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Copacabana on Eglinton and Mt Pleasant

I see that a Brazillian grill is opening on theyet-to-be-successful northern stretch of Eglinton west of Mount Pleasant.

I went to their website (copacabana.ca) and i see that they have a restaurant in Niagara Falls.

It would be great to have a good Brazillian steakhouse in Toronto, but the cynic in me wonders....

Anyone know about it?

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    1. re: TorontoJo

      i think there haven't been any new additions to the thread for a couple of weeks, but they're up at regular pricing now - $40 weekend and $35 weekday.

      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        tried it last weekend. It was fun..I would recomend it for 20-40 ..it is pretty loud in there the live entertainment was fun. For meat eaters it is great and it keeps on coming some were tender, the buffet was decent.
        This wouldn't be my goto place regularly .. I believe you can get way better quality and value for the price point elsewhere ...but for a fun something different night it's a nice change.

        1. re: cynthias

          Tried it for lunch yesterday. There were five of us. For lunch it's $11 for a main course selection, plus salad bar and a few pasta choices. It was very disappointing.

          The space was formerly Piatti which was a Brazillian barbeque style restaurant, but with pasta instead of the meat skewers. It was quite good, but too expensive to go very often. The salad bar was fantastic I suspect that Copacabana is a re-incarnation, since Piatti was owned by the same people as Red Violin.

          Our lunch was very disappointing. The steak sandwich was not prepared medium-rare as request, was way too salty, and over tenderized. I thought the meat had gone bad.

          The salmon was also too salty, and reportedly was not fresh either.

          The shrimp skewer was "o.k."

          We went there after others raved about the lunchtime offerings, but would not return very soon, if ever.

          1. re: shemishka

            I've never been there for lunch but have been there for dinner a few times and have always really enjoyed it. In fact, I really, really like it. I love the meats.

            I therefore hesitate to point out on CH, that on the last two occassions that I went there, I got the distinct feeling that I was being cut off on the AYCE. Since I was already satisfied and basically full, I did not conern myself with the appearance of being cut off, but upon more reflection, I felt somewhat upset by this. Especially because we were paying $40 per person, and the palce was nearly empty.

            What happened was that on two occasions that I went there, two separate waiters came over and basically said, 'OK, can we get you anything else or just the bill...?" When we said we were going to have more, they only came back a few minutes later and discretly turned off our "more meat" sign (they give you one at the table), and then actually cleared the table down to the salt and pepper shakers without even consutling us. The impression given, was 'You are done, you have had enough'. Now I need to mentioned that we did not pig out; we were not excessive, and did not even remotely gorge ourselves. We had a well paced and moderate dinner over the course of maybe an hour, so dont get the impression please that the management was making a 'good call' on us...

            After the first time that this happened, I thought maybe it was just because it was busy and the waiter wanted to turn the table, but on the second occasion it was empty, and there was an appearance of almost a 'policy' of sorts that they dont want people to stay or eat after a certain point of trying every kind of meat once. In other words, when the rotation ends, youre outta there....

            I am still not 100% sure about this, but I sure have that feeling, and it sure makes me feel awkward because I have never encountered such a thing in my life - anywhere. Especially at $40 per person plus $4.00 soft drinks. (and I left 20% on each occasion).

            1. re: Teffub

              If that's true..... I don't know. That's pretty bad.....

              This place sounds interesting, but I don't want to have to monitor myself at those prices. At nearly $100 per couple I wouldn't set foot in there if I suspected that was indeed their practise.

              1. re: Teffub

                Hi Teffub,
                Since you're not 100% sure about this, I can assure you that this is definitely their policy. I've been to this restaurant 2 times. The first time was soon after they opened and it was a great experience.

                Recently, about a couple of weeks ago, I went again with a group of friends. Upon making the reservation we were told that there was a 2 hour time slot for each table, so we knew beforehand that we would have to leave after the 2 hours. After just 1 hour of being there, and just like you we didn't over eat, we just had normal portions, the manager of the restaurant came to the table and told us we needed to finish up as our time was over. When we inquired about why we had to leave after just 1 hour, he said it was because one of my friends had gotten there early (she was having a drink at the bar) and that they had started counting the from the time that she had arrived. He walked away without any further explaination and when he returned he dropped the bill on our table without even asking if we were finished. When we asked for an explanation, he refused to come back to our table, which we really did not appreciate. In the end, because of our complaint, his recommendation was for us to not pay the tip which was less than satisfactory. We still paid the tip as the servers had done a good job and didn't feel that they should have been penalized. Although we had all eaten enough and were probably going to leave soon anyway, the service that we experienced at the end of our meal left us all with a very dissappointing evening. The place was not even crowded and there were no people waiting to be seated. So there was no need even to rush us out.

                It is a nice place to go if you're looking to experience something new, but I definitely wouldn't count on staying there for more than 1 hour, and given that it's $40 a person, with expensive drinks, it doesn't really seem to be worth it. There are a lot of other good establishments in this city that don't rush you out after an hour, and don't treat you as if they're the ones doing you the favour. Patronize with caution!

                1. re: FoodieBCN

                  I heard/read somewhere that the kitchen closes at 10, which might explain their giving you the bill (was it around 10?), but of course does not excuse the rude response of the manager. And sitting at the bar for an hour is not the same as sitting at the table. I hope that didn't ruin your evening.

                  We went there mid-Aug on a Friday night at about 8:30 - no reservations because we were only two but got the last table in the place. It was packed, large and small parties, kids and up. At about 9:45, one of the meat servers asked if there was anything else we wanted and he would have the kitchen make it up (there were fewer skewers coming round by then). I hadn't tried the filet mignon yet, so asked for that; it was a while in coming but did arrive eventually. I must say the meats were tasty, nicely seasoned, and the service was friendly, especially the meat carvers, though I think our waiter was looking after too many tables and needed a couple of prompts for our wine. The entertainment was really fun and added to the experience. I don't think the $40 was inordinate, considering the amount of meat that was consumed, plus the entertainment. I may return though it's unlikely as I prefer a less lively setting for dinner, but I am happy that I experienced it.

                  1. re: ghoti

                    Hi Ghoti,

                    Our reservation was for 6:30pm. The restaurant was practically empty when we got there (with just one other table that was occupied). My friend also got there only about 20 min before the rest of us arrived, but they were trying to say that it was for a whole hour... and yes, being at the bar, is not the same as being at the table. We were a group of 8, so if only one person is there 20 min earlier than the reservation, I certainly wouldn't count that as having "started".

                    They definitely need new management there. The servers were great, but the manager really needed some lessons in service etiquette.

                    As I said, I don't think it's a bad place to go, but given the mix of both very positive and very negative experiences, it seems like you're taking a gamble on having a good night when you go there....

                    Also, it didn't ruin our night. We went to the bar next door , "Scruffy Murphy's" a great Irish pub, where the drinks are normal priced, service is great and they don't time you...

                  2. re: FoodieBCN

                    I had a similar experience there a few months back where we were rushed out of the restaurant as we were fininishing our meal. It wasn't busy at all, but they still felt the need to hurry us along.
                    Given the price, spotty service, and overly loud music I don't think I'll be beck. Even though the food was enjoyable.

                    1. re: cubmike74

                      I just came across this thread about a restaurant I love! I am amazed to read this about being rushed. We have eaten there over a dozen times and never experienced anything close to what is being described. I wonder if there is one waiter there who creates this impression because it is not across the board. We are big eaters, I mean my husband asks for slice after slice and we have never had any attitude whatsoever. They are so gracious and always ask if there is anything else we want which may not have come around yet.

                      My advice is to ask the waiter why he/she is rushing you. Find out what is going on with that person because it is a very unique problem that may be something lost in translation. Is it possible you felt guilty about eating so much and therefore you thought they were aware of you?

                      The food is great, from the salad bar to the pastas to the meat! I think you are missing out if you bail on the place because of some perceived attitude!

                      1. re: dianabanana

                        those are very curious inferences "Is it possible you felt guilty about eating so much and therefore you thought they were aware of you?"

                        their issue was with the manager and it's been quite clear that it's not a "perceived attitude!". after a specified amount of time, less than the limit mentioned over the phone, they were given the bill!

                        if you're just replying to cubmike, it's still a curious response to something that is obviously an ongoing issue especially since he's just adding to the chorus of others who've had problems and detailed them out quite clearly.

                2. re: shemishka

                  I stopped in there recently for lunch. I was a bit taken back by the attire of the receptionist. She seemed to be dressed for an evening out, clubbing possibly. It just seemed so out of place. I ordered the steak, which was quite good in my case, cooked perfectly rare. The salad bar was fine, but nothing special. One tasty item was the stew which appeared to be made from the leftover meats barbecue, since there appeared to be quite a variety of meats in it. I'd like to try it for dinner sometime, but my SO would not care to try it, so I'll have to wait for some time when I'm solo.

                  1. re: shemishka

                    Has anyone been to both Copacabana in Niagara Falls AND Red Violin on the Danforth and have an opinion on which is better? I had an amazingly good experience at Red Violin last September on a Friday evening for a birthday party. Meats were consistently excellent and entertainment was wonderful. Trying to decide whether or not to make the effort to eat at Copacabana in the Falls...

                    -----
                    Red Violin
                    95 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

                    1. re: Food Tourist

                      I have had good experiences at Red Violin and one very mediocre experience at Copacabana in the Falls -- but they were both 5+ years ago, so take that with a grain of salt.

                      -----
                      Red Violin
                      95 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

                      1. re: Food Tourist

                        My one trip to the Falls a couple years ago was a lot of fun. There are some annoying things like no reservations for groups under 5 and long waits.
                        When it came to the food though, it was great.

                        DT

              2. I had dinner there recently and very much enjoyed myself. The meats were excellent, and the service was also very good, particularly from the guys carving the meat. The buffet was decent, but at Copacabana, it really is all about the meat!! Perfectly seasoned, beautifully grilled, high quality meats. Don't fill up at the buffet, whatever you do! I'd be back sooner if I didn't live on the other end of the city.

                1. is it $40 on sunday night, does anyone know?

                  1. Anyone care to give an update on this place?
                    The guys are looking for a place to do dinner for a bachelor party, would this be a fun place to go?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: camp1980

                      Based on the way the hostess was dressed when I was there, I guess it could be appropriate for a bachelor party.

                    2. Went for a bday party a few weeks ago and I loved it.

                      The salad bar was ok but the meat was very flavourful and juicy. I couldn't get enough. It was $40 each and drinks are extra. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that they don't take reservations for groups less than 5. So the 3 of us went around 6:30 and they made us wait for 30 mins. and said "you can wait at the bar if you wish". Probably a ploy to get people to buy drinks at the bar. The service was really good and bad. Make sure you ask for your card! They forgot ours and it was our first time. Also, the max amount of time you can sit at your table is about 2 hrs and after a while the waiters seem to concentrate on teh bigger groups. Our group was just 3 women and after the first hour, we had to wave to the waiters to come over as they seemed to "ignore" us. The performance and band were great. The performance lasts about 15 mins and the band about 45 mins.

                      I will go back in a bigger group so that I can get reservations and get the waiters' attention and also for their great meat!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: TOchowgal

                        What 'card' are you referring to?
                        TIA.

                        1. re: allanc

                          If you go to their website it explains further

                          http://www.copacabana.ca/main.html

                          but basically you are given a card and when you want the servers to stop at your table to offer you meat you flip the card to green, when you need some time to get through what you have or if you are done flip the card to red and the servers will pass you by.

                      2. I have been there twice, once with a party of 4 and once with a party of 15 and neither time did I feel like I was being rushed out at all and neither time did I feel I had been "cut off". In fact, I was not even able to finish all that they were serving. Neither could my husband, son, or Dad and they can really pack it away. I thought that all of the meats were really fresh and hot and cooked perfectly. I would definitely recommend this place for a great night out, especially with kids as they can walk around and stuff and make noise (within reason) and no one cares.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                          Just an update, have been there three times since my previously reported perception of being cut-off, and didnt have the problem on any of the three subsequent occasions..

                        2. I just got back from my dinner at Copacabana and was disappointed with my experience. I've been looking forward to trying this place out for the last few weeks. I booked online with Open Table and arrived at 7pm. My date and I were quickly seated. We started our dinner at the buffet table but it was a very poor selection of appetizers. I left with an empty plate. The waiters came around every ten minutes with different types of meats. They all seemed pretty young but I still don't think it was appropriate to keep calling everyone "YOU GUYS". They all tasted okay but I didn't really find any of them to be authentic Brazilian. They were all barbecued cuts of meat with not too much spice. The ribs were probably my favourite part of the meal, very tasty and the meat fell off the bone. The barbecued pineapple was also very sweet and tasty. Our server was nice but not very attentive. We had to waive at her to get her attention. Overall, my expectations were not met but maybe that is because they were quite high hearing all these 'rave' reviews about the location in Niagara Falls. Would I recommend this place? Probably, if someone likes barbecued meat. Would I go back? No. Once was enough. We were in and out in approximately 50 minutes.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: joey36

                            surprised this place is still open. They still seem to hustle the customers out before they eat too much, the architecture amplifies the loud music to painful levels. Must be th e location suckering in the Y+E crowd who couldn't care less.

                          2. I work right around the corner.

                            It appears they have stopped opening for lunches, and whenever I leave later in the evenings, they are almost empty.

                            As I said months back, it is only a matter of time till this place folds.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sadistick

                              I've been to this place lots of times. I love the food and have never felt like I was being hustled out there. I've probably been there about 8 times.

                              1. re: Sadistick

                                I went there two weeks ago on a Saturday night, place was already filled by 6:30pm and the bar area was getting crowded by 7:00pm by people waiting for seats.

                                I was worried about the two hour limit at first too because dinner usually takes quite a while for my group of friends. Once you sit down, the meat starts coming at you so fast one of my friends couldn't catch up, we were full and ready to leave in an hour. The only other time I've had Brazilian BBQ was at the Venice Casino at Macau and this seems to be a lot better. The only thing they could improve on are their cinnamon glazed pineapples, it wasn't as good as I remembered it.

                                One extra thing I noticed was how all their staff looked like models!

                              2. What a silly place.

                                But at least the all-you-can-eat (and then some) crowd have a new place to go.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: yaddayadda

                                  What makes it silly? Maybe its time to expose yourself to other cultures! http://www.ehow.com/info_8751092_rodi...

                                  1. re: justsayn

                                    Overcooked, over-salted meats of questionable heritage? Restaurant eating for quantity instead of quality?

                                    Thanks for the exposure advice though... I had never thought of that. And it's just so hard in a food-backward place like Toronto. I will take your enlightening comment under advisement.

                                2. A coworker has selected this restaurant for his going away party and I was hoping that I could get some kind of feedback on this place. I have never heard of it because I am not an all you can eat kind of diner, but any feedback would be appreciated.

                                  Is it worth starving myself before I go?

                                  9 Replies
                                    1. re: Sadistick

                                      Thank you all for your replies. I have in fact starved myself, can't say that I am jumping up and down looking forward to this meal, but I am always open to try new places.

                                    2. re: Tauck

                                      Haven't been for quite a while because its a bit far from convenient. Every visit we had was more than enjoyable. There is a reason that they are successfully expanding and also able to charge the prices they do. Because the food is very good and the variety is great.

                                      This is not Mandarin quality - it is far superior. And it is not Harbour 60 quality so be realistic with expectations.

                                      My recommendation is that you try a very small taste of each item that interests you as it comes around and then you can commit to the items you enjoyed most. The salad bar always had some fresh tasty items both hot and cold.

                                      Remember, this isn't Jacobs and Co. so some CHers should never step foot inside! Copacabana will not tell you the name of the farmer, nor the chicken.

                                      1. re: justsayn

                                        Me and the Mrs. are fans too - and their red wine list was pleasantly affordable. Decent choices under $30-40 IIRC

                                      2. re: Tauck

                                        I went to the one in NF a few years back and had a blast. Much fun in a rauchious, loud environment.

                                        I skipped the salad bar as I thought there was nothing there that I hadn't had before.

                                        All I can say is; Meat on a sword. How can you go wrong??

                                        DT

                                        1. re: Davwud

                                          I'll admit the only times I have been are for lunch and they do not offer said Meat on a Stick; though that does sound interesting.

                                          Their salad bar/buffet at lunch is just....boring.

                                        2. re: Tauck

                                          It depends if you want to fit in (by eating a piece of everything and then asking for more of what you actually like) or stand out (by not eating while others are enjoying their meal). Sitting there not eating, when you have to pay for it anyway, seems like a waste.

                                          1. re: Tauck

                                            I wouldn't starve myself per se.....but whenever i know I'll be eating there,I go on a meat free diet for a couple of days before that.....its a fun place though if you're going in the evening the music with the live band can get really loud...
                                            The salad bar is not really much to write home about....

                                            1. re: warlock

                                              Good point on the entertainment. Not for everyone. Not for me. Sit near the salad bar to escape the "noise". The cheesy bread balls are very good. I had better luck than others [here] at the salad bar - be picky with what you select and you may be rewarded. If you ever get to the states (Texas De Brazil, Fogo De Chao) the salad bars are off the charts.