Kelly the Culinarian: Fogo de Chao Opens in Naperville!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fogo de Chao Opens in Naperville!

Another night, another awesome meal! I got invited to the opening of Fogo de Chao in Naperville recently and was super excited to take the "how much grilled meat can I eat?" challenge. The place was bustling before opening night with reporters and influencers, which means I got to take a seat at the bar while I awaited my table.

The drink of the night featured cocktails infused with lemons and pineapples. Champagne was also flowing, but I stuck with the fruity cocktails for the evening.

Isn't the bar gorgeous? It's always refreshing to see a staff crafting your cocktail fresh rather than pouring it out of a pitcher. The bar was one of the first things I noticed in the decor, which I thought was a departure from other Brazilian steakhouses. Instead of a hushed and dark dining room, this was bright and lively, with high ceilings and bright white table linens. The salad bar is the anchor of the room and very much on display. Not surprisingly, my favorite part of the salad bar was ... the bacon. Just ignore that plate of bacon on my table in future photos. It was exceptionally crispy, coated in brown sugar and dusted with just a touch of spice. Sorry, lettuce, you've been replaced.

After a brief distraction with things that were not red meat, we were off to the races of stuffing our faces. As expected, the main course came in spades. I tried everything, from lamb to chicken to ribs and sirloin. Ever feel sorry for the chicken breast guy at these places? Because who says yes to chicken when filet mignon is available?

When you go, don't miss the pork ribs. They have an almost crunchy exterior that is reminiscent of bacon. The garlic beef was my favorite, because it had crispy little bits and just the right amount of garlic. The Parmesan pork was also excellent, and I got seconds of the top sirloin.

I didn't need dessert, but I also took one look at the molten lava cake and knew I had to have it. It was melty and delicious and paired so nicely with a nightcap of coffee that I have zero regrets. The crust on the Key Lime pie was also delightful. It was perfectly crumbly and tender, which went well with the creaminess of the filling.

Big thanks to Fogo de Chao and Blast! Marketing for the dinner invite!

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