South Beach diners will soon be able enjoy the flavors of southern Brazil with the Miami debut of the internationally renowned steakhouse Fogo de Chão (pronounced fo-go dée shown). A traditional churrascaria featuring perfectly seasoned meats, authentic gaucho chefs and impeccable service, the restaurant will be a new Miami landmark with its blazing fire visible to passers-by. Opening fall 2008 in a 11,800-square-foot space at 836 First Street, Fogo de Chão will enchant visitors with a prix-fixe menu that offers 15 cuts of sizzling meat roasted over an open flame and served tableside by Brazilian chefs. Miami has always been an important city to us. Many Miami residents have dined in our restaurants in Brazil and throughout the United States.
For those that haven't dined at Fogo, we are confident our authentic cuisine and passion for service will impress Miami's in-the-know diners," said Jair Coser, Fogo de Chão's chief executive who co-founded the company with his brother Arri in their native Brazil almost 30 years ago. Today, the Coser brothers own 11 U.S. locations (Miami will be number 12) and six Brazilian locations of Fogo de Chão, including their newest location in Salvador, Brazil. Fogo de Chão's continued presence in Brazil guarantees a genuine experience for diners as the restaurant's chefs follow the country's culinary tradition by cooking beef, pork, lamb and chicken on a customized churrasqueira grill. Gauchos (southern Brazilian cowboys), under the guidance of executive chef/general manager Luiz Marcos Massocatto, present and slice the meats tableside from the roasting skewers, with guests controlling the pace of their meal by flipping small cards between green (more food, please!) and red (I'm on a break). While the meats take center stage at Fogo de Chão, the restaurant also boasts a gourmet salad bar featuring more than 30 cheeses, vegetables and cured meats; limitless sides of mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas, polenta and Brazilian cheese bread; an award-winning wine list; and authentic Brazilian drinks such as the caipirinha, made from sugarcane liquor, sugar and lime. Diners often end their meal with Fogo de Chão's signature dessert, the Papaya Cream, which combines fresh Brazilian papayas with vanilla ice cream and black current liqueur. Fogo de Chão has received numerous accolades since opening its first restaurant in the United States in 1997. Named one of America's top restaurants by the Zagat Survey, Fogo de Chão has topped critics' lists in locations such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Beverly Hills and Chicago. Nation's Restaurant News honored the restaurant with its Hot! Concepts Award, and Wine Spectator Magazine has presented Fogo de Chão with its Award of Excellence for the past seven years.