Hours: Dinner: seven days
Another entrant in the River North churrascaria wars, offering the gimmick of "wine angels."
Everything's larger than life at the Chicago outpost of this national chain of churrascarias, from the ten-foot-tall mirrors on nearly all the walls to the gargantuan plants to the three-story wine storage area, which boasts Chicago's first "wine angels," girls who retrieve bottles of wine while doing flips in the air, suspended by cables. The theme of excess carries over into the food as well: the salad bar alone offers several types of cheese, salami, prosciutto, marinated mushrooms, peppadews, seared tuna, smoked salmon, and my two favorites, strips of thick-cut, crispy bacon and a mammoth bowl of roasted garlic cloves. There's also a table with hot dishes like rice and beans, potatoes au gratin, and fish, a soup of the day (we had an overly salty lobster bisque), and a sushi bar, which we didnt brave after trying the entirely tasteless seared tuna. Meat is served in traditional churrascaria style by servers who walk around with giant skewers of it, hot off the grill, and carve it directly onto your plate; it's served with garlic mashed potatoes and fried bananas. The tableside service ensured that the meat arrived hot, but ours varied wildly in quality, some so salty it was almost inedible. A couple things, like the sausage and filet mignon, were outstanding; most of it was pretty good but unmemorable, and there was one grainy, dry piece of lamb that's been haunting my nightmares ever since. And the wine angel? We couldn't really see her from our table, but I checked on her at the end of the evening; she was hanging from her harness looking bored, reminding me more of a baby in a bouncer than an acrobat.
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