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Rodizio’s adds some spectacle to good food

Menu prices

Appetizers like the provaleta are $8 and calamari is $9. Salads are $5 to $6 and entrees begin at $16 for chicken breast, $17.50 for tilapia, $23 for salmon and ribeye. New York strip and filet mignon steaks range from $19.50 to $35.50.

The Rodizio’s Experience costs $34.50 ($30 on Sundays) and includes an all-you-can-eat menu that begins with empanadas, hot and cold tapas, pasta dishes and unlimited meats. Desserts are $6.95. Beers cost $4.50 to $6 and by-the-glass wines are $7. Bottled wines range from $25 to $90 and feature Argentine and California vintages.

If you go

What: Rodizio’s Steak House

Where: 1370 Joliet St. (U.S. 30), Dyer

Hours: Opens at 4:30 p.m. and the last seating is 8:30 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday for dinner.

Reservations: Encouraged, but not required, call 865-8452.

Note: There is live entertainment on Saturdays.

Maps

Updated: June 5, 2012 11:25AM



Where else in Northwest Indiana can you see brilliantly colored, preening peacocks braying on the rooftops?

At the region’s Meyer’s Castle, home of Rodizio’s Steak House in Dyer.

You arrive through a cast-iron gate and drive along the base of the hilltop limestone mansion to park. A minibus driver transports you up the winding driveway to the entrance, where you are escorted to a table overlooking the manicured grounds.

Rodizio’s (Spanish for rotisserie) specializes in Argentine barbecues, meat grilled over an open flame. There were three cuts of beef: a flank, flap and New York steak; pork tenderloin; Argentine sausage and roast chicken in what is called the Rodizio’s Experience. All are cooked on coals on long swords called punals and carved tableside.

My wife opted for the tilapia, one of about a dozen entrees available for noncarnivores or those who’d prefer a single dish to an unlimited meat spread.

I ordered the all-you-an-eat Rodizio Experience. First came a basket of warm bread with a fresh tomato salsa and a green herb dipping sauce called chimichurri. Both sauces were vibrant with flavor.

Those who order the Rodizio’s Experience also can graze from the tapas table, where fried chicken wings, potato and egg salad, steamed mussels, marinated roast beef and other salads await them.

My Rodizio Experience continued at the pasta table, where a chef prepared a dish I chose from several sauces, pasta varieties and vegetables. I selected the lobster marinara combination sauce over penne pasta, mushrooms, garlic and broccoli, a scrumptious dish.

My wife’s tilapia filet was lightly sautéed and tender, served with a hearty shrimp and lobster cream sauce that I enjoyed, but my wife found a little bit salty. Her tilapia was also served with perfectly cooked shrimp that burst with flavor. For her entrée side, she chose a mélange of fresh vegetables, which we both appreciated.

Finally, I signaled that I was ready for the main event and a line of servers toting meat-filled skewers and sharp knives visited our table. The meat was well-seasoned, hot and tasty.

The Argentine chorizo was a thick, juicy sausage redolent of garlic and fennel. I found the flank, flap and New York steak cuts quite tasty, but I prefer them a little rarer than they were served.

The roast chicken and pork tenderloin slices, however, were exquisite, rubbed with garlic and just enough crispy fat to make a meat lover smack his lips. In addition, I received a bowl of creamy smashed potatoes and a choice of skewered vegetables.

For dessert, we chose the tiramisu and the chocolate layer cake. The tiramisu was splendid, as good as I’ve sampled. The chocolate cake was plenty chocolatey, as well as moist and rich, but the overabundance of chocolate frosting overwhelmed this chocoholic.

Dusk was arriving and the peacocks were calling each other with their haunting cries. The golden light was waning and the fairytale setting slowing fading to dissolve.

We paid our bill, stepped outside, and were quickly dispatched by our carriage driver to our car, which, fortunately, had not been transformed into a pumpkin.



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