I was intrigued by the new Brazilian steakhouse in Hartford where the meat is carved tableside and the sides served family style. My sweetie and I finally made it there on a Tuesday night last week. The ambiance was nice - decidedly spanish, with tile floors and bright colors. However we got seated right by the bathrooms where I could see the men's room urinals when the door opened and the familiar bathroom deoderant smell kept wafting my way - so the waitress was kind enought to relocate us to a much better location.
The meal started off well with a fun appetizer bar and some cocktails with muddled pineapple. We were served a few additional sides as well such as coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and yucca fries. And then the meat started coming. Lots of options - with the better cuts arriving at the end...steak tips, rosemary chicken, pork, skirt steak, chorizo, turkey, sirloin, top sirloin. Had I known at the beginning the number of options, I would have forgone the first handful of offerings.
So my plate was filled with meat that I could I barely made a dent. And all the meat was cooked on skewers - so it ended up bland and dry. Nothing tastey at all. My sweetie cleaned up his plate, but he said it felt more like a chore than a reward...lumbering through the endless pile. I did ask about a takehome container for myself - but the waitress forwarded the request onto the manager who rudely came over and scolded us because it's an all-you-can-eat so leftovers are forbidden. Seemed a waste to me to throw out a full plate of my meat, but I would have been fine if the thuggish manager did not make me feel like I was trying to get one over on him. As a petite woman who generally splits an entree with a friend, an all-you-can-eat doesn't impress me much. So dinner for 2 on a Tuesday night with 2 drinks a piece ended up costing $91.00. And as we left, the manager was manning the hostess stand blatantly ignored us - too busy for a "thank you, goodnight".
My vote: Another disappointment from the Hot Tomato's restaurant group. They need to take some lessons from the Max restaurants in that customer satisfaction breeds success.