Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Christopher’s Seafood & Prime Steak House uses only optimum 21-day-aged USDA prime handcut beef, seafood that’s flown in daily from around the world, and locally sourced produce to engineer upscale and elegant eats. The dinner menu bursts at the seams with hearty hand-cuts of meat, such as the 16-ounce New York strip ($43) or the "kings crown," boasting an 8-ounce filet mignon topped with a quarter-pound of king crab ($43). Seafood seekers can drop culinary cargo nets into stomach shipholds with oceanic options including spicy plum-glazed sockeye salmon ($25) and fresh ahi tuna ($28). Other Neptunian nourishment includes the "by sea" tasting plate, a Davy Jones' high-school locker-full of calamari, coconut shrimp, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and lobster corn-dogs ($16). Midday meal-seekers can peruse Christopher’s lunchtime menu, featuring creamy New England clam chowder ($5–$8) and a spicy blue cheese burger ($9).
With its vibrant, modern décor and dazzling handcrafted nouvelle-American cuisine made from local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible, Metropolitan has earned a multitude of accolades. From the lunch menu erupts the metro bison burger, a galloping herd of mushrooms, onions, swiss, and truffled pomme frites ($10), and the Mediterranean sampler, a tantalizing tray of hummus, baba ghanoush, olive tapenade, stewed tomatoes, and seasoned Bluetooth ($8–$12). Adventurous options pepper the dinner menu, including the Metropolitan mushroom appetizer, flanked by truffle potatoes and red-wine sauce ($6 taste, $12 full plate); the Utah trout, decorated with fiddlehead ferns, radishes, pear, and a pistachio puree ($25); and the veal chop, donning an ensemble of green apple, celery root, quinoa, and mustard jus ($35). Find repose in the martini lounge to tackle the tasty bar menu, which includes entrees such as chicken pot pie ($12); appetizers come two-for-one during the bar’s “attitude adjustment hour” starting at 5:30 p.m.
After selling his Brazilian import store, Brazilian-born J.R. Lopez opened Braza Grill, a rodizio-style steak house reminiscent of the barbecue restaurants in his home country. Servers tote skewers loaded with pork sausage, garlic-infused tenderloin, and other meats from table to table, offering unlimited portions and variety to hungry diners. An open fire pit cooks the bacon-wrapped chicken and pork loins along with pineapples for a sweet sidekick. Patrons can stretch their legs and nonchalantly loosen their belts during trips to the hot and cold buffet stocked with pastas, salads, and a brazilian black-bean stew called feijoada, according to CityWeekly.
The expert chefs at Last Samurai sear, chop, and roll steak, chicken, seafood, and sushi at tableside hibachi grills and behind an intimate sushi bar. Although the expansive menu varies, recent taste-bud tickling dinner options, such as the boneless teriyaki chicken ($14.95) or grill-sizzling hibachi shrimp ($17.95), sate stomachs and help to break in new bibs. Deftly sliced seafood finds its home in Last Samurai's numerous rolls crafted at the sushi bar, such as the five pieces of chef-selected nigiri ($12.95) or the deep-fried spicy scallop roll ($10.50), which bestow a variety of tastes to fish-finagling tongues. Many of the restaurant's dinner options make starring appearances on the lunch menu, and four-sided succulence takes its form in the bento box ($10.95), filled with an egg roll, three-piece california roll, and a choice of teriyaki chicken, salmon, or hibachi shrimp. Throats weary from tableside talk or from loudly narrating the impressive feats of flame can find solace in the extensive wine and beer list.
Potted plants, hanging vines, and a stained-glass window depicting a bowl of fresh fruit decorate Roberts Restaurant—nods to the fresh produce that fills the vast menu of Italian and American dishes. Servers tote steaming hot plates topped with five-cheese lasagna, steak gorgonzola, and three varieties of muffuletta sandwiches to tables alongside specialty espresso drinks, a variety of wines, and 10 microbrews. Roberts' kitchen also greets the morning with breakfast burritos, omelets, and stacks of pancakes, which diners can spill all over their laptop as they surf the complimentary WiFi.