Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse, headed to the Northeast to open its first restaurant in the tri-state area March 15. The new 7,100-square foot restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Stamford.

James Layfield, the franchise owner, also runs Darien eatery The Melting Pot.

"We are very excited to embark on this new venture," David Knighton, Rodizio Grill's director of development, said.

"The interest and growth opportunity Rodizio Grill has experienced in the mountain west has translated to the southeast and now the northeast with Stamford and Boston. We are confident that the general public will enjoy the rich flavors of Brazil."

Rodizio Grill is America's first authentic Brazilian steakhouse that originated in Colorado in 1995.

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It was founded by Brazilian native Ivan Utrera, who brought his cherished family recipes from his hometown of São Paulo.

"Rodizio Grill is a fun, interactive concept where the guest is in complete control of their dining experience," said Utrera, president and founder of Rodizio Grill.

"The wooden cue placed on each table, when set to green, enables our guests to experience a parade of meats carved tableside by our Brazilian's gauchos. No other restaurant offers this much interaction."

Rodizio Grill's menu consists of three-foot skewers of premium cuts of top sirloin, beef tender and marinated pork loin, an abundant selection of gourmet salads, decadent homemade desserts and signature specialty drinks, including the famous Rodizio Grill Limeade, Brazil's famous Guarana soft drink, and the sugar cane spirit Caipirinha.

Rodizio Grill's menu has won awards year after year, such as the prestigious Hot Concepts Award, and various Best of State awards in the mountain west where it has prominently operated.

"It is not just the menu that sets us apart; we take pride in sharing with the public a little part of Brazil," Utrera said. "Our company's mission is to be ambassadors of Brazil. When you walk into our establishment, you are walking into a home and we guarantee that you will feel the warmth and alegria of the Brazilian culture."

Rodizio Grill Stamford will be locally owned and operated by James Layfield and Edward Zislis.

Layfield has been a successful operator of the local restaurants, while Zislis is an accomplished, professional real estate broker.

"Rodizio Grill is a concept that is unique to our area," Layfield said. "We are confident that it will replicate the success found in the other markets it currently operates."

Rodizio Grill is located on 5 Broad Street, in the space previously occupied by Houlihan's.

Rodizio Grill is the first authentic Brazilian-style steakhouse in the U.S. It was established in 1995.

Its all-inclusive menu offers more than 30 unlimited gourmet salads and appetizers, and over a dozen rotisserie grilled meats, served tableside by Brazilian gauchos.

Call 801-567-0500 or visit