For the pitmasters at Smokin' Jonny's BBQ, a successful barbecue is a three-step process. First, they must select the right meat, whether it be pulled pork, tender ribs, or brisket. Once they've rubbed it with a blend of herbs and spices, the cooks then need to pick the right wood?such as hickory or applewood?over which to slow-smoke it. Lastly, they whip up rubs and marinades, whose secret recipes are known only to them and kitchen spies disguised as six-foot-tall spatulas. Those final touches accentuate the already smoky flavor of Smokin' Jonny's meats, readying them to pair with timeless southern sides such as fried cornbread.
Servers hoisting skewers circulate continuously through Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, pausing tableside to carve mesquite-grilled morsels of brazilian sausage, bacon-wrapped chicken, and sirloin steak. This is hardly an unusual sight at Brazil's famous all-you-can-eat churrascarias?until you see the ocean views backdropping through the 180-degree wall of glass in Samba Brazilian Steakhouse's Redondo dining room. This chic perspective on tropicalia dominates all aspects of the steakhouse. Clusters of mod white couches stand out against glowing orange walls, which contain plenty of nooks for groups to squeeze into. Brunch hours offer a consortium of all-you-can-eat meats such as marinated beef and pork. The main course is complemented by unlimited trips to the salad- and Brazilian side dish-buffet, as well as your choice of mimosas, champagne, and sangria. On Thursday?Saturday, a chorus of smooth-limbed showgirls catalyze the party with a slight assist from the caipirinha bar's more than 20 versions of Brazil's national cocktail.
A mere block from the ocean, the culinary savants at The Grillish conduct harmonious seafood symphonies with a bevy of fresh and healthy ingredients. Diners can dig for fried breaded oysters in a warm basket or choose tender morsels from a helping of mixed ceviche. Light fare includes handheld comestibles such as the crab and shrimp grillwich finished with West Coast trimmings such as avocado and alfalfa sprouts, and the Cajun white ruffy wrap stuffed to bursting with cabbage, tomatoes, and fish before being doused with house sauce. A platter of skewers takes center stage among entree options with a choice of grilled salmon, barramundi, or scallop and shrimp and accouterments including coleslaw, rice, or fries, and Cajun or butter sauce on the side to facilitate avant-garde recreations of The Little Mermaid.
The meat connoisseurs at Libra Brazilian Steakhouse know showmanship is one of the primary draws of churrascaria-style dining. In this spirit, the chefs cook succulent hunks of meat on giant skewers over an open flame. And once it’s ready, their servers distribute the tender, freshly flamed meat throughout the dining area, pausing tableside to carve off slices directly onto plates.
Presentation aside, Libra Brazilian Steakhouse backs up its bravado with quality meats. The chefs use only 100% Black Angus beef and refuse to accept any meat containing hormones or antibiotics. Additionally, the culinary artists cook more than 30 hot, made-from-scratch sides as well as housemade desserts. And to top it off, the steak-house staff curates and recommends numerous international wines.
Every aspect of Kelly's of Naples reflects the essence of a swanky steakhouse. From the white tablecloths and leather booths and seats to the wood-paneled walls and dim, hanging lights in front of a full bar, the restaurant carries an air of sophistication matched only be its menu. Kelly's chefs don't rely on fancy preparation to impress their guests; instead they rely on the natural flavors in their ingredients, with steaks such as a bone-in porter or filet mignon not bearing any excess seasoning. Chefs prepare some steaks tableside as well, such as the steak diane, and the menu's entrees even dip into the sea with crab legs, lobster tail, and a rotating selection of fish flanks. Choice entrees are served at lunch as well, and Kelly's Sunday brunch offers a unique twist on many traditional breakfast dishes such as the jalapeño eggs benedict. Bar-goers can keep it low-key with a menu of sandwiches and appetizers ranging from escargot to prime rib, and the barkeeps can stir up any drink with their huge stores of liquor. To complement the food, live music fills the restaurant every evening from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On the Reef Restaurant’s outdoor patio, every seat is a good one. The space stretches along the Long Beach Harbor, giving diners unobstructed views of the skyline, Queensway Bay, and the Queen Mary. The menu matches the elegant seaside ambiance with meals such as sesame seared tuna with sweet ponzu drizzle and grilled lobster tail with garlic mashed potatoes. The extensive drink list has a California-centric selection of 30 wines along with several craft cocktails, including the Evergreen, a blend of vodka, muddled basil, cucumber, simple syrup, and sparkling wine.