This was my first time at Fogo, though I had heard a lot about it. The building itself is beautify, with a three story vaulted ceiling. There was a group of 10 that went to Fogo for Restaurant Week which helped greatly with the cost. We each got dinner for $35 per person, which is close to 50% off the normal price.
I agree with the comments that the waiters seem to push tables through, but since our seating was not until 9:30pm, we did not feel this pressure. However the entire restaurant buzzes with activity, so I am not shocked that the hectic feeling is passed along to customers. This is not a quiet, sit down and sip win dinner. This is a dining experience, and once you flip your card green, you better be ready for meat-a-palooza!
Dinner includes access to an amazing salad and anti-pasta bar, complete with cheeses, roasted vegetables, cured meats, olives, etc. I think they let people fill up on this salad bar ahead of the meal so there is less room for the higher priced meat. As a Fogo rookie, someone suggested that I not over do it at the salad bar, and I am glad for that person's advice.
Back at the table, the salad plates are cleared and the meat begins. In order to "activate" the meat course, you flip a paper coaster to either green (bring on the meat) or red (stop the meat). Within minutes of you flipping the card to green, the meat begins. The fast moving staff who are carrying spears of meat show up at your plate and shave off a piece of whatever they happen to have. For restaurant week they had sirloin, filet, lamb, bacon wrapped chicken, bacon wrapped scallop, ribs and they "house" cut of meat, which I could not identify the cut, but I completely enjoyed it. The chefs offer varying temperatures of meat (rare-well done), but since I mostly like medium-medium rare, I was happy with whatever they carved off for me. I am sure if you were one of those "I only eat well done beef" people, you may have had a bit more difficult of a time finding an acceptable piece.
During dinner the tables is plentifully stocked with three sides: caramelized plantains, fried polenta and mashed potatoes. All of these side dishes were excellent, but I especially liked the fried plantains.
Dessert was one of three choices: chocolate cake, cheesecake or key lime pie. The portions of pie were well sized, not a tiny bit of pie drizzled with all types of garnish. These were decent serving sides, and certainly enough to share.
The beer list has a lot of room for growth. Unfortunately they had your typical "American's Don't Drink Good Beer (ADDGB)" list. Bud, Miller, Coors, yuck, yuck, yuck. I stuck with the house wine instead, which was about $8 a glass which is in line with what I would expect to pay at a restaurant such as Fogo.
The service was good enough for my purposes. As I have mentioned, the restaurant really buzzes with activity, so I did not expect a super attentive waiter. My water and wine were kept full and my plate was cleared as needed.
I will 100% come back again to Fogo, but I think I will only do so during restaurant week so as to get the most value for my money. While it was a delicious steak meal, I would not be happy spending $75 per person on this dinner. For that type of money, I would rather go to a nice steak house and sit and enjoy a quiet dinner with my partner. Fogo was an experience, and great for a group event.
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