The Staci Zampa Team’s Must Try: Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse

There are two great options you can choose from when you’re craving a satisfying meal based on exceptional quality meat. A steakhouse is one of those options, where you’ll be promised a good steak (obviously), delicious sides, and fantastic service (depending on which steakhouse you choose, of course). The other option is the one I would pick, the rodizio. A “rodizio” style restaurant comes from the country of Brazil, and focuses on all-you-can-eat barbequed meat, continuously brought over to the table until you have had your fill.

The rodizio is based on “churrasco” style cooking, which comes from the Portuguese word for barbeque. There are many different cuts of beef served, alongside lamb, chicken, linguica (a Portuguese Brazilian style sausage), and others depending on the churrascaria you are dining in. Lucky for the city of Stamford, we have just gained our first churrascaria right in the heart of Downtown Stamford, called Terra Gaucha.

Stamford’s Terra Gaucha is the third installment of the restaurant (with the other two being in Florida), and is a carnivore’s paradise when you step inside the doors. After being greeted with a delightful “bem-vindo”, we were brought over to our booth-style table in the restaurant, and marveled at the large salad bar in the center of the restaurant. The waiter explained that we should start at the salad bar, and then flip over our coin on the table from red to green; signaling we were ready for the meat to be served.

The salad bar, which had so much more than just salad, was amazing. We did not want to eat too much before the meat, but had some tasty dishes including farofa (ground yucca flour from Brazil), red cooked beans, Caprese salad, grilled pineapple shrimp, and more. There were charcuterie and cheeses, a variety of pickled peppers and chili, and even a full basket of peppered bacon. The pao de queijo on the table (a cheese bread) was warm and fluffy, almost like a cheese popover.

When we decided that we were ready for the meat and flipped our coin, the parade of servers holding vertical spits with different cuts started arriving. Some of the highlights were the filet mignon, the beef ribs (crispy on top and fall apart tender underneath), the ribeye, and the picanha (top sirloin with garlic). We enjoyed all of the meat with mashed potatoes and broiled plantains, which kept being refilled when the bowl ran out. The service was fast, but everyone greeted us with the friendliest service and kindness; some of the best service we have seen in Stamford thus far.

After what felt like pounds of meat had entered our stomachs, we were ready to tap out. Do not leave without trying the tres leches cake either, it was probably the best tres leches I have had in my life. If you have a hankering for steak, but want more than just a small piece of meat for a giant price from a regular steakhouse, a churrascaria might just be the place for you. If you come to that conclusion, and you live in Fairfield County, then Terra Gaucha is the place to be.

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