Meat lovers: Fogo de Chão’s Reston Town Center location is open for business. This gleaming, cosmopolitan destination — the Brazilian churrascaria’s fifth DMV locale — is already attracting large crowds.
During our opening night visit, we ordered the full churrasco experience, fastened our seatbelts, and dug in. The $61 per person price tag gets you continuous tableside service bringing 14 signature cuts of fire-roasted beef, pork, chicken and lamb, as well as unlimited visits to the communal market table and feijoada bar. Come hungry. Wear loose clothing.
First stop was helping ourselves to the spread of salads, exotic vegetables, imported cheeses, cured meats, and soup. Our favorites: the platter of brown sugar and black pepper bacon brought a perfect balance of heat and sweet. Smooth, creamy butternut squash soup embellished with pumpkin seeds and parmesan cheese delivered a welcome crunch to the rich blend. A Brazilian vinaigrette was offered near the lettuce selections; we recommend this medley of vinegar, fresh tomatoes, and onions with every vegetable. Caprese salad with massive mozzarella and fragrant basil, arranged with juicy tomato slices, was a colorful light bite reminiscent of summer salads. Mild zucchini led the pack in the array of room temperature grilled veggies.
Next, we signaled the much-anticipated meat gauchos to proceed.
Our party sampled 12 meat varieties, served on a spit and carved tableside. Favorites were the costela de porco (pork ribs served with a lime wedge), picanha sirloin, and filet mignon — but all the meats were spot-on. We enjoyed the carvings with housemade chimichurri and hot sauces, garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas and polenta, served family style.
Always on the hunt for a great Argentinian chimichurri, Fogo’s version — classically mixed with freshly chopped parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil — was gone in moments and more had to be requested. It brought out the umami flavors in the meats, mixing and showcasing — not covering — the taste. The hot sauce was too spicy for our palate, but caramelized bananas effortlessly infused a welcome sweetness in our cuisine.
For dessert, luscious chocolate brigadeiro was a table favorite.
There were a few hiccups, to be expected on opening night. Our server neglected to bring pão de queijo — light cheese popovers — but we didn’t miss it. As far as alcoholic beverages, our advice is to closely read which wines and cocktails are on the all-day happy hour menu — the printed layout is deceptive and we unknowingly chose much more expensive drinks as a result, assuming they were on the happy hour menu. Also, there was a discrepancy on our bill that took over 30 minutes to get ironed out. Throughout, staff was friendly, professional, and attentive.
A note: Seafood dishes and market table only options are available for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant features an open-air churrasco grill, outdoor dining patio, dry aged meat lockers, an intimate bar, and a premium bar upstairs.
The experience? Overall very positive and a memorable eating extravaganza. The Southern Brazilian cuisine was flavorful, rich and indulgent.
Tell your friends: Fogo de Chão wows with gracious hospitality, a dizzying array of dining options, and a stunning, memorable setting. 1915 Democracy Drive, Reston
See this: open-air churrasco grill where guests can watch gaucho chefs demonstrate the art of churrasco
Eat this: butternut squash soup, signature picanha steak, chimichurri sauce, tres leches cake
Open Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m., Friday, 5-10:30 p.m., Saturday, 2-10:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2-9 p.m.
For more local restaurant reviews, subscribe to our Food newsletter.