TENTO – A Brazilian Dining Adventure
By Leigh Cort
Gaucho slicing meat
For a fabulously fun and relaxing dining experience that is defining the eclectic restaurant scene in Jacksonville Beach, Florida today, dinner at TENTO has an air of authentic Brazilian adventure. Embrace the style and concept of a new journey, as you are served by the Gauchos (romantic wandering cowboys who roamed the countryside). If you love surprise and excellent food, Karin and Carlos Lang's new Churrascaria (steak house) will seduce your foodie mind while their delicious recipes take you to a far away land of South American pampas, peppered with elegant influences of fine European charcuterie.
Dinner at Tento
Distinctly different from other fine dining restaurants where you are presented a menu with descriptions that often exceed the size of the portion, TENTO gives you a option throughout the meal that you can change your mind…take a rest after savoring a serving of luscious beef tenderloin…take a stroll to the buffet and find dishes from Germany, Italy, France or Holland…linger over conversation without dashing away…and return to your table for another skewer of beef, pork, lamb, chicken…even caramelized cinnamon-dusted pineapple fresh off the wild mesquite charcoal grill. As gauchos personify the simple ‘go back to the fire' method of enjoying meat on the grill, TENTO satisfies your palate for sizzling meats that we rarely achieve at home.
On my first visit, I began with a Caipirinha…Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaca (brandy), limes and sugar. Perfect for beach parties and BBQ's, it couldn't be a better fit than in Jax Beach within view of the ocean. A premier wine list features Argentinean Malbec reds. Their exotic labels aren't a mystery; ask for suggestions and try something new.
Meat on a skewer
Scholarly passionate about cattle farming in South America, Carlos chooses the finest foods daily to excite his guests. If you love meat, they're all dynamic! 52 massive skewers could be on the grill simultaneously: top sirloin, garlic sirloin, flank steak, filet mignon, beef ribs, Brazilian-style sausage, leg of lamb and rack chops, pork ribs and loin, marinated chicken, turkey breast wrapped in bacon. As you make a selection and the meat is carved to order at your table, the aromas are heady. It's impossible to pass up anything. Simply indicate your interest to indulge and a gaucho will be at your side in minutes.
As impressive as TENTO's meats, so is Karin's alluring buffet. The food is beautiful, not presented with arrogant fanfare but deliberate pride. While she designs the chef's inspired and uncommon accompaniments with boldly flavored temptations, guests must gauge their own capability to over-indulge. Fair Warning: Continuous tableside service is so personalized and attentive that you'll have a difficult time saying No.
Get swept up in the cheerful energy of 160 patrons seated on a weekend or choose a tranquil beachy weeknight to visit. You will feel like one of TENTO's family by the time you depart either way. With paintings featured from the Lang's collection to handsome Brazilian countrymen and women at your service, the refined hospitality they share from their homeland event includes waiting for you to request the bill. Nobody hurries you through. After extraordinary global trekking careers, the Lang's have created a new hotspot for fans who consider an hour drive worthwhile. From anywhere in the Jacksonville region, it's an easy beachfront sojourn and worth a visit!
One of Lang's paintings
528 N. First Street, Jacksonville Beach
Tues – Sat 5:00-10:00pm
Sun – 4:00-9:00pm
$34/pp prix fixe; beverages & desserts additional.