Don’t you just love going out to dinner with family and friends? Celebrating birthdays and holidays takes on a more festive beat when you can meet at a great restaurant, with your table waiting and plenty of room to accommodate your large brood. You want to spread out a little, have elbow room to open those gifts and show off what’s inside without knocking over your dinner mate’s wine.
You want an ambiance that is bright and clean and a waitstaff ready to do whatever it takes to make your special night go off without a hitch. And the food. It needs to be spectacular, right? Nobody wants the mood dampened by overcooked meats or disappointing sides. In fact, you want a meal that rises to the occasion you are there celebrating. If you’re in the mood for a unique dining experience this holiday season that will overjoy your palates, then try Rodizio Grill in Sarasota.
Brazilian native, Ivan Utrera brought his love of churrasco dining to the United States in 1995, opening the first Rodizio Grill. He grew up enjoying the lore of Brazilian gauchos sitting around fires, burning in deep holes dug to protect the fire and food they were preparing from the harsh plain winds. Large pieces of prime meat were skewered and slowly cooked over smoldering embers before being thinly sliced by men with sharpened knives wielded from their belts. Thin, fork tender strips of meat were served in succession to all those around the fire. A meal at Rodizio Grill today is pretty much the same, moved indoors and fire out of sight from patrons, but the Brazilian gauchos? They’re your new waiters!
Here’s how it works: From a tantalizing menu, you decide whether you are going all out with the Full Rodizio, a delicious and unending assortment of meats, salad bar, and sides. This will run you $36.99 per person at dinner, and $25.99 for lunch. You also have the option to just purchase the sides and salad bar for $24.99 at dinner and $19.99 for lunch. They offer a Brazilian Brunch every Friday through Sunday, 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Prices for that are $25.00 for a Full Rodizio or $19.99 for the salad bar/side option. A full bar is available serving all the usuals, and provides fresh juices, along with several Brazilian varieties of beer and wine. If you have room at the end, you must try the Pudim de leite, a caramel flan with a Brazilian twist. Oh! So tasty, and that’s just one of the dessert choices so if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleased.
But if you’re at Rodizio Grill, you’re probably all about the meats. Beef options are plentiful and beautiful. I never realized how mouthwatering a large piece of meat on a skewer could be, but it is quite impressive. A melt-in-your-mouth tri-tip sirloin steak and beef center cut that were so tender, they became the topic of the conversation for the next couple of days. A moist and juicy chicken, Sobre Coxa, is marinated in their signature garlic wine sauce and delights your olfactory senses before you even take a bite. Other poultry items include a delicious Frango Com Bacon, succulent chicken wrapped in layers of bacon before being barbecued, very crispy and sweet. Tasty pork, lamb, fish and seafood options round out the grill menu. One of the standouts was the Presunto, a glazed ham that we could not get enough of, especially when paired with their grilled pineapple, also covered in that delicious glaze. Brazilian sides including Assado, a braised beef that takes two days to prepare and over six hours to cook is accompanied by Feijoada, traditional Brazilian black bean stew, Bananas Fritas, and Brazilian Polenta to name a few. There were too many to even try, so it is easy to see how you could make a meal out of sides and salad alone. Their gourmet salad bar has a vast assortment of cheeses, cured meats, pickled vegetables and over 30 salads, all made fresh daily.
As you watch your gaucho waiters parade past, you cannot wait for them to return. They are very intent on seeing your plate full so the next delectable cut of meat to be sliced at your table will be around soon. This holiday season they are offering a “buy $100 and get $100” gift card promotion from Thanksgiving through December 24 so it’s the perfect time to check them out for your holiday gathering. Rodizio Grill is located at 5911 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. For more information, please visit https://www.rodiziogrill.com/.
Photos credit of Rodizio Grill Facebook page