Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open-flame grill and serving its diners with a luscious meaty mélange of multiple steak selections. The full dinner for one ($42.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, as diners welcome a continuous flow of flavorful proteins, including brazilian sausage, filet mignon, flank steak, and bacon-wrapped chicken breast. 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. Diners can also 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 cheese, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
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.
Dale Del Bello remembers everything about his first hibachi experience. While stationed in Korea as a part of the Air Force National Guard, Dale and a group of friends visited Tokyo on leave. They followed a traditional route among his fellow service people, which took him to a hibachi restaurant. Immediately he sensed that he’d stumbled upon more than just dinner. The chefs’ showmanship fascinated him as they seared meats and vegetables on their tabletop grills, allowing guests to sample forkfuls directly off the 600-degree surface. After returning to Buffalo, New York, in 1971, Dale opened his first Arigato location, attempting to recreate what made that dining experience so remarkable. Since then, he has distilled the authentic experience into something that families can enjoy without traveling abroad, establishing Arigato restaurants throughout New York and Florida and staffing them with more than 60 chefs from Japan.
Surrounded by 8–10 diners, these chefs act not only as the restaurant’s culinary creators, but also as showmen and magicians of sorts, dexterously slicing ingredients, flipping shrimp tails into their hats, and conjuring soy sauce out of thin air. Away from the flaming tabletops, meanwhile, bartenders make use of their own skill sets as they mix specialty cocktails, which occasionally use splashes of plum wine or sake to imbue familiar-sounding drinks with new dimension.
Restaurateur Bob Spoto’s culinary clubhouse, open only for dinner, procures the warmth of Chicago's neighborhood joints with a menu of steak, seafood, and wine. Enter through an archway smattered with neon blue lights and share starters of calamari bruzzi ($9.90) ornamented with pepperoncini relish, sundried tomato aioli, and several layers of holiday lights. In the back kitchens, chefs cleave robust cuts of certified Angus beef porterhouse ($27.90) and baste it in a buttery robe of maitre d’ butter before tucking onto a king-size plate. Those averse to dunking their heads in gulf shores to catch a fresh meal may instead order from Spoto’s Grill 131’s seafood selections, choosing from regional favorites such as black Florida grouper picatta, ($21.90) or classic broiled lobster tails ($34.90 for twin tails/$23.90 for single tail). When finished, cozy up in a moody booth as the attentive wait staff fills flutes with Santa Margherita champagne ($35/bottle).