Having trained with chefs throughout the world's top exporter of samba melodies and top importer of World Cups, chef-owner Ana Davis has brought her passion for her native cuisine home to Café do Brasil. Whether they appear for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch, visitors may marinate their teeth in the company of shrimp, tilapia, scallops, and Cuervo tequila sauce with the martine ceviche ($8.95) before settling into the ham-and-turkey cultural exchange hosted by the Brasillian mufalleta sandwich ($8.25). Dinner bell first-responders, meanwhile, can try the Brazilian national dish of feijoada, an alluring stew of beans, sausage, and pork that is cooked by repeatedly shouting "Goool!" at it for minutes at a time, then served with collard greens and roasted ground yucca ($19.95). The kitchen sweetens departures with the marachoco-mouse de maracuja, which intertwines flavors of passion fruit and chocolate mousse in a loving, dancerly embrace ($5.75). Café do Brasil's culinary alchemists also conjure a number of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
Inspired by the Brazilian tradition of churrasco-style cooking, the chefs at Amazon Grill cure savory meats with rock salt and then grill them over open flames. Seasoned, fire-licked sausage and pork loin join a buffet spread of more than 20 Brazilian dishes, includes grilled veggies, seafood, and a fresh salad bar. On the weekends, the usual roster of spare ribs and top sirloin is joined by chicken hearts, roasted pineapple, and blood sausage.
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.
Originally from Sao Paulo, Cafe Brazil owner Denise Santos curates a menu of authentic cuisine that speaks to the diverse tastes of her native country with its steak and seafood entrees, fluffed risotto, and house-specialty Brazilian churrasco. Renowned for its all-you-can-eat buffet and a wait staff that speaks fluent Brazilian Portuguese, the intimate hotspot welcomes homesick ex-pats and locals seeking to expand their horizons seven days a week. Flanked by tiled walls, an ornate bar with gold trim, and an Amazonian jaguar ready to pounce on plates, simple wooden tables play host to meals served for lunch or dinner. Palm-leaf ceiling fans call forth gentle breezes to kiss diners’ shoulders, and live entertainment on select nights feeds hungry ears with the sounds of bossa nova, samba, and sizzling orchestras of thin-cut steaks.
“Fisherman Charley,” a wooden fisherman statue in a yellow rain slicker and hat, stands guard in front of Charley’s Boathouse Grill, where chefs have prepared steaks and seafood for more than four decades. The kitchen wet-ages Angus beef for four to six weeks before hand-cutting each steak, which is measured by ounces and seared to taste. Seafood such as locally caught grouper also fills the menu alongside snow crabs, teriyaki chicken breasts, and house-baked breads.
For special events, patrons sup on some of the most popular menu items inside a converted boathouse. Up to 70 people can also gather at the “hideaway,” which has back-bay views of Estero Bay, making it perfect for actually seeing the harbor seals you dressed in tuxedos.
Like two restaurants in one, NAMI Japanese Steakhouse affords guests the choice of dining traditionally or teppan-style. Those who choose the former settle into one of the eatery?s dining-room tables and enjoy sushi and any number of Thai or Japanese dishes, including traditional spicy and mild curries?enhanced by shrimp, tofu, or crisp duck?and flavorful staples, such as tempura, teriyaki, and katsu. Across the room, chefs break free from the kitchen to engage customers seated around a flattop grill in teppan-style eating. They prepare anything from the hibachi menu: filet mignon, lobster, and scallops. As they grill each item in a lively, public display, diners enjoy shrimp appetizers, stir-fried vegetables, and white or fried rice. NAMI shares owners with Origami, which serves a menu of Japanese and Korean cuisine.