Chima Brazilian Steakhouse August 27, 2011
2400 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ste. C 5:30 PM Reservations
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Friends, we finally made it to Chima! We had been trying to visit here for the last couple of months but life kept getting in the way. Nothing was stopping us today, not even 96 degrees of blistering heat and humidity.
Chima is located just west of the intercoastal bridge on Las Olas Boulevard, on the south side of the road. Blink and you’ll miss it, but look for an orange building and the valet parking sign. Chima doesn’t have their own parking lot and public parking is scarce that far east on Las Olas so we highly recommend the $3.00 valet parking.
From the valet stand you immediately walk through this absolutely beautiful outside court yard/lounge area. White and brown tables and chairs on top of this burnt orange tile (or was it cement?) but what really catches your eye are the 2 humongous 150 year old Banyan trees. There is full bar service outside and on this day live music by a couple singing sexy Spanish songs. Muy Caliente! I could stay out here all day!
Inside at the hostess stand we told the young lady we had 5:30 reservations, she immediately greeted us by our names and we were escorted to our table. (Reservations were made via Opentable.com, reservations are strongly recommended at Chima.) On the way to our table we noticed the inside bar with it’s neat looking stools and lighting. I also couldn’t help but notice how exceptionally clean everything is including the bathroom. From the mirrors and windows to the carpet and spotless silverware…spic and span. At this point I would like to point out Chima’s dress policy: Business Casual. We were dressed for casual Saturday but weren’t treated any different than our better dressed table neighbors.
Our table for 2 was covered in white linen with all the usual settings but our waiter explained to us the not so usual “Purse Hooks” under the table. Yes, ladies, purse hooks to keep your purse off of the ground and off of the back of your chair. The waiter asked if we would like natural or sparkling water (always a sign of an upper scale restaurant) and then proceeded to take our adult beverage order (2 white sangria’s $10 each) and sent it to the bar via his iPod Touch (kewl!). At this point we were given 2 chips with one side black and the other side orange. Orange side up means “bring it on” or “yes, please bring me more carved meat”. Black side up means “I’m digesting, please go away” or “No thank you, please pass me by”. Small plates of tiny appetizers where brought to the table: Fluffy cheese bread balls, smoked turkey dip (my personal favorite) and beef and chicken crochets. These were replenished constantly while we were still working on the salad part of our dinner.
We’ve all been to salad bars, right? So you’re thinking Sonny’s or Ruby Tuesdays…..BANISH THESE THOUGHTS PEOPLE. This is probably the most elegant salad bar I’ve ever seen. You won’t find canned pudding or warm pickle spears and you certainly won’t see them dump a plastic bag full of brown tinted lettuce into the community bowl. There’s potato chicken salad, shrimp salad, sliced smoked salmon sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella balls with sliced tomatoes and this awesome vinaigrette dressing, at least 4 different lettuce types that look like they were plucked from the ground and washed that day, fruit and many other items I’ve forgotten. Also on the salad bar are hot items like black beans and rice, soups and fresh baked bread. The salad bar is also where you’ll find your condiments like chimichurri sauce, horseradish and steak sauces. Once you have returned from the salad bar you’ll find your chair pulled out for you, your napkin has been refolded, and your table rid of any crumbs and your water and tiny appetizers refilled.
Time for the main event! The salad plates are whisked away and the waiter asked if we’re ready. The chips have been flipped to orange and here comes the first guy with meat on a stick. It’s ribeye, the server asked how we take it. Medium and well done are towards the bottom, rare and medium rare towards the top. He sliced our selections from the skewer and you use these tiny salad tongs to grab your meat and pull it over to your plate. The rib eye is perfect, juicy and dipping it in that homemade horseradish sauce….you will hear angels sing. Another round of appetizer plates are delivered but this time it’s the smoothest mashed potatoes you’ve ever seen, petite fried bananas that taste just like banana pudding and what I think are fried yucca that taste like French fries. Meat stick guy #2 arrives and he has filet mignon (if you have to ask for A-1 you may get slapped or at the very least an evil eye). Guy #3, 4 & 5 come and go…Beef ribs, Swordfish and salmon. UNCLE!! I need to rest! Then remembered to flip the chip to black. Sitting back and secretly undoing “the top button” we know there is no way we can leave yet, we still had more meats to try. Chips flipped back to orange and we’re coming down the home stretch…pork and chicken are up next. Everything is perfection! There were 2 meats that we passed on and they were sausage and lamb chops. Neither one of us are big fans of those.
Dinner plates gone and looking for the complimentary wheelchair to help our heaping butts out of there, Lissa wants desert. She ordered a Crème Brule. She says it’s wonderful. I was too full to taste it but I have to admit, it looked delicious. (Lissa here. Jennifer didn’t know what she missed. I LOVE me some creme brule and I have to say that at Chima it was delish! No burnt sugar taste, creamy center … stuffed or not, it was worth the over-stuffed feeling to scarf that down!)
Time for the check and some final thoughts.
2 – Rodizio Dinniers (the AUCE plan)…$49.50 each…$99.00
2 – White Sangrias (Really good)…$10.00 each….$20.00
1 – Ultimate Caipir (an expensive drink)….$14.00
1 – Crème Brule….$9.00
Total bill for us this night: $142.00, $8.52 tax……..$150.52 (Not including gratuity.)
Chima is beautifully decorated inside and out, the service is outstanding and the food is incredible. This place has such a Sex in the City feel to it. We think it’s the perfect date night place. (We would not recommend bringing children here.) If we used a star system Chima would rate 4 and ¾ stars. Had the drink prices been a little more reasonable this would have been 5 stars, hands down.