Press reviews of the Grille from Ipanema:
Coeur d’Alene steakhouse serves up Brazilian barbecue, churrasco style
Greeted by the smoky aroma of grilled meat as I approached Grille from Ipanema, I knew something good was in store.
Inside, blond wood, colorful banners and Brazilian music create a festive atmosphere in this Coeur d’Alene steakhouse.
This is the traditional style of barbecuing in Brazil, called churrasco, says Adriano de Souza, from Brazil, who owns Grille from Ipanema.
A variety of meats are cooked over a mesquite or lump charcoal grill and served by waiters who slice a portion onto the diner’s plate.
“It’s a big part of our culture,” says Adriano, who is originally from Curitiba, Brazil, and wanted to introduce this unique dining experience to North Idaho.
As you slip into a booth or take a table near the window for views over the park, your server will explain how the concept works. Servers, called gauchos after the traditional Brazilian name for cowboy, roam the dining area and offer slices carved from their skewers of beef, pork and chicken until you’ve had your fill.
The narrow aisles between tables, and roving servers with skewers of hot meat, made it a little challenging to navigate trips to the buffet during a busy dinner visit, but this was a minor inconvenience in the overall experience.
You’ll be given a round token to signal the server. Flip the green side up and the waiters will keep the meat coming; turn it to red to take a break. Learn to use the token or you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the amount of food on your plate.
My 5-year old caught on quickly. As soon as he saw the grilled vegetable skewers coming he flipped that token over to red. More grilled pineapple? He flipped it back to green.
I liked the grilled tomatoes, zucchini and onions, which were lightly coated with Parmesan cheese.
At dinnertime, there are 19 different kinds of meats being beef, pork and chicken. The brown sugar pork, with its crisp glaze and rosemary seasoning, was a hit at our table, as was the chicken wrapped in bacon.
All of the beef is flavorful and tender, from the rare beef tenderloin to the pulled roast beef seasoned with paprika and tomato sauce.
Less successful were the fish, limp and too sweet from the mango sauce, and the Brazilian sausage, which was fairly bland. But the advantage to this style of dining is that you can try a bite of everything and have seconds (or thirds) of what you really enjoyed.
The salad bar is also included if you order the full churrasco experience ($24.99) and includes about a dozen cold salads and numerous hot side dishes. Fresh fruit, artichoke salad and colorful marinated vegetables are just a few of the choices of cold side dishes.
Black beans and collard greens are traditional Brazilian side dishes found on the buffet, along with Italian-inspired items like antipasto and gnocchi with red sauce. At first I was puzzled by the pasta, until Adriano explained that Southern Brazil was colonized by Italians, who left their mark on the cuisine.
The wine menu is well-rounded with several reasonably priced selections of red wine from Chile, Argentina and local that complement the grilled meats. You’ll also find specialty cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks made with tropical juices, some of which were far too sweet for my taste.
Lunch works the same way as dinner, with a slightly smaller number of choices. You can also opt for just the salad bar, or try a single skewer, like the sweet, succulent scallops wrapped in bacon ($17.99).
On the slim chance that you’ve saved room for dessert, you’ll find treats like cheesecake, ice cream and a five-layer mango cake on the menu.
Just like everything else at Ipanema, the portions are generous. I’d suggest foregoing the dessert for a second slice of grilled pineapple or crispy, sweet fried bananas from the buffet.
Grille from Ipanema offers a unique, fun dining experience that is suitable for a night out with the family or celebrating a special occasion with a group. Come hungry and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth of tender, flavorful grilled meats and side dishes.
Pacific Northwest Inlander
Lean and tan and juicy and lovely, the meat at Coeur d’Alene’s new Brazilian steakhouse, Grille from Ipanema, will make you say, Ahhh. According to owners Adriano and Wendy de Souza, who met in college, the menu is typical of southern Brazilian cooking. Adriano’s background includes years worked at Bonsai Bistro before opening Grille in downtown Coeur d’Alene’s chi-chi Parkside Tower location. Continue Reading…
Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living
The Grille from Ipanema. Brazilian BBQ. Reviewed August 2011. If you are hungry, this upscale Brazilian barbecue restaurant in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene offers an upscale, all-you-can-eat buffet along with the unique experience of Brazilian barbecue. Roving meat waiters (passadores) shave slices of beef, pork, and chicken off massive skewers right onto your plate tableside. The prices for a meal at this meat Nirvana are surprisingly reasonable and the festive colorful space turns any visit into a party. Read full review