Nothing can stop New Yorkers, that is a fact. The pace of the city, current events, and recent history remind us of this all the time. But when cold weather is accompanied with strong winds, rain, clouds, humidity and snow, it is only normal to not want to be out on the streets wondering around. It is in these conditions that some friends and I found ourselves, in the heart of the Theatre District, right on the corner that 48th Street and Eighth Avenue share, and we escaped the unfriendly weather by going into Brazil Grill.
Upon arriving, I realized the combination of weather, temperature and lunch-time made it so it was not the busiest moment for that Brazilian restaurant. The authentic food is served by courteous waiters, prepared to bring a feeling to experience as if you were in the South American country itself. The only three other occupied tables at the time of our lunch consisted of rather numerous and joyous parties of Brazilian people, happily talking in Portuguese with the staff and waiters. All these good signs of authenticity did not fail to come with a logical explanation, which was very clear once the food we ordered arrived. Delicious!
But let’s procede with order: the first thing that strikes you as you walk in is the bar, rather big for a restaurant. This doubt is cleared by the interesting selection of tasty cocktails that are offered, from the classics (caipirina, caipiroska, margarita, mojito) to sangria, pina colada, tequila sunrise, to multiple variables of martini (sour apple, chocolate, french, etc) and cosmopolitan (pomegranate, etc).
Food-wise, the most common ingredients are black beans, rice and meats of all kinds. But there are also dishes to satisfy most palates: seafood, salads, vegetarian dishes, pasta, polenta (cornmeal) and of course, dessert. Feijoada, a black bean stew with assorted pork and beef meats, served with rice, sauteed collar greens and oranges (on the side), is typical brazilian food, as is picanha na chapa, (slices of sirloin steak with sauteed onions) declared Brazil’s national dish by the management of Brazil Grill NYC. Also, a vast choice of Churrasco’s (literally: meat cooked over an open fire) accompanied by many different sides represents a must-try for meat lovers.
We tried the feijoada and the churrasco with chicken salad, and I must say, both were delicious, especially with the extra, typical chili pepper sauce that was offered to us. Overall, my experience was certainly pleasant, because of the good food as well as because the waiter who took care of us was friendly, always ready, and knew what he was doing. The atmosphere was friendly and intimate, nobody rushed us out of our seats, we were able to chat and have a good time, and we “ended” it all with a great (small) cup of real espresso, just as they make in my homeland, Italy–with Brazilian coffee beans, of course. As they’d say in their mother-tongue: “Delicioso!”
Location: 787 Eighth Avenue (southwestern corner of 48th Street)
Neighborhood: Hell’s Kitchen
Closest subway: 1, Q, R, N, C, E
Price range: $ 25 (moderate)
Cuisine: traditional Brazilian
Phone Number: (212) 307-9449
RESTAURANT REVIEW by Lorenzo Pozzan