By: Stevette Hay
Take an intermission from that strenuous holiday shopping and recharge with a glass of red and a “Tuscan escape” at Brio Tuscan Grille. The baby sister of Bravo! Cucina Italiano has now expanded to Plantation.
Upon entering, you are greeted by a friendly and eager host staff and an inside/outside heated bar. The air here is mellow, with sleek Tuscan décor, huge amber lighting and a beautiful open kitchen with a wood burning oven. Even though the Westfield Broward Mall surrounds this establishment, Brio has done a fine job of securing an ambient ambiance to calm your sale-searching soul.
The menu covers Northern and Southern Italian cuisine in an “upscale casual” setting. With an array of appetizers, flatbreads, salads, soup, pastas, and a hearty selection of grilled meats and fish, Brio could pretty much please any palate.
BTG is open for lunch, brunch, and dinner and they offer a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3:30-6:30 with $4 – $6 plates and pours.
Since this was my first visit, I had a tough time picking which specialty I wanted to try first. After sipping on a strawberry martini, I opted to start with the Calamari Fritto Misto. A heaping bowl of fried pepperoncini and both rings and tentacles gets served up with marinara and garlic aioli. I’m normally partial to marinara, but honestly LOVED the aioli with the lightly battered squid. Next, I had to order the Beef Carpaccio. Topped with field greens, capers, mustard aioli and Reggiano cheese, this gigantic dish is a real head turner that I would definitely order it again.
Next on the list was the Tomato & Mozzarella Caprese. Compared to the other two apps, this fell short in the flavor department but did have a delicious lemon vinaigrette drizzled on the plate.
For dinner, two noteworthy servers, Rebecca and Brittney recommended the Veal Milanese and the Ravioli Di Bello. Two tender breaded pieces of Strauss veal scaloppini adorned with tomatoes and a lemon white wine caper sauce were served alongside some fettuccine Alfredo. The portion was plentiful and very tasty.
The Ravioli Di Bello was also fantastic. Portobello stuffed ravioli dressed with crimini mushrooms, tomatoes, and Reggiano cheese were tossed in a rich champagne brown-butter sauce with fresh thyme. Can we say yum?!
Completely full, I couldn’t fathom even discussing dessert until my server informed me about the “Dolchinos.” Brio offers a variety of homemade individual desserts. Dolchinos are a bit larger than the typical mini desserts you’ll find at places like Seasons 52 and PF Changs so don’t go crazy ordering until you see them! I selected the Carrot Cake Dolchino and thought the cream cheese frosting was delicious, but only got through a bite and a half before waving my white flag vigorously.
I highly recommend checking Brio Tuscan Grille out.
What better way to break away from the swarms of holiday shoppers than with a good meal, tasty drink, and friendly service? Although it is a few miles from Coral Springs, it is well worth the drive and I know I will be back soon.
Be sure to let us know what you think!
Brio Tuscan Grille
Stevette Balllog, formally from Chicago has been living in Broward County for 15 years. She has a B.S. in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and is owner of the Fork Notes Blog. She loves to travel all over the US in search of the best food, wine and craft beer, and she loves to cook. If you have an idea for a restaurant for her to review, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org follow her on Twitter at @Forknotes