Are you looking for a new restaurant to try this weekend? Do you deserve a really great night out? Do you love steak?
Last month I attended the grand opening of Fogo de Chao, the new Brazilian Steakhouse located at the Westin Hotel that has your mouth-watering once you walk in the door. The smell of freshly seared steak, chicken, sausage, and lamb was the perfect perfume hanging in the air.
The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail. I had the pleasure of enjoying the combination of cachaça (a sugar cane rum), sugar, and lime that make up this cocktail. The cocktail goes down easily as it is so sweet so you better watch out that you don’t have too many.
As soon as we walked in Price and I remarked how amazing the space is. We have been to other Brazilian Barbecue restaurants before but this was the first one that was really stunning. I was quiet enamored with the lights.
Centrally located, the salad bar is packed full of fresh greens, smoked meats, a variety of cheeses, and much, much more. I wish I took more photos of the 30 plus options available but I didn’t want to hold up the line as everyone was dying to dig right in. But I could not miss taking a picture of a bowl full of bacon!
In addition to the salad bar there is an adjacent hot food bar that served things like rice and beans that would pare perfectly with your meal.
I tried to only select a few things from the salad bar that I would really enjoy so I would not fill up but the options seemed endless. I really enjoyed everything I picked from the fresh mozzarella, steamed asparagus, hot peppers, and prosciutto. My favorite things were the sun-dried tomatoes since they were so flavorful and soft. I had the best intentions of going back to the hot bar to sample the rice and beans there but I ended up getting too full to go back.
As small as they were the pão de queijos were one of my favorite things about the meal. Small puffs of cheesy bread were served to accompany the meal. They were light and airy, with a crunchy exterior, and, of course, packed with cheese. I might have been tempted to throw a few in my purse, but I didn’t. I swear!
The only thing that I didn’t think was stunning were the plate of fried bananas, fried polenta, and mashed potatoes that the servers, which are known as Passadores in Brazil and called meat gauchos at Fogo De Chao, brought to the table. The bananas were delicious but the polenta and mashed potatoes were a little too plain for my preference. Also since we were so distracted by all of the meat available we ignored these for a bit and they all got cold. I just didn’t feel these were necessary to enjoy the meal.
Once we were seated after our trip to the salad bar we were ready for the gauchos to come around and start delivering a variety of different meats to us. The service was top notch and very knowledgeable on all of the different cuts of suculant meats you could enjoy. Fogo De Chao offers different cuts of beef, chicken, and lamb. The signature meat is the Picanha, which is a top sirloin cut of meat that is very popular in the churrascarias of Southern Brazil. This was available in a traditional light seasoning or a garlicky seasoning.
True love. The gauchos would ask you how you would prefer the meat to done and based upon where the meat was located along the skewer you would have a different degree of done-ness. I prefer rare to medium rare so they would rotate the skewer until they had the right piece in front of them to slice off and I would grab it with my little tong to enjoy.
This plate is true love to me.
My favorite cuts were the garlicky Picanha, Filet Mignon, Fraldinha, and Linguica. The Filet was an easy favorite as it was so tender it just about melted in your mouth. I prefered the Fraldinha, the bottom cut of the sirloin, over the Beef Ancho, the rib eye, only because I tend to like less marbled pieces of meat. I loved the Linguica as it was so flavorful and the exterior was very crisp from the rotisserie, which helped seal in the juices.
The only thing I did not get to try that I was looking forward to was the chicken but I think everything else more than makes up for that.
The biggest thing to remember is to pace yourself so use the GO and STOP cards they give you. Flip them over to tell the servers if they should come by the table or not. While it is completely acceptable to stuff yourself silly on all the different delicious meats you should try to save room for dessert. We had to keep reminding ourselves that.
We decided on getting the signature dessert which is the Fogo de Chão Signature Papaya Cream. This is a dish that is made with ripe papayas and ice cream. They use fresh, ripe papayas to blend with ice cream to create a very rich fruity dessert. This was a really good treat as it was so rich.
Of course we had to have some Creme de Cassis on top!
South American Flan was the real winner to us. Our server told us they make it daily on site and it is one of the top desserts. We thought the texture was light, creamy and very delicate. I could not get over the amount of vanilla specks that were visible in the caramel part of the custard. I would go back just for this.
Fogo De Chao is a special place to go to when you want to really enjoy a unique steakhouse meal. Dinner is $46.50 (Salad Bar Only – $22.50) so this is not a place to go for a casual dinner. A dinner out will cost you at least $60 a person and you will be so stuffed on very rich food you might want this to be for a nice occassion. Be sure to eat light before hand so you can really enjoy everything that is twirled around your table. And be sure to save room for dessert!
200 Dartmouth St.
Boston, MA 02116
*While I did recieive a complimentary brunch from Fogo De Chao these opinions are entirely my own.
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