Food + Wine

America's Best Barbecue

by Jane and Michael Stern

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Brazilian churrascarias have appeared throughout the United States in the last dozen years, and while some might argue that this approach is not technically barbecue, the combination of open flame and meat makes this edible orgy an essential stop for all carnivores. One of the most authentic (and delicious) is found on West 49th Street in New York City. Plataforma Churrascaria has the standard massive buffet of salads, cheese balls, cured meats, and seafood—but the sooner you flip your coaster from red to green, the sooner you'll embark on a meat frenzy. Servers bring a variety of proteins in different cuts, including steak, pork roast, sausage, lamb, chicken, and suckling pig. The meats are carved tableside with a lot of knife-and-fork razzle-dazzle, directly off the skewer. (You might wonder if a server has ever dropped a knife on a customer, but these guys are professionals.) The seasoning is mostly subtle, owing to the Brazilian preference to use only rock salt. Filet mignon wrapped with bacon is carnivore comfort food; flank steak seems as tender as the filet; the faint char on chicken hearts only serves to emphasize their elegance. Sadly, it's not humanly possible to sample everything in a single visit—but we applaud the effort.

Plataforma Churrascaria
Tel: 212 245 0505

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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