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La Fogata in Gulfport?

Anyone been there? It's my understanding that it's a Brazilian-style churrascaria, but I haven't talked to anyone who's eaten there. The building is quite lovely, and rather imposing, especially sitting in the middle of little Gulfport.

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  1. I *think* either the SP Times or Weekly Planet just gave it a positive review. I forget which one-but the review was decent.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Little T.

        Thanks for posting the link to the review. I think it sounds a little meat-centric for our tastes, but maybe someday.

        The review also mentioned the elegant bar. We were going to stop in there for a cocktail Saturday night after a divine meal at Pia's Trattoria down the street, but, alas, we (well, my husband) didn't make the cut for the dress code. "Dress to impress" is the stated motto on the sign at the entry. The particulars are, as I recall, "No beach clothes, No hats", and one other that I don't recall. But, since he was wearing shorts and flip-flops, we didn't even try. It's certainly their prerogative to have a dress code, but it will definitely limit their walk-up business in that most-casual of areas.

    1. I was kind of surprised at the price for the AYCE. It is $45 per the article in Weekly Planet.

      John

      2 Replies
      1. re: RibDog

        Well, if the quality of the meat is on par with "Texas de Brazil", then it is well worth it.

        1. re: Little T.

          Well, I guess I am too cheap to go before I hear someone else's experience first. Some things you just can't change.

          John

      2. We stopped in a couple of weeks ago (just to look around, we were dressed in shorts too). The staff was very nice, and the restaurant is gorgeous. Also includes the tapas bar and a day spa! Very foo foo for Gulfport. I too was surprised by the price, but if the food matches the furnishing, it should be worthwhile for a meatlover!

        PS to Debbed, we like Elements Global Cuisine even better than Pia's. Only been once, very casual, food and atmosphere terrific. Check it out!!!

        http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyro...

        5 Replies
        1. re: joan

          We may try it eventually. The menu sounds intriguing (read it on the door), but my issue is the dog-friendly thing. There is a large water bowl right next to the outdoor tables. I DON'T hate dogs, but I AM scared of them. *Dog-lovers, please don't jump on me* I would be uncomfortable and nervous trying to eat w/dogs near me. And we always prefer outdoor dining. Maybe they'll move the bowl!

          1. re: debbed

            Yes, but over the next few months, eating outside will be getting too hot. So now's your chance!

            Funny thing, but now that we're talking about "issues", I dined at Pia's with another couple, and they flatly refused to serve us tap water. Said it didn't "complement their food". Only water available was the $3 bottled. I imagine, in keeping with this theory, they must be using bottled water to boil all that pasta, yes?

            1. re: joan

              LOL....wow, that's too bad. We have never asked for water, but that is definitely a turn-off. Still, the salmon and spinach lasagna was so very good that we'll likely go back. The wine list is inexpensive and pretty decent - they must subsidize it through the water sales!

              And you're right about it getting to be indoor season - we'll put Elements on The List!

              1. re: joan

                I guess their ice was also from bottled water? ; )
                I may have been tempted to ask for a glass....

                1. re: joan

                  Speaking of Pia's was just there Saturday evening, I spoke with Pia, and she wanted to give everyone the true feel of an Italian Bistro like in Italy...I say let me order some wine, and give me a glass of ice, i'll either wait for it to melt, or run in the bathroom and fill it with tap...that is just rediculous to pay for bottled water when tap is used for cooking and ice.

            2. We had tapas at Bellini last week and they weren't so hot. Hopefully food in La Fogata would be better!

              They did give us a restaurant tour and the restaurant truly is gorgeous, and I agree, perhaps out of character for little Gulfport! LOL, I even got to see the men's room...they have ice in the urinals, would you believe? So...although I can tell you about the urinals (and I'm female), I can't tell you about the food other than what they had at Bellini. :> This Bellini is not related to the restaurant in Tampa, by the way.

              Generally when we are in Gulfport we are only marginally dressed, having come off a boat, and the dress of the crowd alone would have deterred me that night, although I'd cleaned up considerably for the occasion. I would like to try it some evening, so am anxious to hear how others have enjoyed the food. It is steep, at $45pp, but the dishes that we passed as we did our tour looked very interesting. It is nice to have choices in Gulfport now!

              Joan...Pia intrigued me too but we decided on Peninsula that night instead. Was it good? It looked like a fun place.

              4 Replies
              1. re: OOo

                I'm not Joan, but I've been to Pia's a few times. We have always had a very good meal. For lunch, we order the paninis, which are nicely prepared. At dinner, we go with the match-your-choice-of sauce-to-choice-of-on-premises-made-pasta or the lasagna of the day. You can also choose to add chicken or shrimp to the pasta plates. There are about 8 different sauces, including classics like pesto, marinara, and alfredo. ( My favorite is arrabiatta, a spicy tomato sauce.) The servers are knowledgable about which pasta shape best compliments the various sauces.

                The backyard patio is very cute, kinda romantic.

                It's simple food, but well done and fairly priced. (Except the water, I guess,@ $3 a bottle!)

                1. re: debbed

                  Forgot to mention the superb sauteed calamari w/white wine and lemon. Perfectly tender, barely cooked through (as it should be). Worth a visit just for this app.

                  1. re: debbed

                    It sounds good and will be on our list for next trip. It did look romantic, peeking back there. I really want to hear good reports about Fogata before spending that $$$$. The owners are trying, though, for sure.

                    Of the Gulfport eatieries, I was sorry to find Cool Beans was gone! Lots of changes in that town that looks to those who've never been, as if time has barely touched it.

                    1. re: debbed

                      I definately agree with debbed - Pia's is amazing! I never liked sauteed calimari till I went to Pia's. I have had it before at other places, and it was rubbery, but at Pia's it was so tender, it was like butter.

                2. We´ve been at La Fogata only once and I did like it. It will not become my favorite but it was fancy and totally different from the usual Gulfport eateries. My all time fav risto is Pia´s, and let´s be fair... the (from italy importet!) water is just $1 and the food is not only good and simple. Their daily specials are just mouthwatering and excellent prepared. They use the real stuff.... And.... I can take my kids too.. LOL, because the prices are fair. It´s real italian food and the ambiance is definitely romantic at nights.
                  I also miss Cool Beanz :-(

                  1. Haven't made it into La Fogata yet...but I've been back to its' sister bar Bellini's 3X in the last 6 weeks. The outdoor area is gorgeous to sit in at night (it feels like an outpost of South Beach in Gulfport--weird, but fabulous) and they serve a decent tapas menu from 11am on. (How nice to find a place open for a late lunch after 2pm!) They have a great drink and beer selection. Fave tapas so far are the hummus, meatballs and bacon wrapped figs.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: laboheme

                      Laboheme, because of your post (and because I'd been dying to try it!), my DH and I went to Bellini's last week. What a beautiful bar! Half indoors, half out, we sat on the inside and enjoyed the A/C while still feeling that tropical outdoor vibe. Now, I love rum drinks, and have had mojitos about four times, but never really liked them. I decided to try once more, since it was a "raspberry mojito". Well that bartender was magic! It was a fabulous minty raspberry very strong concotion! And we tried the bacon wrapped figs and they also were delicious. I am not a big meat-eater, so don't plan on trying the churrascuria side, but I am definitely going back to that bar!! (and bringing my martini loving girlfriends!). It is expensive, but I definitely felt I got my money's worth.

                      Thanks for the tip!

                      1. re: joan

                        Careful Joan, don't give away too many secrets now!

                        John

                    2. I just went there. It looks nice when you walk in, but this place is all looks. For $45 per person, you hope to get what you pay for. I would compare it to going on a cruise. You get a lot of food, and it looks nice, but all the food isn't that great. Don't forget, they're not making food just for you, but for everyone in a virtual buffet style. Similar to a cruise, they bombard you with food. But lets keep things in perspective... For $45 per person there are MANY other places that are much better. Try Elements. They are accross the street and about a block or two down from La Fogata. It is a family owned an opporated restaurant. Not only is the service fantastic, but the food is amazing. Try the Creme Brulee! On a Monday night, you can get pasta, wine, and salad/soup for $16 per person. For a 1/3 of the price, it is 10x better!