Brazil Grill's menu of Brazilian churrasco celebrates flame-licked meat that earned a Best of Hartford nod in 2008 by Hartford Magazine,. Priced by the pound ($6.99–$12.99), meals are built around heaping portions of meats such as lamb, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork sausage that sizzles renditions of "The Girl From Ipanema." A meat maestro slices fresh cuts from skewers of pork loin and top sirloin to add to plates already teeming with salad, fries, and vegetable sides from the buffet. A suite of non-churrasco offerings lures tongues away, with such choices as a portuguese pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, ham, bacon, and egg ($19.75) and a ham-and-sweet-corn house pizza ($21.50).
Brazilian native Ivan Utrera came to the United States with a stack of family recipes and an idea for serving bottomless portions of rotisserie-grilled meats. That style of eating, similar to that in a churrascaria, has been popular in Brazil for many years. Rodizio Grill has since expanded to several locations, where servers armed with giant skewers of marinated pork loin and beef saturated in garlic travel around the dining room, carving off the meat tableside. The chefs also slow-cook on the grill and expertly season Brazilian sausages, lamb, chicken hearts, and pineapples. Much like a list of terrible babysitters, the selection of adventurous meats often includes rattlesnake, bison, and wild boar.
You'll never feel more like a Brazilian cowboy than the moment you take your seat at Copacabana Steakhouse. As you tuck in, fork and knife in hand, waiters circulate carrying 14 different styles of slow-roasted meat still sizzling on their skewers. Upon your signal, they shave portions of top sirloin, Brazilian sausage, leg of lamb, and barbecue chicken straight onto your plate. This meat parade, or rodizio, mimics the communal feasts of the 20th-century gauchos who settled in the grasslands of Southern Brazil with their massive herds of Carnival parade floats. Glasses, meanwhile, can brim with bold South American red wines that complement the flavors of the steak or that other glass of wine you just finished. For guests who aren't looking for an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord, the churrascaria also serves single portions of its meats paired with hearts of palm and fresh veggies from the salad bar.
Within Hana Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar, groups can watch hibachi chefs add dollops of teriyaki sauce to chicken and veggies on the grill in front of them. As flames rise over the tableside grill, the air fills with meaty aromas and applause from diners watching chefs’ virtuoso performances. Dishes include crispy duck with chili sauce, traditional udon noodles, and 11 house-specialty rolls filled with eel, lobster, and other ingredients sourced from the ocean's teriyaki-filled depths.
John Gogas first became a chef in Greece, eventually traveling throughout Europe helping to establish Club Med kitchens. He relocated to the United States in the 1970s, where he opened Jordan's Restaurant and developed a menu focused in Italian cuisine. Entrees include fettuccine debosco with ham, mushrooms, and peas, as well as baked ziti and veal marsala. Groups can share one of six specialty pizzas, such as a clams casino with bacon, garlic, and a choice of sauce. Of course, there are also a few Greek dishes: pitas can be stuffed with pork, beef, chicken, or pages from Aristotle's rejected film scripts.
The menus at Sakimura's two locations change regularly in order to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ newest culinary muses. The Simsbury location is known to intermingle traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary flourishes, with specials taking forms such as foie gras with sweet miso sauce. Both locales’ sushi chefs also invent their own creative rolls, such as a deep-fried Godzilla roll and an Out of Control roll filled with shrimp tempura and topped with seared pepper tuna.
Diners seeking a hot dinner can gather around hibachi grills and watch as chefs sear their choice of shrimp, chicken, scallops, filet mignon, or any number of other gourmet ingredients. The hibachi rooms' smokeless grills and modern yet warm decor combine to create a pleasant dining experience.
Owner and Sao Paulo native Felipe Franco embraces the culinary traditions of his home country, telling the New Haven Independent in 2012 that "my interest is to show Americans Brazilian food and culture." His menu brims with the country's signature cuisine, including Brazil's peppery national stew of black beans and meat, as well as moqueca—a seafood stew of fish, shrimp, mussels, calamari, or kraken-gone-astray that simmers inside a handmade clay pot. To accompany these entrees, the bartenders deftly mix potent yet refreshing caipirinhas using cachaça, or sugar-cane rum, Brazil's favored spirit.