Brazilian-based Dr. Fabio Gontijo has made a name for himself in the world of dermatology and cosmetic procedures, first gaining notoriety while on a weekly televised panel ‘Ask the Dermato,’ a show talking about overall health, dermatology and aesthetic procedures.
In 2020, he was a part of the first season of ‘A Melhor Version,’ which was the first Brazilian TV program focusing on dermatology. Fast forward to today, his celebrity clientele includes mega-influencer Camila Loures; international models; and singers Vitor and Guilherme. While Dr. Fabio Gontijo has successful practices in both São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, he frequently travels to New York City for clientele when duty calls.
Here are his favorite Brazilian steakhouses to visit when in town.
Fogo de Chao
Situated in midtown Manhattan, Fogo de Chao is a three story Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouse thats known for its extravagant cuts of meat. Founded in 1979 in countryside of Porto Alegre, it wasn’t until 1987 that the upscale chain expanded to America. Today they have over 50 restaurants world wide. The menu at Fogo de Chao features incredible cuts of meat, carved table side and is the ultimate churrascaria.
“I love feasting on everything I can when I come to a traditional churrascaria,” says Dr. Fabio Gontijo. “Some of my favorite cuts of meat are the picanha and NY Strip. Fogo de Chao’s meats are alway super juicy and tender. And I can’t get enough of the warm pao de queijo. It’s a nice reminder of home when I’m in the Big Apple on business.”
The selection includes filet mignon tenderloins; the picanha, which is their signature steak made with the prime part of the top sirloin; bone-in-rib eye; bacon-wrapped steak; wagyu ancho; wagyu NY Strip and so much more. For guests who really want a special experience, they can also order the dry-aged tomahawk ancho which is a 36oz. 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 with fresh mint, white wine, and lemon before being fire-roasted and the bone-in double cut pork chop, 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 the 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 that’s sautéed with bacon and sausage; and their famous warm pao de queijo, soft cheesy rolls.
This traditional Brazilian restaurant’s history began in 1979, back when the family-run Ipanema was ran by the owners’ grandmother. This upscale restaurant features a rich, hearty menu that brings together the best of both Brazilian and Portuguese cuisines. Ipanema implements modern takes on classic dishes like the bioque and picanha using fresh locally sourced ingredients.
Popular starters include the bacalhau not a bras with fresh cured cod, egg yolk and crispy potato; polvo (octopus) with fingerling potatoes; the cavalina with cured mackerel and smoked aioli; and the barriga de porco with pork belly and jus. Popular larger entrees include the bitoque with NY Strip and potato gratin; the picanha with port bordelaise; the porco country rib chop with feijao tropeiro; and the bacalhau with chickpeas.
This churrascaria gives diners an authentic all-you-can-eat dining experience, including table side cuts of their signature picanha; Platforma steak; pork loin; sirloin and countless other meats. The restaurant includes a huge selection of sides such as grilled vegetables, fried plantains, black beans and more. There’s also a few seafood options including a grilled salmon and white fish filet.
Known for its substantial meats; friendly, attentive waitstaff; and desire for authenticity, Churrascaria Plataforma is a fun, lively spot to get your fill of Brazilian cuisine. This spot also has a lively bar serving their special “Caipirinhas,” a beverage of fresh limes, sugar, crushed ice and “Cachaça,” Brazilian liquor made from raw sugar cane.