Dr. Fabio Gontijo, based in Brazil, has made a name for himself in the world of dermatology and cosmetic procedures, first gaining notoriety during a weekly television panel “Ask the Dermato”, a program discussing the general health, dermatology and aesthetic procedures.
In 2020, he was part of the first season of “A Melhor Version”, which was the first Brazilian television show focused on dermatology. Fast forward to today, her celebrity clientele includes mega-influencer Camila Loures; international models; and singers Vitor and Guilherme. While Dr. Fabio Gontijo has successful practices in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, he frequently travels to New York for clientele when duty calls.
Here are his favorite Brazilian steakhouses to visit in town.
Fogo of Chao
Located in midtown Manhattan, Fogo de Chao is a three-story all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse known for its extravagant cuts of meat. Founded in 1979 in rural Porto Alegre, it wasn’t until 1987 that the upscale chain expanded to America. Today they have over 50 restaurants worldwide. Fogo de Chao’s menu features incredible cuts of meat, carved sides and is the ultimate churrascaria.
“I love to feast on everything I can when I come to a traditional churrascaria,” says Dr. Fabio Gontijo. “Some of my favorite cuts of meat are picanha and NY Strip. Fogo de Chao meats are always super juicy and tender. And I can’t get enough of the hot pao de queijo. It’s a nice reminder of home when I’m in the Big Apple on business.
The selection includes filet mignon fillets; the picanha, which is their signature steak made with the main part of the top sirloin; bone-in rib eye; bacon wrapped steak; ancho wagyu; wagyu NY Strip and much more. For customers who really want a special experience, they can also order the dry-aged ancho tomahawk which is a 36 oz. Long Bone Ribeye dry aged for a minimum of 42 days.
Fogo de Chao also offers fire-roasted chicken, lamb and pork, including the lamb picanha, marinated in fresh TNZT, white wine and lemon before being fire-roasted, and the double-cut bone-in pork, marinated for 48 hours with roasted garlic, fresh herbs and lime zest.
There’s even a seafood menu that serves everything from chilled lobster and shrimp to seafood tower and Chilean sea bass. This all-you-can-eat experience also includes a selection of Brazilian sides like fried bananas; farofa, yuca flour sautéed with bacon and sausages; and their famous hot pao de queijo, soft cheese buns.
The history of this traditional Brazilian restaurant began in 1979, when the family-run Ipanema was run by the owners’ grandmother. This upscale restaurant offers a rich and hearty menu that brings together the best of Brazilian and Portuguese cuisine. Ipanema implements modern takes on classic dishes like bioque and picanha using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Popular starters include bacalhau not a bras with freshly dried cod, egg yolk and crispy potato; polvo (octopus) with fingerling potatoes; the cavalina with smoked mackerel and smoked aioli; and the barriga de porco with pork belly and jus. Popular larger entrees include bitoque with the NY Strip and potato gratin; the picanha at the Bordeaux port; the porco country coast with feijao tropeiro; and the chickpea bacalhau.
This churrascaria offers diners an authentic all-you-can-eat dining experience, including table cuts of their signature picanha; deck steak; Pork Loin; sirloin and countless other meats. The restaurant includes a wide selection of sides such as grilled vegetables, fried plantains, black beans and more. There are also a few seafood options, including a grilled salmon and a fillet of white fish.
Known for its substantial meats; friendly and attentive servers; and a desire for authenticity, Churrascaria Plataforma is a fun and lively place to get your fill of Brazilian cuisine. This place also has a lively bar serving their special “Caipirinhas”, a drink made with fresh limes, sugar, crushed ice and “Cachaça”, a Brazilian liquor made from raw sugar cane.