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Restaurants & Bars 11

Carnaval Barzilian Grill (Richmond Hill - Beaver Creek)

Steven | Jan 2, 200610:37 AM

I wish I had better things to say about this restaurant. Honestly, I waited almost a year for a restaurant like this to open in Toronto. While visiting Memphis, TN a year ago I discovered this style of eating; waiters carrying large skewers table to table dropping off succulent pieces of meat along the way. The salad bar in Memphis was outstanding and so was the service. So when I read that the exact concept was coming to MY city, well I told everyone about how great its going to be. I counted down the days. I have been to Carnaval twice with different groups and I shake my head. Why do people take such great real estate, a proven dining concept and put so little time and attention in to its creation? Go big or Go home! This is Toronto; we can handle a decent restaurant! The room is large and cavernous. There is no style whatsoever as it feels like a cafeteria. A large stage sits off at one corner for weekend entertainment. My group says - avoid the weekend! It is MUCH too loud to enjoy conversation, and truly uninspired for the extra 10 bucks! Ok so lets get to the food. True carnivores will enjoy any chance they get to devour large quantities of meat; and this is definately the place for that. If you can withstand the saltiness of the meats, you will be in heaven. The quality of the meats are all very good to excellent, but many taste the same - salty. Opt for the garlic style when you have the choice. On both evenings there were no chicken wings, but the legs were perfectly cooked. The tables favourites - the Sirloin, Lamb Chop, Garlic Rumpsteak and the Pork Ribs. The Sausages were excellent but after eating all the salt in the meats, they ironically lacked salt. The Tenderloin Pork was anything but tender as it was so over cooked and dried out. The salad bar has one or two tasty items on it that are worth getting out of your seat for; but come on guys, the presentation is aweful as most dishes are just chucked into a bowl or into a heated buffet tray! Many of the items need to be rethought and then the keepers need to be presented in a more appetizing way. The service. In Memphis our plates were full with choice meats everytime we requested refills. A swarm of servers would visit your table and in no time you would have 3 or 4 different items on your plate. At Carnaval, they come around one by one with a lot of waiting between items. You end up feeling like your eating scraps. You get one slice of sirloin and hope that the whole table will get some before the server runs out. Eventually a different item appears and so on and so on. French style service has no place in a Brazillian Grill House! Bring it on! Deserts are above average and the Grilled Pineapple is sensational. HINT: dont let the server slice your pineapple if it isnt browned. They are supposed to do one turn of the pineapple and then take it back to the kitchen for regrilling, but unfortunately that important attention to detail is lost on the servers. Those that know the difference would probably want to stay away from Carnaval. Those that just want to feed on a lot of different meats may find satisfaction. Either way, I hope an experienced restauranteur with a lot of bucks brings Toronto the "real thing" sometime soon. The waiting continues...

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