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.
Konstadino "Gus" Tsilionis started his first tavern in his native Greece. When he founded his second restaurant, this time in the United States, he picked a similarly coastal location: the Tampa Bay Area. Now owned and managed by son Tom Tsilionis, The Blue Dolphin Restaurant features an indoor pond outfitted with a footbridge and a leaping dolphin. Although not quite on the same scale of the Aegean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, it's perfect for throwing coins into while wishing they would bounce back out as larger coins.
The coastal theme extends to the kitchen's offerings, too. The culinary team whips up plenty of fresh seafood, from crab-stuffed tilapia fillets to Maine lobster saut?ed in cognac. Classic Italian and American dishes, like chicken pesto fettuccine, dijon-mustard-rubbed prime rib, and tender barbecue ribs, round out the menu, as does a soup and salad bar stocked with over 30 types of fixings. To wash it all down, diners can sip premium cocktails like the house long island iced tea?which, thanks to a splash of Blue Cura?ao, is ocean-blue.
Chip Roehl and Lenny Terlaje, the former management team of award winning restaurant Splash! An Ocean Grill, don?t believe that there's only one way to prepare seafood. At their award-winning restaurant, this culinary duo draws upon cooking styles from around the world, from saut?ing mussels in scampi sauce to coating sesame-crusted tuna in ponzu. And those are just the appetizers?for entrees, Tom and Lenny crown crab-cake sandwiches with lemon-dill aioli and vampire-proof lobster tails by broiling them in garlic butter.
Alongside these maritime meals, the twosome also showcases ingredients from the land, such as fire-grilled filet mignons and sirloin burgers topped with roasted bacon. Beer, wine, and classic cocktails complement the feasts, which unfold inside a roomy dining room awash in blue lights reminiscent of the sea.
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.