Inside this cozy Brazilian café, a window looks out onto a laundry line of European football jerseys—each emblazoned with the name of Brazilian greats such as Kaka or Robinho. Above the bar, flat screen TVs belt out play-by-plays of European football matches. With this nod to Brazil’s national pastime, the team at BarBossa cultivates a convivial atmosphere—where one might pop in for a match and stay for a bowl of soup and pressed sandwich. For heartier appetites, there is house-made pasta and Feijoada—a traditional Brazilian black bean stew with collard greens, farofa, and rice. Bartenders keep the tradition going with caipirinhas, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça, sugar, and lime.
Diners are so pleased to be at Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse that they can barely contain themselves. It's common for meals at this kitschy Eastern European joint to break out into singalongs and dancing, which are always accompanied by the Yiddish folk music and lounge standards of a live performer. When guests aren't dancing the hora, they settle down for old-school Jewish cooking that includes broiled chicken livers and massive beef tenderloins. They can even top their steaks with schmaltz—rendered chicken fat that sits in a glass container on each table like maple syrup at a pancake house. Unsurprisingly, spirits flow freely; bottles of Ketel One arrive frozen in ice blocks that make it hard for greedy party members to smuggle them out in their hats.
Though the menu boasts the usual T-bone cuts, new york strip steaks, and lamb chops, Prime & Beyond is not your typical American steakhouse. The tangy smell of kimchi weaves through the dining space, and wagyu beef dishes take the form of hot dogs and sausages, completing the fusion of Asian and North American flavors that Korean-American brothers Kyu and Kevin Lee envisioned when they created the eatery. Known as “Q the butcher,” Kyu takes great pride in his meats, aging them carefully to bring out their full flavor; his wet-aged steaks sit for at least 20 days as 8-ounce filet mignon and 14-ounce ribeye cuts, and his dry-aged meats rest for a minimum of 50 days within the restaurant’s refrigeration unit atop a memory-foam mattress before being shaken awake and cooked.
The epicurean curators at Cachacaria Boteco cultivate hearty meals of traditional Brazilian fare and drinks served beneath soaring ceilings and a chandelier of exposed bulbs. Servers bear morsels of pao de queijo, or cheese buns, and kibe, or fried meatballs, across the black-and-white checked floor during fast-paced games of human chess. The sugar-cane-rum blend of caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, flows as freely as the orange curtains that frame potted palms and flat-screen TVs.
There’s no questioning Berimbau chef Carlos Inacio’s intimate connection to the cuisine of Brazil when you scan his menu, a focused collection of dishes rich with traditional ingredients such as calabresa sausage, yucca, and seafood. He hails from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, an area known for its “stellar cuisine,” according to New York magazine, which also lauded Berimbau as a “pioneer” among NYC Brazilian restaurants. Berimbau is far from a common rodízio steakhouse, although there’s no lack of pork or steak on the menu. But instead of all-you-can-eat feasts, patrons select elegant presentations of distinctive dishes, such as fraldinha, grilled skirt steak served with yucca purée, sautéed collard greens, and creamy hearts-of-palm sauce. Chef Carlos continues to position his homeland’s food in a fresh, colorful context through dishes such as risotto with asparagus, sautéed shrimp, and cilantro butter. Berimbau’s wine list has been curated with pairing in mind, and the white, sparkling, and red wines—categorized as either Old World or New World—add grace notes that perfectly emphasize the potpourri of Brazilian flavors. But the beverages of choice here are the caipirinhas—Brazilian cocktails that can be mixed with passionfruit, strawberry, coconut, mango, or lime.