By Tab Hauser
Steak lovers will delight in the fare offered by Chama Rodizio at 284 Glen St. in Glen Cove, one of the city’s newest restaurants. The word “rodizio” is a term used for a Brazilian-style steakhouse where waiters bring juicy pieces of meat hot off the fire and serve them tableside.
After being seated in Chama’s pleasant dining room made up with neutral tones and colors, our waiter told us the specials of the day.
There are usually four specials of which Chef Jose Marquez prepares at one traditional Portuguese dinner. Chama Rodizio’s menu has a variety of steaks, BBQ chicken and ribs. Seafood includes swordfish, salmon, branzino and grilled cod fish (a traditional Portuguese dish).
There are also soups, salads, kabobs and sandwiches. As our group was hungry (and salivating at the prospect of all that meat), we opted to order the rodizio.
Immediately, we were served a large salad family-style, with a light vinegar dressing and basket of bread and rolls. Next came out their fresh and crispy house-made chips to munch on while we waited on the main courses.
The rodizio side dishes were then served. These included a medley of vegetables, rice and fried bananas, French fries, collard greens, black beans along with two sauces to serve with the different meats.
We opted to order the standard rodizio and we enjoyed the table-side service style because of the way it hit all our senses. This included the visual presentation as well as the smell of fresh-off-the-fire meats that we pulled from the large skewers. During dinner, the waiters kept coming to our table and serving us as much as we wanted, bringing back anything we especially cared for.
To wash our food down, we enjoyed Chama’s red sangria, which we found refreshing and not overly sweet.
While we were really too stuffed for dessert, we opted (for the purpose of this review) to taste their house-made chocolate mousse and pistachio layered cake. We found the mousse dense and delicious and liked the pudding-like texture of the layer cake.
While dining, we encountered others who thoroughly enjoy this new restaurant.
“We’ve been to Chama four times since they opened a month ago…… this says a lot,” said Debra Vogel of Glen Cove. “Their rodizio meats are hot off the barbecue grill and are nicely seasoned, and their salad and sides well complement the entrees. We tried the homemade pistachio cake; it’s unique and tasty. The wait staff is friendly and attentive. Thumbs up!”
Prices at Chama Rodizio start at $10 for a half BBQ chicken and go up to $24 for different steaks and fish. These come with two side dishes. The standard rodizio price we ordered was $32.95 and is generally served with beef cube, pork cube, chicken leg, skirt steak, top sirloin, large Brazilian sausage and small Brazilian sausage, turkey wrapped in bacon, short rib and pork spare ribs.
For another $6 you can opt for “meat only” servings. I do not recommend this because you would lose a mix of flavors and tastes that the standard price offers. The restaurant also offers a basic kids menu of cheeseburger sliders and chicken fingers for $5 and $6.
Chama Rodizio, while new in town, has lots of experience due to their sister restaurant, Brasa Rodizio in Mineola, which has been in business four years. The head chef came from there.
For more information go to www.chamarodizio.com or call 516-759-1913 for reservations. Chama Rodizio is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.