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.
Inspired by Brazilian gaucho—or cowboy—style of cooking meats, the owners and chefs of Brazaviva Churrascaria opened their restaurant and devoted its menu of endless dishes to the Old-World grilling method. As the restaurant describes it, the wayfaring gauchos roamed the expansive grasslands of Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul, skewering their meat dinners and roasting them over a fiery pit, before carving off thin slices to be shared around the fire.
Holding true to that tradition, the eatery's expert carvers bring skewers of fire-roasted beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and sausage tableside to pile plates high. Guests eat as much as they like, using a card that is green on one side and red on the other to indicate to the friendly staff carvers to keep the feast flowing, or to take a moment's savoring pause. Whatever belly room is left over after all cards go red calls for filling up with one of the eatery's unique desserts that swirl South American flavors such as passion fruit and papaya into rich smoothies and mousses. A collection of fine wines selected specially to compliment the charred flavors of the meats is available to complete the experience.
Churrasco-style dining, an endless parade of skewered steaks, is often associated with Brazilian cowboys. European influences shine in mild flavors and new ingredients, and the varied countryside blossoms with a range of exciting fruits and vegetables. All of these aspects mingle at the hands of the chefs at Flavors of Brazil as they prepare a menu of Latin-style small plates and barbecued meats. Diners can share appetizers such as cod croquettes or beef empanadas and then bite into savory courses of linguiça sausage, ribs, and top sirloin steak. Glasses brimming with champagne cocktails click together above plates of caramel-filled churros, all of which brings a pleasant end to a meal, unlike a fortune cookie containing facts about home fires.
When John Ritter thinks back to 1948, he can almost taste the frozen treats he churned out during his after-school job at the local ice-cream parlor. Now, after a 35-year career as a film animator, he helps others to enjoy similarly sweet memories at Ritter's Frozen Custard. Here, friendly staffers handcraft each batch of frozen custard, an ultrapremium ice cream as smooth as a jazz record dipped in chocolate. At the counter, guests can sample the flavors of the day, which range from tart blueberry to gooey, crunchy mocha-almond fudge. Scoops of classic vanilla—along with more than 25 toppings—fill specialty creations such as brownie sundaes, hand-dipped malts, and freezer-ready ice-cream sandwiches.
Chip's Sanibel Steakhouse quells the longings of beef buffs and seafood savants with its menu of appetite whetters and hunger-pang decimators. Begin the gustatory proceedings with a round of appetizers, including Oysters Rockefeller ($8/four) and beef carpaccio with microgreens, parmesan cheese, capers, and an oregano vinaigrette ($12). The elegant eatery’s hit parade of classic cuts—including filet mignon ($33 for 7 oz.), rib eye ($24 for 12 oz.), New York strip ($32 for 12 oz.), Porterhouse ($36 for 22 oz.), and a 14-ounce Kobe steak when available ($45)—are aged in house and flash-seared at 1700 degrees to prevent rogue juices from escaping. Dress up steaks with creamy Maytag blue cheese butter ($2), piquant red-wine demi-glaze ($1), or a decadent monocle and top hat combo.
“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.