Monday, February 18, 2008
The last time Dear hubby and I went to a restaurant where reservations were required was almost 6 years ago. We decided the other day that the streak had to come to an end. This Sunday the perfect opportunity was upon us since Sweetpea was spending the night at Grammy's house due to the President's day holiday. We made reservations at a restaurant in Philly right next to City Hall. It is call Fogo de Chao and is a Brazilian steak house. The meal is a "continuous service" meal where waiters walk - run around the restaurant carrying large skewers of meat and a very large knife. It is actually quite terrifying and I was waiting for a tragedy to happen at any moment.
We began with the salad bar, which was amazing in itself with it's plethora of fresh vegetables, breads, cheeses, smoked salmon, artichoke hearts (not canned either), and more and more. After taking a little of everything we returned to our table where the BEST tasting wine I've ever had was waiting for us. We ordered an Italian chianti and it was rich and smooth with a beautiful red color and sweet yet delicate taste. I brought the cork home so I can remember the name (italian names are not my strong point). The waiter then brings the 4 side dishes, cheese bread knots, garlic mashed potatoes, fried bananas, and polenta (fried corn bread). The system works with a two sided disc that is given to each diner, one side red (No thank-you) and green (yes, please). The second you flip it to green one of the many chef/waiters runs to your table offering you a cut of the meat. We had the opportunity to sample many cuts in numerous degrees of doneness. The roast leg of lamb was divine and obviously marinated for hours. The lamb chops were perfectly cooked, tender on the inside with a crisp outside grilled coating. The various cuts of sirloin ranged from garlic infused steak to pure roasts. There was also bacon wrapped filet and chicken, small chicken legs, and the best sausage we ever had.
We spent hours picking our way through the meat selection while our plates were changed to a fresh one the moment you thought it looked dirty, the side dishes were replenished to keep them warm, and the service overall was impecable. We finished off our meal with equally wonderful desserts (which you actually have to pick just one) and then made our way to walk around the city for a bit waiting to be able to take a deep breath again. It was a warm night for February and the slight mist stopped for us to enjoy our walk.
If you are looking for a new experience, this restaurant screams manliness with all of the meat (and there were many parties of just men there) but I enjoyed it immensely. I am looking forward to going back again but I wouldn't recommend small children go there, there are just too many knives running around bigger then most 3 year olds.