By: Nancy Baker Faul
For those who have a pallet that craves something new and exciting we have found the perfect place to satisfy those urges. Carnaval de Brasil at the IP Casino in Biloxi offers a huge assortment of meats that are full of the flavors of South America. Unique cooking techniques and very special spices combined by Chef Shannon Johnson and his staff, combine to make each item authentically Brasilian (purposefully spelled with an ‘s’ ).
The Churrascaria (a Brasilian steakhouse) has an atmosphere unmatched by any other restaurant on the coast. Beautifully designed by Stephen Morgan, Vice President of Food and Beverage for the IP Casino, the restaurant is filled with ambient lighting, cozy seating and miles of whispy, flowing material that drapes from ceiling to floor. The main restaurant seats about 170 and the bar area can accommodate up to 30. Private dining is a luxurious and warm space that can easily handle parties of 20 to 25. Reservations are recommended especially on the weekends and they are a must for holidays.
Roasted Pablano soup topped with crunchy baked parmesan cheese is a perfect starter to the evening. The salad bar is not your typical fare either. No expense has been spared to bring the best and most authentic Brasilian ingredients to diners. Fresh cheeses and cured meats accompany Waldorf salad, grilled veggies and roasted pumpkin seeds just to mention a few items.
he house specialty is the Churrasco. A traditional Brasilian Feast that includes the scrumptious salad bar along with Garlic mashed potatoes, the chefs daily vegetable choice and mouthwatering (gluten free) Brasilian Cheesy Bread. Table service is precise as the ‘Gauchos’ bring one tasty meat after another to your table. The meats are carved delicately after slow roasting over an open fire in the dining room. Choose as much or as little as you like of succulent Top Sirloin, Jumbo shrimp, turkey breast, leg of lamb or any of the other 9 meats that come with the Churrasco Feast. It’s like having an all-u-can-eat buffet served to you by some of the most attentive waiters you have ever seen.
If you are not in the mood for all of the offered meats Carnaval de Brasil has you covered with a smaller selection called the Menos es Mais. You still get 6 meats with the sides but for a more modest price. Children’s prices are affordable considering all the choices they get and grownups can easily fill up when choosing to just have the Brasilian style salad and soup bar.
Some of Chef Johnson’s favorite dishes are served ala carte and are painstakingly created through hours of preparation and attention to detail. “Seafood Paella with Mussels, Clams and Shrimp can be paired with Segura Vidas Sparkling Wine to create a meal fit for a king. We strive to make every dish special and will try to accommodate any special requests and dietary needs of our guests. If you like your meats well done then you only have to tell your gaucho when you arrive. For those who have to adhere to certain restrictions I or my sous chefs can pull up certain menus on or computer in the kitchen to make sure that their needs are met’ says Chef Johnson.
General Manager, Natasha Nguyen says, “One of my favorites has to be the Peru (Seasoned and roasted thinly sliced turkey breast). Also, when the chef makes a special holiday menu, like he will do for Christmas and New Years Eve, I am so excited to see his Chilean Sea Bass listed. It has such a wonderful flavor when he puts the sweet and sour rhubarb sauce on it that it just melts in your mouth!”
Chef Johnson and Natasha traveled to Miami to sample fare from some of the Brasilian restaurants in that area. “We really got a feel for what they had to offer and came back to Biloxi and made sure that we brought our guests a wider selection and a more intense variety of dishes. We even have a limited appetizer menu in our bar as well as a great pizza menu. Guests can eat the salad bar in the lounge while they watch television or just enjoy the flames from the wall fires at tableside,” said Natasha.
For a taste like no other on the coast, call Carnaval de Brasil @ 228-432-3288 or go to http://www.ipbiloxi.com and click on dine.