Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão opened its newest location in Tysons Corner back in January, and now, the popular restaurant is ready for outdoor happy hour season with the opening of its massive patio and Bar Fogo menu offerings.
Located on the ground floor of the premier 1775 Tysons Blvd. office tower, Fogo de Chão’s spacious outdoor lounge has plush seating, fire pits and heat lamps, perfect for post-work happy hour or a weekend outing.
And guests on the patio can enjoy the restaurant’s Bar Fogo concept, featuring small plates and craft cocktails during Bar Fogo happy hour, available Monday through Friday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Offerings include $4 Brazilian bites and beers, $6 South American wines and $8 Brazilian-inspired cocktails.
For small bites, I highly recommend the garlic shrimp (four jumbo shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with sweet peppers and onions), or the Brazilian empanadas (flaky pastries filled with seasonal picanha and onions served with chimichurri aioli for dipping).
As for drinks, you cannot go wrong with Bar Fogo’s take on Brazil’s national cocktail, the strawberry hibiscus caipirinha (silver cachaça mixed with hibiscus-infused syrup, fresh strawberries and lime). And after happy hour, you’ll definitely want to stick around for dinner, as I was lucky to experience this past weekend.
When first entering Fogo de Chão, you are immediately captivated by the dramatic floor-to-ceiling sculpture in the center of the restaurant, with hanging lantern lighting and warm tones that exude a comfort to the space. Brazilian history is also displayed throughout the restaurant with large panels depicting important figures in the country’s story.
An open kitchen showcases Fogo de Chão’s centuries-old Southern Brazilian grilling technique of churrasco, a variety of meats – pork, chicken, beef, sausage – grilled to perfection on skewers and served to patrons by servers, sliced right at their table.
The servers all work together, attending to all tables throughout the spacious seating area – something I learned was part of Brazilian culture’s noteworthy hospitality reputation. The Bar Fogo small plates and cocktails are available at the table, as are an impressive selection of wines, including many rare South American varieties.
As for the meal, you have a circular marker on your table that is red on one side and green on the other. And as the servers explain, similar to a stoplight, turning the marker green means you are ready for servers to approach you with the heavenly variety of meats for table-side slicing, while red means you are on a pause from the meat offerings.
To start, head to the market table to sample an impressive variety of seasonal salads, international cheeses and meats, smoked salmon with the fixings, and a variety of fresh fruits. Be sure to not load up to much though, as you will want to save some room once you turn that market green.
When you are ready to flip the switch, get ready for a bevy of flavorful choices, with everything from lamb chops, prime rib and bacon-wrapped steak to filet mignon, chicken wings and pork chops. And each offering comes with the question of how you would like it prepared, with servers able to slice the meat to your liking. And while you see the quantity of meats being offered, do not for a second think the quality is lacking, because I can assure you this meat is amazing.
And, as if you needed more options to dine on, servers come to your table with side plates of garlic-whipped mashed potatoes, crispy polenta and caramelized bananas to accompany the meal.
For the full churrasco experience including market table and feijoada bar (beans and rice), lunch is $36.95 per person while dinner is $48.95 per person. Do keep in mind that this is an endless passing of delicious meats and a market table that will have any of your future salads looking bland.
And for those looking for an option other than meat, Fogo de Chão offers an entrée serving of sea bass with the market table and feijoada bar for $42.95. Patrons can also opt to purchase just the market table and feijoada bar, which is certainly a meal in and of itself.
The Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs also feature seasonal recipes throughout the menu, sourcing local fruits and vegetables in the process. Current spring additions include a carrot ginger soup, blackberry arugula salad with crispy prosciutto and lentil quinoa salad with fresh herbs.
And do not skimp on dessert, if you have room that is. Go for the house-made tres leches cake or flan. It will give you the perfect sweet finish to a decadent meal.
Fogo de Chão: 1775 Tysons Blvd. Suite 50, Tysons, VA; 703-556-0200; www.fogodechao.com/location/tysons