Prized Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chao [pronounced fo-go dèe shoun] has established itself in Las Vegas with exotic flare, bringing new class to a rapidly growing style of cuisine in the US. With the first restaurant opening in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1979, this historic restaurant has found its Las Vegas home along restaurant row on Flamingo. Entering the churrascaria unveils extravagant taste and versatile, intimate ambiance for date nights and large group outings alike.
Those unfamiliar with the Brazilian steakhouse experience will appreciate its beauty for integrating fine dining with bottomless portions. More than a dozen different cuts of meat roast on 1,000-degree open-air grills, an age-old South American gaucho cooking tradition known as churrasco. Gaucho chefs then pull out the long skewers to serve tableside, where the meat is cut to guests’ liking. Guests signal for more with a double-sided coaster, where green means “keep it coming” and red signals “taking a break” or eventually, “filled to capacity.”
Fogo’s masterful selections include bacon-wrapped filet mignon, parmesan-crusted pork, delectably rich lamb chops and seasoned racks of ribs among other signatures. Amiable servers frequently check with guests to bring out requested selections to ensure a spectacular experience.
Endless sides include cheddar mashed potatoes, fried polenta, sweet plantains and pao de queijo, or warm puff cheese bread. Also available upon request is rice, black beans and farofa, or a traditional corn flour mixture that adds sensational texture to each dish. A 30-item salad bar, while not on par with the rest of the menu, further adds to the meal and provides for any vegetarian in the group.
Completing the experience is a 4,400-bottle wine list, made quite apparent with the lavish display visible through a floor-to-ceiling window in the main dining room. Be sure to try a caipirinha, a traditional Brazilian cocktail made with cachaca rum, sugar and lime. Be wary, however, that this delicate drink may vary from overly strong to unpalatably sweet. And if you do have the room after dinner, delectable dessert selections include rich turtle cheesecake, molten chocolate cake and a papaya cream topped with crème de cassis that should not be missed.
Don’t let the all-you-can-eat aspect give you the wrong impression: Fogo’s elegant layout provides a fun, dress-up or dress-down setting for everything from celebratory nights out to private parties. Here, you’ll find the quality food and chic panache you’d get on the Strip at a value you’d be hard-pressed to find on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Fogo de Chao is open for lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2 p.m., and for dinner Mon-Thur 5-10 p.m., Fri 5-10:30 p.m., Sat 4:30-10:30 p.m. and Sun 4-9 p.m. Lunch price is $29.50, dinner $49.50. This review was comped. For reservations or more information call Fogo de Chao at (702) 431-4500 or visit them online.