Welcome to Naperville, Fogo De Chao! I was recently invited to an exclusive grand opening dinner at the new location of this wonderful Southern Brazilian Steakhouse. Immediately upon arrival, my guest and I were greeted with their signature Caipirinha, which tasted better than I remembered. This drink was made with top shelf Cachaca (a raw sugarcane spirit), crushed ice, sugar and lime and is known as the Brazilian ‘national cocktail!’ Now I’m rooting for the U.S. to come up with something similar! We could use a fun national cocktail like this, couldn’t we?
Like their fellow restaurants, this location also offers a continuous meat service (which I couldn’t take advantage of given my pescetarian limitations); but guests around me looked fully pleased with the endless array of roasted meat!
Once I saw the extensive salad bar, I wasn’t worried about leaving hungry. In my opinion, the salad bar at Fogo De Chao, is one of the best in the city. It offers every imaginable seasonal vegetable, various soups and their famous Feijoada (a bean stew served with rice and yucca). I also got my hands on some fresh smoked salmon and would’ve been content at this point, however the very gracious staff also brought out their delicious Sea Bass for me. Seafood with a South American spin - this Mango Chilean Sea Bass was the highlight of my night. A mildly crispy yet tender fillet with home made mango relish, topped with a malagueta pepper sauce and served with sautéed asparagus spears on the side. I was one happy camper!
We also had an uninterrupted supply of their yummy Pao De Queijo (baked, mini cheese-flavored rolls) that were light as air, and easy to lose count of. If you love carbs, you’re in trouble with this one!
As usual, I also couldn’t pass up the desserts, not with Tres Leches Cake on the menu! So I ordered one. Out came a perfectly sweet and sufficiently moist piece of cake soaked in three different kinds of milk. The Crème Brulee, which my guest ordered, was also one of the best-glazed custards I’ve had, and worth a mention.
Throughout the night, we also had various staff members stop by our table for feedback and to tell us about their favorites. The restaurant was bustling yet there seemed to be a smooth flow with each table well attended to. My guest and I definitely felt special and cared for. A nicely done event and with a location such as the Freedom Commons, it will have Naperville residents crowding the restaurant in no time!