The dining experience described below was complimentary.
When I’m looking for a place to dine in the vast sea of options around the Atlanta area, I tend to lean more towards places with poultry, seafood and vegetable options. I’m not a heavy red meat or pork eater so I found it easy to look past destinations like Chama Gaúcha. I really should have given them a try a long time ago because their menu offerings are much more varied than I thought.
I visited their Atlanta location on Piedmont Avenue in the heart of Buckhead on a weeknight. The drive getting there from work gave me plenty of time to hope with all my might that it would be worth the effort. Yes, we folks in this city will drive to get to our favorite dining spot if it’s that good. However, when you’re going to a place for the first time, you want to believe that your high expectations will be realized so you can justify the tiresome act of sitting in traffic. For the record, it was well worth it.
Steeler Fan joined me on this night. Upon arrival, we were escorted by a host to one of their private event spaces. This room looked out over the main dining room on one side, into the bar area on another with access to a lounge area on the third. The lounge is where we started.
We ordered cocktails which helped to set the tone for the night. I tried the Chama Sangria while Steeler Fan opted for the Bourbon Lemonade. Both were delicious! We sat near one of the heaters which kept us nice and toasty while relaxing, enjoying our drinks and mingling with blogger friends.
When it was time for dinner, we chose to sit a table for four. I don’t know the size of the table but it certainly felt intimate after things started moving. We were greeted by our hostess, DeEtte Kattel who explained how the Brazilian way of serving meats works including what we were to do with the red and green cards at each setting and what to expect from the gauchos who would enter and exit the room at warp speed. Slight exaggeration but they do move quickly.
We were instructed to start at the salad bar with items ranging from cheeses and charcuterie to fresh vegetables and house-made salads. You can lose your mind and fill your plate beyond reason or you can spoon responsibly, keeping in mind that there are lots of meats to try. There are also a few side options you can order for the table like polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, carmelized bananas and pão de queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread).
Once the gauchos started arriving, it was non-stop. You decide when you want service by flipping your card; green means you’re ready, red means you’re done. Chama offers 12 cuts of meat carried vertically on large skewers. They include beef, pork, chicken and lamb and they also serve shrimp. The menu describes choices like Picanha (prime cut of Sirloin), Filet Mignon, Ribeye, Costela de Boi (beef rib with rich marbling), Cordeiro (flavorful rack of lamb), Costela de Porco (pork ribs) and more.
The gauchos will slice it for you based on your cook preference. We each received tongs at our place setting so we could grab and plate each slice. For someone like me, this is a good way to control meat consumption while trying something new. For Steeler Fan, it’s a way to have it all!
Overall, we thought the meats were well seasoned, we absolutely loved the shrimp and the salad bar options were refreshing. Our hostess and the servers were incredibly attentive. I stood up without removing the napkin from lap and it fell to the floor. Before I had a chance to will my arm to extend itself towards the casualty, the napkin was swiftly snatched up and a new one was provided by a waitperson in stealth mode. As they say, “It was all a blur” but an impressive one it was.
Dinner concluded with dessert and a gift. I toyed around with a dish of Crème Brulee while a dining opportunity for my readers was handed out. If you’d like to try Chama Gaucha for yourself and a companion, just follow the instructions in the widget. Good luck!
Disclosure: Dinner and drinks at Chama Gaucha were complimentary. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are based on my own personal experience. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here.