A goblet of ahi poke at Fleming’s Santa Clara.
With Whole Foods, Il Fornaio, Sur La Table, Books Inc., and other businesses, Santa Clara Square has been hopping.
Even more so now with the opening of the newest Fleming’s Steakhouse nearly two months ago.
Be prepared to scour the parking lot for a space if you dine here, though. That’s because the lot is surprisingly compact, given the number of businesses. And there’s no street parking nearby. One can only wonder how much more congested the place will get once Puesto restaurant opens, too.
As it is, prepare to circle around quite a bit to snag a space. We did on a weeknight, when we were invited in as a guest of the restaurant. We ended up giving in to valet parking in front of Fleming’s. It will set you back $7. You pay with your credit card, then text when you are done with dinner to have your car ready and waiting when you leave.
The dining room.
A partition of wine bottles.
It’s a handsome restaurant with a glassed-in open kitchen at the back. The dining room has large booths, and a dramatic light fixture that may make you think of a UFO. Floating shelves of wine bottles act as a partition between the bar and dining room.
Meat, meat and more meat delivered right to your table at Fogo de Chao.
Get ready for a parade of meat.
Fire-roasted cuts of beef, chicken, lamb and pork — 16 types in all — brought to your table one by one on massive skewers to be carved off onto your heaping plate.
That’s the carnivore carnival you’ll enjoy at Fogo de Chao, the newest restaurant to open in San Jose’s Santana Row.
All vestiges of the former Chili’s have vanished in this totally redone, 9,000-square-foot, 250-seat restaurant with white tablecloths and contemporary light fixtures.
Founded in Brazil in 1979, Fogo de Chao serves up churrasco-style cuisine based on the centuries-old gaucho tradition of roasting meats over an open fire for festive family gatherings. There are now 22 Fogo de Chao locations worldwide, with the next one set to open in Portland, Ore.
Pork ribs — yup, as many as you want.
I had a chance to check it out the night before it opened officially to the public at a special invitation-only dinner last week.
The concept is simple: It’s all you can eat. That includes all that meat, plus trips to the salad bar — all for $51.50 per person for dinner or $29.50 for lunch. If you want to enjoy only the salad bar, that will be $26.50 at dinner and $22.50 at lunch.