Restaurant Review: The Grill From Ipanema in Washington, DC

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I walked into The Grill From Ipanema (TGFI) and was immediately greeted by a friendly Brazilian waiter, who started speaking to me in Portuguese, and when I looked dazed and confused, he said “Oh I thought you were Brazilian!”

This exchange is very typical of the atmosphere at TGFI, a place where everyone seems to know your name.  A family-owned and operated restaurant, The Grill From Ipanema is the only authentic Brazilian restaurant in DC and has been a staple in the Adams Morgan neighborhood for over twenty years.  Because Brazil is a melting pot of cultures, their menu reflects a true diverse, Brazilian experience.  While it was hard to decide, I narrowed down my choices to the Bolinho de Bacalhau (cod fish croquettes), Coxinha de Galinha (croquettes stuffed with chicken and cheese), Frango A Passarinho (crispy fried chicken), and Abacate Maraja (avocado stuffed with shrimp, tomato and seasonings).

 Cod Fish Croquettes

Cod Fish Croquettes

The cod and stuffed chicken croquettes were each deliciously fried and savory. They were perfectly sized for the accompanying dip, which is the owner’s family recipe.  At first sight, one may think the chicken wings are normal buffalo wings.  However, the waiter explained that it was a whole chicken cut into pieces and then fried.  The wings were seasoned so well and the avocado salad was different than anything I’ve ever tasted.

 Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

I sampled three of their most popular cocktails including the classic Caipirinha (one of my favorites!), a Caipiginha, which is similar to a caipirinha only made with gin instead of cachaca (Brazilian rum), and a Maracujinha, which adds passion fruit to the caipirinha.  Each drink was made to perfection!  TGFI has a fully stocked bar, including typical Brazilian beers.

 Caipirinha

Caipirinha

 Caipirinha in front of a Maracujinha

Caipirinha in front of a Maracujinha

I love that their happy hour menu was so extensive that I didn’t need to order from a full-sized menu in order to leave satisfied.  The restaurant seats over 170 people (with outside seating which is a must in DC), and is available for Sunday brunch and hosting private events.  The restaurant’s ambiance makes you feel like you’re a part of a family.  That, on top of the delicious, authentic Brazilian food?  It doesn’t get much better.  I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and drinks at The Grill From Ipanema and will be returning one day soon.  Next time I’ll be prepared with a little Portuguese!

Thanks to Lisa from Growth Matters for the invite!