—well-reviewed on NorthJesery.com—interior still retains the classic steakhouse look, with burgundy carpet and wood tables, and the menu still offers a good balance of surf and turf. The restaurant's old standbys such as miso-glazed beef and shrimp kabobs, grilled orange-ginger salmon, and prime new york strip steak are all the more flavorful. To pair with menu selections, the bar shakes up 15 specialty martinis, such as the Basic Naked—just gin and olives—or the Bikinitini, made with Malibu rum and pineapple juice and garnished with a bandeau top.