So last night, we did one of the things that we promised ourselves that we were going to do with the tax refund – splurge on a nice dinner for the anniversary of the day we met. (See yesterday’s post for more on that story.)
After much debate, we decided to go to Estancia Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse here in town. Dinner here is a little different. Meals are all-you-can-eat. Side dishes are brought to the table family style. Main dishes are brought throughout the restaurant on saber-like skewers, where they ask if you want what’s being offered on that skewer. If you say yes, then a portion of the meat being offered is either slid off the skewer onto your plate using a knife, or carved off the skewer where you, as the guest, use provided tongs to grab the carving off the skewer and place it onto your plate. There are 16 main dishes to try (the menu is here, for those interested) and we got in on the majority of what was being offered.
In addition to the polenta, potatoes, plantains, and fried bread that came to the table as side dishes, there was a cold cuts plate that offered prosciutto, salami, smoked salmon, and fresh mozzarella balls. We were served picanha, a cut of sirloin seasoned with either sea salt or garlic (we got both varieties); filet mignon wrapped in bacon (there was a version that was not bacon wrapped that we didn’t get); ribeye; Brazilian grilled shrimp; cordiero, a carving of leg of lamb; cordiero chops, lamb chops on the bone; lombo de porco, a pork tenderloin served with parmesan; linguica, a savory pork sausage link; frango, which was chicken breast wrapped in bacon; and costela de porco, or pork ribs. Everything was juicy, cooked to perfection, and needed absolutely no sauces or seasonings other than what was done in the kitchen. All totaled, we missed only five of the 16 cuts of meat from their menu, but we were delightfully full at that point.
The table next to us had two birthdays that they were celebrating, so we wished them happy birthday and took their recommendation on the crème brûlée for dessert. We split one, since my wife was getting full and I didn’t have any business with a full dessert of my own, and we got a couple cups of decaf coffee. Somewhere in passing during the meal we mentioned to our waiter that were were celebrating an anniversary, and after that point almost everyone that came to the table wished us happy anniversary. The crème brûlée arrived at the table just as you see it pictured above, personalized for our special occasion. It was absolutely divine and the coffee was an excellent compliment to the dessert.
We got our tab and noticed that they comped the dessert, along with a little note on the receipt saying “happy anniversary.” After we paid out, we made our way out with several of the staff wishing us a good night and a happy anniversary along the way.
It was pricey, but was exactly what the doctor ordered. It’d been so long since we’ve been able to do anything special for one another to celebrate a special occasion and we were figuratively starving for the experience. It was a beautiful ending to a very special day with the most special person in my life.
Yesterday was a good day.