For a taste of l’Italia, immerse yourself in the soothing ambience, hearty portions and tantalizing pasta sauces at BRIO, Scottsdale’s latest Italian enterprise. With locations throughout the United States, BRIO’s newest home in the Valley can be found in the shopping, dining and entertainment destination called the Scottsdale Quarter.
There’s nothing like a good Italian meal, and along with the rich menu, the Old World Tuscan decor and exhibition kitchen, BRIO offers a warm, casual atmosphere to enjoy your meal. It also lived up to its name by offering vigorous and vivacious taste combinations.
The first stop on our Italian experience was the bruschetta quattro, a tantalizing selection of homemade bruschetta with ingredients ranging from roasted red pepper and fresh mozzarella to a divine shrimp choice topped with lobster sherry sauce, Fontina cheese and charred tomato cilantro relish. Next, the spicy shrimp and eggplant drowning in a black pepper cream sauce had just the right amount of kick to wake up the taste buds.
We then sampled several salad selections, including the chopped salad and the Caesar salad. The table’s favorite turned out to be the simplest one, skipping fancy elements in favor of fresh field greens with Gorgonzola, pine nuts, tomato and a dash of balsamic dressing.
Then it was time for the main course, and BRIO did not disappoint. We selected several menu items in order to try to get as much variety as possible: penne Mediterranean, Gorgonzola-crusted bistecca, chicken scallopini and the lasagna Bolognese al forno. We expected large portions, but were we in for a surprise. The lasagna was served on such a large plate that both hands were needed to hold it up. The enormous dish of oven-baked pasta with layers of Bolognese meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses was enough to feed a family of four. The steak, or bistecca, was tender and moist, and the penne truly had me thinking I was in Sicily enjoying the fresh pasta at a ristorante along the sea.
Of course, we couldn’t leave BRIO without satisfying our sweet tooth with some dessert. We opted for the dolcino sampler, an eclectic mix of sweet delights served in espresso cups known as dolcinos. The sampler included three types of creme brulee and they were downright delicious. Tiramisu, chocolate cake, key lime pie and strawberry panna cotta were among the other delectables, and the delicate portions let you savor the flavors without overindulging.
From the laid-back ambience to the generous portions and polite service, BRIO is sure to win over yet another city. Perfetto!
If You Go:
Scottsdale Quarter: 15301 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale