1. Texas De Brazil
This over-sized, airy space features classic Brazilian churrascaria fare (meat, meat and more meat sliced off a skewer your table by handsome men dressed in gaucho pants) and arguably the biggest salad bar this side of Las Vegas with over 150 quality hot and cold items. I stress the word quality because items include Lobster Bisque, classic Brazilian rice and beans, sweet plaintains, cold artichoke hearts with the stems still intact, fresh beets and more. Many people just eat the salad bar for lunch and it’s a great option if someone in your dining party happens to be a vegetarian. Standard price fixe dinner is $60 and is all you can eat–meat, soft drinks and sides that include the world’s best garlic mashed potatoes are included. (Desserts are about $8 extra.) You’ll love this eatery for a few unusual reasons–male managers and maitre d’s all seem to be over 6’5,” they seemed to make the effort to hire many native Brazilians for their staff, and the upstairs was formerly a large Weight Watchers meeting space, LOL! The upstairs exit has its own secret side entrance to Dylan’s Candy Bar if you still have room for sweets after this meal. This is the place to take your mom if she loves meat and in great varieties–crowd favorites are the juice filet mignon and Parmesan Chicken but a large variety of spicy Brazilian sausages make their way around to each table. Must-haves also includes native Brazilian mixed drinks and sodas. (NOTE: THIS HAS CLOSED AS OF SUMMER 2016 BUT EXECS HOPE TO OPEN A NEW MANHATTAN BRANCH IN THE NEAR FUTURE.)
If you’ve got a fusion crazed mom whom you swear has put chutney on a calzone, indulge her widest foodie desires by letting her enjoy the mid-priced Indian-Latin American cuisine at the widely creative Vermilion. It’s in a very business-y section of midtown not known for food innovation, but you can count on delights such as tender grass fed lamb chops coated with cumin and other classic Indian herbs known as Mysore Lamb Chops, spinach saag arepas and more. They’re known for their “Herb & Spice” cocktails including the uber-popular Ginger & Lychee Martini, a couple of which might have brought Dean Martin to his knees back in the day. Exec chef/owner Rohini Dey is always in the back dreaming up new and crazy combos for the spice crazy and will deservedly be appearing in a new CNBC special on female restauranteurs shortly.
(480 Lexington Avenue)