Rio Brazilian Steakhouse has recently opened its newest venue in York in the former premises of Piccolino on Bridge Street.
Founded in Jesmond in November 2019, the York restaurant joins others at Newcastle’s Quayside, Middlesbrough, Durham, Warrington and Chester.
RIO is an award-winning steakhouse with a set price concept. For a one-off payment there are non-stop selections of grilled meat and an unlimited gourmet salad bar with over 35 items to choose from. The dining experience also boasts authentic Brazilian sides like Feijoada and traditional Brazilian cocktails and imitates the style of traditional Brazilian churrascaria or rodizio (referring to the ‘rotating’ grilled meat).
‘The top spot in just four weeks’
Whilst the new opening is good news for the locals and tourists, it is also welcome news for job hunters – the owners were inundated with applications for jobs at the new site.
Co-owner Rodrigo Grassi explains:
“It was a nice surprise to see how many applications we received and how many people already knew about us. We work hard to train and look after our staff, maintaining the high standards of customer service the RIO brand is renowned for – now we are seeing this positive reputation creating an impact even before we’ve arrived in a new city.
“We have found the RIO opening model to work well with our team, they are well oiled at new openings which maintains high levels of customer satisfaction and service. The proof is in the awards and positions on TripAdvisor – every venue we have launched has secured the top spot in just four weeks -–it’s an amazing achievement by all the team.”
Arriving on a Sunday evening the restaurant was very busy. With samba-tinged music playing lightly in the background, a warm Latin vibe prevailed with touches of greenery everywhere along with the odd fake Strelitzia.
Straight outta Copacabana
The journey begins at the huge salad bar where you will find an extensive variety of salad combinations, imported cheeses, cured meats, sushi and authentic Brazilian dishes. When you arrive back at your table, the fun really starts! By turning over the RIO card placed on your table to show a green bull, the Gaucho chefs start to arrive and proceed to continuously carve the cuts of meat at your tableside until tell them to stop. If you’re satisfied with what’s before you, simply turn the RIO card over and the servers will bypass your table.
Cuts of meat include cap of rump, rump steak, bottom sirloin, bavette beef skirt, ribeye steak, prime cuts of fillet, along with lamb, chicken, and pork options. Prices depend on the time you visit with lunchtime dining costing £26.95 Monday to Friday, £29.95 Saturday, and Sunday. Evening dining starts at £36.95 Sunday to Thursday and £39.95 Friday and Saturday. Children under five years of age eat free whilst those aged up to nine dine for £8.95 and those aged nine to twelve eat for £12.50. There are vegan, vegetarian and Fish options for those who are less carnivorous, priced at £22.95.
The Gaucho chefs are very attentive and alarmingly generous, in some instances arriving at our table even when the red bull sign was facing upwards!
The cuts of meat are medium-rare to medium, though you can request yours well done if you wish.
Desserts start at £5.75 with sorbet and include Brazilian churros alongside Brazilian pineapple trifle amongst others. Add to that an extensive cocktail list and you have a great addition to the York dining scene.