Firstly let me say Brazilian/Argentinian Barbecue is one of my favorite cuisines, as I was introduced to it by a good Brazilian friend of mine. I want to warn then, as someone who knows what this ought to taste like.
I found this restaurant to be very disappointing. I think that instead of going for quality, the people who run this think that the atmosphere will make up for inferior food.
The menu says you get a free cocktail, so my wife and I figured that even if it was more expensive than our regular place, the free drink would tempt us to give it a try since we'd buy a drink at the other place. We were served a kamakaze shot, which they called a "Caprihinia". This was not Caprihinia, which is made from Cachaca and served like a Mojito (not a shot). Then when I asked them to make a proper one, they did not know what that was. Oops, bad sign- should of known this plac was not authentic and packed my bags then.
My wife is pregnant so I drank hers- I actually had to ask if it was alcoholic. I could not tell I had had two drinks, so I suspect they water these "free cocktails" down quite a bit.
The tapas bar/appetiser course was okay. Nothing special, although no complaints either. I never bother with that stuff anyway when I eat this cuisine- it's filler. I just had some mussels.
Then I ordered a Martini. I didn't think to ask for it stirred and not shaken because I didn't want to insult the bartender (try go to a classy place in Chicago and if you ask for a martini stirred, they'll act like you've insulted their intelligence). It was shaken, ice shavings floating on the top, cloudy, bitter. I like my Martinis too and I know how to judge them. And it cost me $11, the same price as McCormick and Schmick's on Wacker- (best place imho in Chicago for cocktails).
Finally the meat came. This is the worst part of the review. Okay, "The Gaucho Way" is a technique of taking large cuts of meat, and slow cooking them with a special seasoning salt rotissirie style over an open fire. This meat was not cooked the Gaucho Way. Firstly, the meat had no flavor at all. It was like going for cooked-out steaks at your uncle's place. Secondly, it did not melt in my mouth the way it ought to. The meat was tough and thick ribbons of gristle, as opposed to fine fat marbling, was found throughout. Thirdly, the service was bad. I had to ask the waiter twice to bring more meat. In case you didn't know, these guys should keep it coming without you asking. Lastly, the way it was cut was bad- they should use like I said thick big, pieces of meat, and shave off the outside as it cooks, so you get the tender, salt-rubbed pieces. This was just a steak done on a weber grill, poorly stuffed onto a skewer and faked to seem like it was the real deal.
Please do not go to this restaurant. It's not like I am a loaded guy, and this was supposed to be my birthday present. I could have eaten lunch at Fogo de Chao (finest brazillian bbq in Chicago) for less than this, or sucked down Blue Point Oysters and (shaken!) Martinis at McCormick and Schmicks. The bill was about $100, for that much, you should be eating top of the line food- not this sad suburban attempt at fine dining.