Monday, August 22, 2016

Brio Tuscan Grille

I had been curious about Brio Tuscan Grille ever since I noticed last year they had moved into The Shops at Chestnut Hill. A couple weeks ago we had a really nice time dining with them. Although I've never been to Tuscany, the space somehow feels like I'd expect a Tuscan Villa to - grand molded archways with roman columns and sweeping gauzy curtains, marbled accent walls and tabletops, the afternoon summer light streaming in through the wrap around terrace. The expansive dining room boasts leather meets upholstered booths and tables set in crisp white linens. 

We started our meal in classic Italian fashion - a round loaf of bread still warm and crusty from the oven and an olive oil plate with all the parmesan, crushed red pepper and balsamic accoutrements. Brio's Buratta and Ciabatta ($10.95) appetizer is a near perfect rendition. They pair the soft, milky cheese with a hearty roasted tomato dip and plenty of lightly toasted ciabatta. I liked the presentation on a wooden board over an Italian newspaper placemat. The Calamari Fritto Misto ($11.95) is a heavily breaded and crispy version that would do well for a big party each having a couple bites. It was too much as a second appetizer for two people and had us filling up fast! Little did we know how massive the entrees would be...
From the Tuscan grille Bob had the New Zealand raised Lamb Chops Double Cut ($29.95) which were nicely cooked, with a side of the lust worthy Fingerling Potatoes Brio. Those fork tender fingerlings coated in an ethreal special sauce served in a mini cast iron skillet are a must order! Despite being overwhelmed by the serving portion of my Chicken Limone ($21.95) I loved it (especially for lunch not one but two days in a row!) The chicken is prepared traditional picatta style and served with lemon, capers, haricot vert and mashed potatoes in a flavorful lemon and herb sauce. 
As far as desserts are concerned, their Flourless Chocolate Torte ($6.95) misses the mark with a wedge of unremarkable chocolate and an olive oil gelato. The texture of the cake was off and the gelato was missing a creaminess to it - that special note that sets good gelatos apart. The Caramel Mascarpone Cheescake ($3.95) with anglaise sauce and whipped creme was the better choice. That said, with large portions of hearty classic Italian starters and entrees, you'll likely be too full anyways!

200 Boylston Street
Chestnut HillMA 02467

*this meal was complimentary, all opinions are my own*