A few weeks ago, I spotted a building permit in the window of the space that once housed Stephan Pyles’ namesake restaurant. I walked over to check it out and literally bumped into the man behind the next project under construction. His name is Sidiclei Demartini. The restaurant he is constructing is Corrientes 348, an Argentinian steakhouse.
Demartini knows a thing or two about South American-style steaks. He worked for Fogo de Chão for 20 years. He’s from Santa Catarina, a state just south of Brazil, and after years of working at Fogo de Chão in South America, he was transferred to the Dallas location. He worked in several other U.S. locations until the company was sold in 2012. Currently there are seven locations in South America.
The first and only location they looked at was the deserted Pyles space. They’ve completely gutted the interior and plan an open floor plan centered around a huge wood and charcoal open-flame grill. “Argentinians like to do cooking and they like to sit around the kitchen and see it happen,” Demartini says. “The culture is like that. I believe it is very romantic when you look at the fire and the people watching steak being grilled.” The grill is under construction in Brazil.
How will Corrientes 348 differ from Fogo de Chão? “It’s not like Fogo de Chão at all. We don’t do skewers of meat offered to the table,” he says. “We cook family style and à la carte. You choose what cuts you want and we won’t stop at your table with a cut of meat you don’t want to have.” The menu will feature five or six cuts of steak, a few fish options, empanadas, rice dishes, light salads (no salad bar), and loads of creative potato options. Like an upscale steak house with fancy Argentinian-inspired side dishes.
There will be a bar and 300-seat dining room. Cocktails will be colorful, fruit-based concoctions made with oranges, Persian limes, kiwi, and strawberries. The wine list will spotlight Malbecs from Argentina and Cabernet Sauvignons from Chile.
I suppose we can now declare South American steaks are a significant trend in Dallas dining. Fogo de Chao recently opened a 200-plus seat restaurant in Uptown and plans another next year in Plano. Look for Corrientes 348 to open in late spring.
This post has been updated.