Brio Tuscan Grille, located in the ever expanding St John’s Town Center, recently invited us out to try their “Art of Grilling” limited run summer menu. I always appreciate a national chain restaurant changing things up a bit and offering fresh, seasonal items at different points of the year. I’ve only been to Brio once before and enjoyed the experience, so I heartedly accepted the invite and looked forward to a wonderful meal.
Brio is a beautiful restaurant. It’s large and spread out. The kitchen is an open concept so you can see where all the magic happens. The ceilings have large white sheer cloths swooping from light fixture to light fixture to give the large space a soft feel. The wait staff is impeccably dressed in black pants, crisp white shirts, and ties. We were greeted warmly at the door and shown quickly to our booth.
The sous chef, Nick, introduced us to the menu. The “Art of Grilling” summer menu consists of three entrées and a special dessert. On this invite, we were introduced to the full menu.
Our first entrée was the Grilled Branzino and Panzanella Salad. The Branzino was stuffed with lemon slices and a spring of rosemary. The Panzanella Salad consisted of arugula, cucumber, tomato, grilled red pepper, chickpeas, red onions, feta, and dressed with a red wine vinaigrette. This is a perfect light dinner for those looking for a more healthy option. The Panzanella Salad was a wonderful, fresh compliment to the fish.
The second entrée was a grilled half chicken topped with a mint cilantro relish. It was served with grilled fingerling potatoes, chopped bacon, caramelized onions, and arugula tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. The half chicken was grilled perfectly with all parts coming out juicy and tender. . .even the always-hard-to-get-right chicken breast. The mint cilantro relish, at first, sounded like an odd thing to add to grilled chicken, but it worked out perfectly. It added a nice light touch. I’m not a huge cilantro fan, but this was fantastic. The richness of the bacon and potatoes were cut perfectly with the addition of arugula and lemon vinaigrette.
The final entrée, and by far, my favorite of the night, was a grilled 14oz NY Strip Steak, served with pearled couscous pilaf consisting of grilled zucchini, red onions, tomatoes, kale, and feta. It was all surrounded by a Pablano pepper puree. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, as God intended steak to be cooked. The couscous was a nice addition and diversion from the normal “steak and potato” pairing.
Ending the meal was the Strawberry Shortcake Crumble. The interesting part of what would normally be a standard strawberry shortcake was that the strawberries were roasted. It added a nice smokiness and savory note to what could’ve been an overly sweet dessert. The crumble was a house made scone and in the middle was a good sized scoop of vanilla bean gelato.
Overall, each entrée was delicious and satisfying. The “Art of Grilling” summer menu is only available until July 30th, 2017, so get there before it’s gone.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to taste new menu items. This meal is usually comped, as this one was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.