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.
Waiters whirl through Grimpa Brazilian Steakhouse's streamlined interior, dancing with swords that skewer more than 15 kinds of meat. Diners can sample steaks and an 18-item salad bar and hot buffet in the art-strewn dining room or on the outdoor patio, where swaying palms and ghost cowboys bring to mind traditional gaucho camps. An onsite wine cellar accommodates international vintages of red, white, and bubbly, and an à la carte menu allows chefs to pair tender cuts of beef and fish with gourmet sauces and sides.
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.
Wine racks the color of warm wheat chaff crisscross the walls at Holleman’s Restaurant, the sleek bodies of the bottles reflecting servers as they slip through the dining room. The vessels, stamped with labels from France, Argentina, and Italy shimmer beneath visions of Black Angus steaks, fresh pasta, and racks of New Zealand lamb. From the kitchen drift the scents of garlic-and-rosemary demi-glace and cognac-and-peppercorn sauce. In that busy room, New York strip steak crackles against the open-flame grill and chefs busily mold crabcakes.
Beneath wrought-iron chandeliers, the high-topped tables are covered in crisp white cloths like ghosts appearing in traffic court. On some evenings, the smooth twang of an electric guitar fills the room, flitting softly beneath a crooning singer.
The chefs at Del Sur Market aren’t trying to come up with new and crazy toppings for their dishes; they’re trying to enhance the dishes’ natural flavors with simple, complementary sauces and sides. The result is a fresh-tasting menu of artisanal dishes, ranging from the nuanced flavors of the cheeses on the house mozzarella bar to the grilled rib eye rubbed with rosemary sea salt and topped with kalamata olives and red potatoes. The chefs aren’t afraid to make unique choices when pursuing a dish’s natural flavor, however, and so they wrap grilled filet mignon in pancetta and serve it over cremini mushroom risotto and incorporate pears and gorgonzola into ravioli nestled in a marsala wine sauce. They can also recommend boutique vintages of wine that pair well with the dishes' natural flavors, creating well-rounded gourmet meals for both lunch and dinner.
At Siga la Vaca, diners can head to a chef-run grill to fill up on roasted cuts of beef, pork, and chicken prepared in traditional Argentinian style, or they can make a beeline to a salad bar with more than 20 fresh and cold-cut items. Chefs can fine-tune any cut of meat to suit a customer's precise specifications or a current measurement of the Earth's magnetic field. The fixed-price, all-you-can-eat format provides diners with a staggering amount of food, including a selection of desserts with fresh fruit and flan. Within the fixed price, patrons can also imbibe a half bottle of house wine, a pitcher of draft beer, or a soda.