In parts of Brazil, families and friends come together during a centuries-old tradition called churrasco. At these festive barbecue-style gatherings, hosts cook enormous amounts of food, and guests eat until they're stuffed. Inspired by that tradition, Elaine Lima opened Brazil Grill with a similar vision in mind. Here, the grill runs all day, rolling out an assortment of juicy meats that includes pork loin, ribs, lamb, and top sirloin presented in a colorful buffet alongside vegetables and other Brazilian-style sides. It's a simple setup that makes guests feel as at home as they would at their own friend's barbecue.
Wrapped in the aromatic embrace of Zona Sul Churrascaria’s smoldering barbecue pit, up to four friends gather over unending portions of Brazilian meats, rice, and vegetables. Diners pile thick slices of meat onto their plates as they gaze in wonder at the crackling sirloin steaks and pork sausages skewered on spits over the flames. Beef ribs line up in rows as foursomes hammer out xylophonic bossa nova songs with their forks, and chicken thighs strut to samba beats on palate dance floors. A bountiful salad bar complements the orchestra of sizzling proteins with rice, green vegetables, and whole onions painted to resemble soccer balls.
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.
The chefs at O'Hana Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar expertly roll dozens of sushi specialties and sizzle meat-centric Japanese entrees atop a hibachi grill. Snag a seat at the bar to watch chefs chop, slice, and wrap the popular Snow Crab Heaven roll, a blend of cream cheese, snow crab, and avocado topped with spicy mayo ($11.95), and other specialty rolls on the menu. Bite into the Hottie Susan’s molten core of spicy tuna, cucumber, and salmon ($12.95), or let daring chopsticks challenge the Dragon ($9.95), a California roll packed with eel and a deep-seated grudge against questing knights. Alternately, chefs can flip fiery portions of steak, chicken, shrimp, or scallops on a traditional Japanese grill to yield four types of hibachi dinners ($12.99–$17.99 each) flanked by onion soup, a house salad, grilled vegetables, and rice. Kid-friendly options, including pint-sized portions of teriyaki chicken ($8.99) and steak ($9.99), keep young mouths busy so they don’t shout out parents’ computer passwords in the middle of dinner.
An unlimited parade of palate-pleasing platters greets diners from Churrascaria Braza's Rodizio prix fixe dinner menu, a tasty Brazilian steakhouse tradition ($29.95 adults, $14.95 children under 12). Fill your digestive Trapper Keeper with loose-leaf lusciousness from the stacked salad bar, or cast a tongue trap to reel in a haul of the peel-and-eat shrimp. When you're sufficiently appetized, a friendly tableside server commences the main protein procession, carefully and continuously slicing as much of the seasoned, slow-roasted, and skewered meats as you desire. The assortment of 12 meats changes nightly, yielding such savory selections as the roasted pork loin, bacon-wrapped filet mignon, or Perna de Carneiro (freshly sliced leg of lamb). When you're nearly full, flip the table's circular dual-sided chip from green to red, which signifies the start of dessert. Hang a sweet fang on the decadent layer cake ($7) or spongy and succulent tres leches cake ($7).
The recipes used in the kitchen at Ipanema Cafe are the creation of Chef Nelson Diorio, whose skills were honed at the Quinnipiac Culinary Arts School. The bar and restaurant serves patrons classic Brazilian and Portuguese dishes, such as hearty stews, bowls of soup, and fish galore.