Last Friday John and I were unexpectedly without plans. We remembered right away that it was the opening night of Fogo de Chão Boston. You can imagine how quickly we checked to see if there were any reservations left and how little we cared that the only one was at 5PM. John and I have been to Fogo in both DC and Vegas, and have become obsessed with it. We couldn’t wait to go!
Let’s back up for a moment. Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian steakhouse with 20+ locations across the US and Brazil. Their claim to fame is their “gaucho style” meats which are fire roasted and served table side on swords. More on that later.
Fogo de Chão Boston is located in bustling, lovely Copley Square.
The restaurant is nestled in on the first floor of the Westin Hotel. Such a good location for this place – easy to get to but, since it’s on the edge of Copley, it’s not a spot that is constantly mobbed.
Fogo’s signature style is an open dining room and lovely lighting; elegant but not too fancy. The gourmet salad and sides bar is at the center of the room, offering over 30 items including gourmet salads, fresh veggies, imported cheeses, artisan breads, cured meats, etc. Their 24 month aged wheel of Parmesan cheese is a highlight for me.
On to the food!
Immediately after being seated we were served Fogo’s famous side dishes – crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas. Their chimichurri table sauce is also a thing that dreams are made of. It’s garlicky and full of fresh herb flavor. I could eat this stuff on anything.
But my absolute favorite signature Fogo item (aside from the meats) is their pão de queijo (warm cheese bread). It’s light but chewy, perfectly cheesy, with a crispy outside. I can’t even explain how good this stuff is. I wish I could make it at home but know this is something better left to the pros.
Time for meat! On the table is a two sided colored disk for each person. One side is green, one side is red – leave the green side up and the meat parade will begin, leave the red side up and they’ll know you’re all set.
Since I don’t eat red meat I waved on the beef and lamb. The servers were hip to my preference and all of a sudden a deluge of white meat came our way. I enjoyed pork sausages, chicken wrapped in bacon, and parmesan pork.
Overall, our dining experience at Fogo was perfect, just as I expected. The meats were juicy and perfectly cooked, the salad bar was refreshed constantly, the ambiance was cozy and elegant. But the thing that makes Fogo so dang good is the service. Not 30 seconds went by without more meat skewers being proffered, my iced tea was refreshed after 2 sips every time, hosts made the rounds just to make sure we didn’t need anything else. A total of probably 15 waitstaff members checked in with us over the course of the meal. Some may think that’s overkill but at a place like Fogo, its not. It’s just amazing service that has made a repeat customer out of me.
Finally, because we are gluttons for punishment (in more ways than one), we got dessert: Fogo’s famous turtle cheesecake. It looks like we’ve gotten this every time we’ve been to Fogo, ha!
And to top it all off, we’re going again with friends tonight. Can’t wait!