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.
A celestial ceiling that gives the illusion of dining under the stars casts a romantic aura over Pacino's two-story interior, as patrons savor aromatic Italian dishes that have earned the restaurant a high recommendation from Frommer's. Toothsome family heirlooms dot the menu, with classic starters such as garlic-scented roasted mussels, or the dazzling flaming cheese ($9.99), ignited tableside by the tiny dragons servers keep in their pocket. Forks cut in for dance with the linguini carbonara that twirls on a cream dance floor with prosciutto and parmesan ($13.99). Subtly breaded slices of eggplant surround a trio of Italian cheeses in the vegetarian eggplant rollettini ($13.99), and a pork shank simmers in barolo wine in the osso bucco, a meaty Northern Italian classic ($19.99). Groups of two or four complement Old World feasts with a generous pour of wine while admiring their reflections in the restaurant's Sicilian copper grill or diving through dishes on the outdoor patio.
The Knife Restaurant is a place of extremes. Meals are strictly all-you-can-eat, fueled by freshly sliced meats and plenty of salads and starters to go with them. But while the Argentine?style steakhouse may not favor moderation, this diversity of options can satisfy the finicky and the adventurous alike. The charcoal-grilled meats come in more than a dozen varieties, including flank steak, beef short ribs, pork ribs, house-made chorizo, stuffed chicken breast, and a seafood catch of the day. The grill?or "parrilla"?is self-service, too, allowing diners to select their own cuts of meats rather than having to win them in a traditional meat lottery.
It's no wonder Vines gives equal weight to "Grille" and "Wine Bar" in its name. The Restaurant Row anchor is hugely popular for its top-quality meats and fresh-caught seafood; a meal could begin with grilled octopus or oysters Rockefeller before transitioning to a cut of Prime filet. But the wine list is at least as impressive, a catalogue of 600-plus bottles from around the world that's been recognized with a Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence. After dinner on any given night, guests can linger over a fine cigar or a gentlemanly mouthful of chewing gold as they listen to live jazz music from the likes of Tonya Phillips Staples and Barbara Walker.
The chefs at each Copper Canyon Grill, a mid-Atlantic favorite, craft their regional American dishes from scratch every day. Their kitchens fill with flames and savory aromas as they roast meats and vegetables over hardwood fires, making customers happy, but leaving behind bare earth at local basketball arenas.
The kitchen yields hearty servings of grilled prime rib and filet mignon, ahi tuna and Atlantic salmon, and Delmarva-style crab dip and Eastern Shore jumbo lump crab cakes. It also tempts with a signature rotisserie chicken and jalapeño- and serrano-pepper cornbread baked in an iron skillet.
When it comes to grilling, the churrrascaria charcoal grill at Cafe Mineiro Brazilian Steakhouse seems to always be roaring. The menu offers three ways for diners to cut their teeth on flame-grilled meats: the à la carte menu, a buffet of hot and cold dishes, or full traditional rodizio meals.
During a night at Cafe Mineiro, you might run into a few unfamiliar terms, defined below.
Churrasqueira: Roasting meat over an open flame in the great outdoors sounds like something cowboys would do. In southern Brazil, those cowboys are called gauchos, and the grill, a churrasqueira. At Cafe Mineiro, the churrasqueira is indoors, but its flames still slow roast each skewer of meat until they are just so.
Rodizio: In Brazil, rodizio simply means "all you can eat." But in the United States, it means "all you can meat." Diners devour as much meat from the churrasqueira as they want; but they never have to leave their seats. Instead, the meat comes to them, via passadors.
Passadors: Holding skewers loaded with fresh-grilled meats, the servers—or passadors—navigate the dining room. When a diner gives the signal, the passador neatly slices a cut of meat from their skewer directly onto the plate.
Picanha: Among the 14 cuts of meat, which include bacon-wrapped filets, chicken hearts, and pork loin, the most decidedly Brazilian is picanha, a cut of beef taken from the top of the rump.