Dining is more than food, it’s about creating an experience. At the newly opened Fogo de Chão you get exactly that. Fogo de Chão is a fine dining, full-service Brazilian steakhouse which brings authentic Churrascaria to New Orleans as well as other locations nationally. The celebrated traditions experienced in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and now celebrated in the heart of the Big Easy. The two-story restaurant and bar is located inside the JW Marriott on Canal Street.
My husband and I attended a private reception and ribbon cutting as local media and experienced the Brazilian gaucho traditions of Churrasco for the first time. The continuous dining service, “espeto corrido” and the art of roasting meats over an open fire control allowed the guest to enjoy the variety of offerings and pace of the dining experience.
Prior to the dining experience at Fogo de Chão, we ordered a Caipirinha, a traditional drink from Brazil. Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça, sugar and lime. The cocktail is part of Fogo de Chão’s extensive cocktail program and also features an award-winning wine list. Making our way to the table, guests can enjoy the view from the open kitchen which showcases the centuries-old culinary grilling tradition and gaucho chefs.
Hungry yet? Fogo offers a gourmet Market Table & Feijoada Bar which includes fresh vegetables, a large selection of meats and cheeses as well as seasonal salads, soup and feijoada which is a traditional black bean stew with rice, yucca flour and fresh orange which is known to aid digestion.
Once guests are ready to begin their dining service, flip your card over and enjoy a tableside carving of 16 cuts of meats prepared by Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs who butcher all of the meats in-house then roast them over an open fire prior. Some of our personal favorite savory, fire-roasted meats include a Cordeiro—fresh lamb flavored with a special mint marinade, the Ribeye, a marbled cut of beef and the Fraldinha which is a flavorful cut of beef from the bottom sirloin.
Side dishes include seasons mashed potatoes, crispy polenta and warm cheese bread. Be sure to garnish your cuts of meat with housemade salsa or (my personal favorite) the chimichurri sauce. Pace yourself from the meat service by flipping your dining card over from green to red to pause table-side carvings. Resume as desired, but don’t forget about dessert! Fogo de Chão dessert menu featuring items like the signature Papaya Cream, Crème Brûlée, New York Style Cheesecake and Brazilian Flan all made in-house.
I ordered the Papaya Cream, while my husband Brazilian Flan. Being very familiar with flan and making my own for years, I thought the South American flan was creamier than traditional flan. My gracious husband noticed how delighted I was with the flavor and texture and traded desserts with me, My only disappointment was not wearing my stretchy pants to dinner last night!
Fogo de Chão also features Bar Fogo offers a more casual way to experience Fogo. Guests can order cocktails, enjoy shareable small plates and also offer daily Happy Hour specials in the bar area. Fogo de Chão does accommodate guests with dietary restrictions and offers many alternatives. Be sure to discuss them with your server or manager.
The restaurant is perfect for private events, business meetings (they offer USB connectivity at the bar) and are wheelchair accessible. While reservations are not required, they are encouraged.