A little while ago, Adam and I were invited to check out Brio Tuscan Grille which opened a few months ago in St. Johns Town Center. We were really impressed with the décor, service, and food offerings, so I thought I’d share some thoughts from our visit.
When we first arrived, there was a short wait for a table, so we went to the bar to grab a drink while we waited. Immediately I noticed these really cool outdoor lounge areas. I could totally see us relaxing here at happy hour with some friends. It was definitely an inviting area.
We were seated really quickly in the dining area. They really only have one dining room, and be forewarned… it’s loud. If they made one improvement, it would definitely be to install some sort of sound absorbing tiles on the ceiling or something.
First up, bread plate.
Next? Adam is a “Calamari Connoisseur” so we HAD to get that next. OK, not really. He just really likes good Calamari, so we try it everywhere. I guess I’m similar in the likes of anything cheese. Cheeeeeese! [drool] Brio’s Calamari Fritto Misto did not disappoint. It was lightly fried, not bouncy (my biggest complaint), and the two sauces complimented it well.
I don’t usually order soup at restaurants, but I enjoy a good bisque. Seeing they had a Lobster Bisque, I immediately wanted to try it. Adam and I split a bowl, which Brio happily divided for us without complaint. It was so creamy and tasty. I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t overly salty either. Only thing I didn’t care for was the bowl it was served in. It was almost like a claw foot tub (in form, not size!) and where the little feet on the bottom are, there are little divots which make it impossible to get EVERY LAST DROP.
I have no idea, but when it came time to check out the menu, my eyes immediately narrowed to the Sweet Potato & Chicken Risotta. I’ve sadly never had Risotto before (time to crawl out from under this rock..eh?). Something about the combination of pancetta, chicken, sweet potatoes, and asparagus seemed tempting.
Adam went back and forth between a few different items, but eventually settled on the Roasted Lamp Chops.
Zooohmyyygod. Yes, it was really good. Almost like a comforting chicken and dumpling type stew, just slightly different flavors. I’ve been back to Brio a handful of times since, and I just enjoyed this dish so much, I cannot branch off and try anything else.
Here’s Adam’s Roasted Lamb Chops. I managed to sneak in a picture before he snarfed them all up.
When we arrived, I’d mentioned to our server we were there celebrating Adam’s birthday, and at dessert time, they surprised us with one of their Dolchinos which are smaller samplings of their full-size Chef’s Favorites desserts.
They definitely have a dessert selection for sharing! At the bottom is the BRIO’S Dessert Trio which includes their Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake, Crème Brulee, and Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding (yuuum!).
Adam went right for the cheesecake, which is a bit different than traditional cheesecake. It’s topped with caramelized sugar, which gives the outside of the cheesecake more of a Crème Brulee experience. The outside had a slightly crunchy exterior, but when eating it, melted in your mouth as cheesecake should. I snuck a few bites and was a big fan of this dessert.
I go crazy over anything brownie and ice cream, so I went right for the Torta Di Cioccolata. This is essentially chocolate cake with an almost brownie consistency with a gooey center topped with Vanilla Bean Gelato and chocolate syrup.
Let’s just say, we ran the entire next week just off the sugar high alone!
We had an entirely delicious time, and will definitely return again.