My wife and I went to Ipanema on our 1st wedding anniversary. It was a great way to cap off our first year of married life. The food was excellent and the service was excellent. If somebody I work with wants to go out to a nice restaurant in Ocala, I recommend Ipanema to them.
I'd never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, but I caught on pretty quick. A couple of guys walk around with pieces of meat, stabbed through their centers with swords. If you place your chip on the green side, they stop at your table and offer you meat. If it's on red, they pass by. There's a good variety of meats - 13 different kinds if I remember correctly -including filet mignon, top & bottom sirloin, ribs, sausage, pork, parmesan chicken, leg-of-lamb, and more. Everything was excellent except the sausage (which wasn't bad, just not as good as sausage usually is) and the lamb (which made me want to vomit). So that left me with 11 out of 13 items that I thought were great. I think the top sirloin was the best meat they had.
Then there is the "salad" bar. I put salad in quotations marks, because it's really more than a salad bar. There is salad, yes, but there are also things like cold cuts of meat, shrimp, and more. There's also a hot bar that has mashed potatoes, delicious gravy, and amazing shiitake mushrooms. If I hadn't eaten pounds of meat, I'd have eaten pounds more of those mushrooms.
I also hear they have seafood, if that's you're thing.
A dinner for two ($37 ea.), plus a dessert for each of us ($15-20 total), plus tip (18-20%) was about $115. All things considered, a pretty reasonable price to pay for this meal. While it is twice as much as you'd pay at the Outback, the food is easily twice as good. It's about what you'd pay at the Melting Pot (so-called fondue), but the food at Ipanema is much, much better. And you can eat until you're heart is content.
Ipanema now serves lunch. I am not 100% sure, but their website leads me to believe they don't have as big a variety of meat as they do for dinner... but you'd want to call them to figure this out. Personally, I'd never go to lunch there, because I'd be so full when I was done, I'd be unable to work.
In closing... Ipanema has tons of great meats & a great salad bar, the quality of the food is excellent and it's all you can eat, and the service is excellent. The fact that it costs $37 per person is the only downside, but at least you're getting what you pay for. I'd recommend this place to anybody in Ocala or the surrounding towns looking for a good meal, especially those who enjoy good meats. Vegetarians ought to stay away.
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