Lasso Gaucho isn’t short on wow factor. The Brazilian steakhouse, which sits across from the Galleria on Sunrise Boulevard, announces itself as a stylish night out as soon as you walk through the door. The expansive dining room sits under chunky wooden arches that give the impression of a lodge where the day’s kill is about to be feasted on. A wine wall takes up the entire back wall – behind it are the cozy private-event spaces. Stylish, art deco-esque bar carts are parked here and there.
And you will indeed get the big, event meal this space promises. But beneath the urbane façade, there’s the authentic taste of rural Brazil here.
“We are born and raised in the south part of Brazil. We are traditional, we are consistent,” says Antonio Jochem, who owns the restaurant along with Alessandra Jochem and Rudimar Rech. This is Brazilian cooking churrascaria-style, which comes straight from the rural southern part of the country they know.
That means they’ve got the gauchos roaming the floor with cuts of steak, pork, lamb and chicken, ready to slice off some at each table. There are several cuts of sirloin, filet mignon, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, leg of lamb, lamb chops, beef ribs, parmesan pork, pork sausage … you get the idea. It’s dining with a sense of theater and presentation – and indulgence. “We are a destination restaurant where people come to experience something really different,” Alessandra says.
So far, so meaty. But there’s also something here for people who aren’t as wild about the idea of roving meat-purveyors in a restaurant. The term “salad bar” isn’t one that Alessandra thinks really covers what Lasso Gaucho does. There’s imported cheese, cured meats, smoked salmon, rice and beans, soup – plenty of things that aren’t massive hunks of meat, in other words. And everybody gets the Brazilian cheese bread.
“It’s not just like salad and tomatoes on the salad bar,” Alessandra says. “If someone says ‘I don’t eat meat,’ I say ‘No problem.’ Whatever you have in mind, we are here.”
There’s also a menu to go with the drinks at the stylish bar in the corner. This might not be event dining, but if the event is “Tuesday evening light dinner,” they can accommodate that. (The 4-to-7 happy hour is a particularly popular time for this.) They can even answer your question if you’ve ever wondered what a fancy Brazilian grilled cheese is like.
The owners have been in the business for years, bring in chefs from Brazil and enjoy being out on the restaurant floor themselves, Rech says. “Consistency,” he says, “is a part of the success.”
The Dish: Brazilian Lamb Chops (with Brazil’s traditional cocktail, the caipirinha)
Brazilian Lamb Chops
- 24 lamb chops
- 1/2 bag fresh mint
- 1/2 cup fajita seasoning
- 1/2 cup lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1.5 l Chardonnay wine
- Mint jelly to taste
Blend all ingredients (other than ribs) in blender. Add Chardonnay.
Spread over the ribs and grill and serve with mint jelly. Grill until ribs are tender and easily pierced, but not completely falling off the bone – depending on grill heat, 1.5 to 2 hours.
- 2 oz cachaça
- 1 muddled lime
- 2 tbs sugar
Shake it all for about 20 seconds and serve.