Head chef Valerie Rebellato combines her Brazilian origins with her love for its food in Cafe Paulista Grille’s made-from-scratch menu and its amenable atmosphere. Several meaty entrees encourage sharing, with large portions and a surfeit of sides such as fried banana, feijoada, and rice. Mix up beef and poultry with the Espetinho Caipira for Two, a vision of skewered sirloin and chicken breast ($27.99), among other skewered entree delights. Indecisive or surprise-loving diners can take a gustatory leap and leave their fate in Val’s deft hands, which will cook up whatever’s on her mind (except anything personally allergenic) ($8.99). Wash a meal down with a surfeit of exotic juice combinations ($3.69) featuring aliments such as cashew fruit, acai, and mango, or sip the strong house coffee ($1.99) with a rich, caramel fried banana ($2.99) or brazilian tiramisu ($4.99).
A well-rounded meal at Amor de Brazil Steakhouse will include picanha and caipirinha. The first is rotisserie-grilled top sirloin, skewered and carved at your table. The second is Brazil's national cocktail: crushed ice, lime, sugar, and sugar-cane rum. The servers at the restaurant—known as "gauchos," or ranchers—will happily teach newcomers how to pronounce these signature items, as well as the rest of the meats that they slow-cook in traditional churrasco style.
There's linguica, or cured pork sausage, lightly seasoned; cordeiro, or lamb, flavored by a mint marinade; and filet mignon, which, like the best camp care-packages, can arrive wrapped in bacon. Chicken, pork ribs, and rib eyes also make an appearance on the rodizio menu, and side dishes at the salad bar range from imported cheeses to roasted red peppers. Just feasting on the food is an experience in itself, with gauchos reporting to your table whenever you'd like to replenish your plate. But Creative Loafing Charlotte attests that the ambiance is also a draw—the room "positively oozes a fun spirit" and hosts Brazilian dancers in elaborate headdresses on certain weekends.
Friendly servers weave through Beef & Bottle's dimly lit, unpretentiously sophisticated dining rooms, delivering instantaneous grins in the form of savory steaks and freshly caught seafood. Meat mavens will need to request extra napkins for happy-tear blotting when they see Beef & Bottle's menu for the first time, which is topped by prime proteins including filet mignon ($26–$32), special-cut sirloin ($19), and New York strip ($27), each cooked to order. If you're hankering for seafaring grub, start with a piquant appetizer such as the wine-sautéed shrimp scampi ($9), fresh from performing “Come Sail Away” on Crustacean Idol. For dinner, let the sweet bourbon salmon ($25) melt in your mouth or the lobster-infused fettuccine alfredo ($22) practice its curvy penmanship on your tongue. Decadent desserts include blueberry-topped New York–style cheesecake ($5) and deep-dish apple pie ($5); the latter is served with a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream and a complimentary side of instant friends.
Steaming skewers of eclectic meats, from bacon-wrapped chicken to house-special rump steak, yield protein-laden rodizio dinners in the softly lit interior of Brazz Carvery and Steakhouse. Waiters ferry the sizzling slabs of meat to each table in the red-walled dining room, carving savory slices directly onto diners’ plates. An all-you-can-eat buffet of salad items and well-sauced hot dishes awaits patrons’ spoons and precocious babies’ paintbrushes beneath an arched canopy of exposed wood beams.
A 400-degree volcanic stone sprinkled with Himalayan salt serves as the main cooking tool for Hot Stone Grill?s meat. Each cut of protein?including filet mignon and racks of lamb?is first seasoned with a secret blend of spices before cooked atop the searing hot stone.
Executive Chef Ben Caylor was earning a living as an electrician until a friend dared him to audition for the Fox show Hell?s Kitchen. The moment he was selected as a contestant on the show, his life changed. Caylor worked closely with Gordon Ramsay during the season and has since earned a formal culinary degree that matches his advanced skills in the kitchen.