So this year we decided to keep it low key. We rented a hotel locally and booked ourselves a nice dinner. The hotel was very nice though I later found out that I booked the wrong one. The hotel I was supposed to book had a hot tub and included breakfast. I booked one with only a pool and no breakfast. Such is life...we had our snacks (Cheese Doodles! Peperoni!) and drinks (Tequila! Rum!) and just having some downtime and a king sized bed was all we needed. (That makes it sound dirty, but I just meant that it's nice to have more room when sleeping!)
The place we chose for dinner is a Brazilian Steakhouse. If you're not familiar with this type of restaurant, I can summarize the style in one word: meatastic.
This is NOT the place for vegetarians. They basically bring you spit roasted meat (beef, chicken, lamb and shrimp) until you're too full to move. For NYE, they had a special prix fix menu which included sparkling wine, soup, salad, rice and plantains and dessert in addition to all of the meat. While these extras were nice, I feel like we could have done without them as it turned out to be way too much food.
My plate quickly grew what I dubbed "the graveyard". After taking a bite of meat, I decided whether or not I'd eat the entire piece. After all, you never know what else is about to arrive! If I didn't love it, I pushed it to the back of my plate, behind the pile of rice into the graveyard. At the end of the meal, I had a huge pile of meat on my plate! This is not because I didn't like the food, it's just that I found other things I really enjoyed.
Our two favorites were easily the lamb and the sausage. The lamb was succulent and well seasoned and when it got to our table, it was still sizzling. That was Brian's favorite. My favorite, because I loved cured or smoked meats, was the sausage. It was a pork sausage and had a nice smokey flavor. It snapped in your mouth when you bit into it and was very juicy.
A few things were disappointing to me. First, I didn't like the flavor of their bacon so the bacon wrapped filet chunks and bacon wrapped scallops were quickly passed to Brian. (Bacon can't go into the graveyard, no matter how much I didn't like it!!) There was also another piece of beef which was supposed to be very flavorful, but I wouldn't know because I couldn't cut into it. It was like a brick. The shrimp was too garlicky-and for ME to say that, you have to know that it was REALLY too garlicky. It also had some Parmesan cheese on it, which tasted funny.
Even though we were stuffed to the gills, we ordered dessert. It was included, so, you know...we HAD to get it. :) Brian ordered the Tres Leches Cake and I got the Passion Fruit Cheesecake. I didn't taste Brian's but he said it was good. The cheesecake was delicious!! Tangy and sweet, creamy...it was perfect. I wish I could have some right now.
But that's not part of my diet. Sadly.
The atmosphere at the Brazilian Steakhouse restaurant was lovely. They had a man softly playing piano in the corner and the lights were dimmed. Our tables were lit with candles (we kept blowing ours out by accident though-and they kept re-lighting it for us!). The entire staff were very attentive and pleasant and were right on top of things. We never had our water glasses go empty and they did indeed, keep bringing meat until we said stop!
We were in a meat coma for hours afterward. Which, if you're going to dine at a Brazilian steakhouse, is pretty much what you can expect. Would I go back? Yes, I think I would, but only if they were serving their normal menu.