As the most peaceful dish of the culinary world, tapas promote sharing with others and only protest with nonviolent sit-ins when threatened with forks. Savor small-plate diplomacy with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Tapas-Inspired fare at Cafe Samba.
Specializing in meats from the rodízio, Cafe Samba slakes stomach rumblings with a menu of Brazilian-inspired tapas and pleases adult palates with pitchers of house-made sangria. Coronate a dinner with friends or accentuate a debate about the popularity of sundial wristwatches with a small plate of pao de queijo (better known by its code name: brazilian cheese bread) ($3). Large plates are perfect for sharing or mixing and matching to create a table-blanketing feast. Curried chicken wraps with red grapes and dried apricots swirl taste buds in a sea of flavors ($6.50), while sake-marinated beef-tenderloin rodízio skewers wrangle hunger with the meaty skill of an edible rodeo clown ($14). Each dish can be paired with smaller-than-tapas sides, such as fries ($3), chipotle sweet-potato salad ($3.50), and grilled pineapple ($4) to create an individual meal and relinquish meats from the burdens of loneliness.
Cafe Samba is a posh nosh spot drenched in historic elegance. Formerly the Woman’s Club of Madison, the building was built in 1907 and is a local landmark with modern renovations. The first-floor restaurant possesses 33 beers on tap along with happy-hour fare and drink specials. For dual sustenance, dine on the outdoor patio and receive nourishing photosynthesis under the mama-bird-benevolence of Earth’s sun.
While Samba Cafe has only recently opened and has few reviews, its sister restaurant Samba Brazilian Grill has more than 40 Yelpers that give it an average of four stars, TripAdvisors that give it an average of four owl eyes, and 87% of more than 370 Urbanspooners that like it. > * The wine is delicious and the food is even better. Never have I been so tortured and delighted by the meat sweats. – Ashlee V., Yelp, 7/28/10 > * I’ve never been disappointed by the quality of the meat they present. Almost every time I take a bite I let out a groan of pleasure. It’s just that good. – lytsout1, TripAdvisor
Samba Brazilian Grill
Located on the second floor of the former Woman’s Club of Madison building, Samba Brazilian Grill bursts at the seams with history and a generous salad-bar buffet and rodizio-style meats, carved tableside. The meat selection changes regularly but often features a beef such as tenderloin with sake-soy marinade, porkables including the intricately flavored spicy linguiça pork sausage, delicious chicken snacks, and the baharat leg of lamb. A waiter brings the protein-heavy entrees to the table intact before slicing away right before your eyes, expertly dropping steaming pieces onto plates and tucking napkins into shirts. The salad bar stocks its surfaces with multiple salads, fresh vegetables, cheeses, olives, pickled savories, and plenty of mashed- and bean-centric sides. The eatery possesses a darkly lit interior with rich, dark woods throughout.