BRIO Tuscan Grille has managed to capture the essence of a farewell to summer and welcome to my favorite season: fall, with their new seasonal entrees and desserts.
BRIO is located in The Markets at Town Center at 4910 Big Island Dr, bringing the flavors of Tuscany to Jacksonville. The open-concept space is inviting and the servers are consistently friendly.
The transition from summer to fall is always an exciting time, especially when it comes to food. New flavors, new ingredients and a whole new opportunity to wow us with amazing dishes.
BRIO is also giving a proper goodbye to summer by offering some awesome watermelon sips through the end of August: melon-rita: fresh watermelon, Jose Cuervo, fresh lime juice and a salted rim, Melon-Kick Martini: fresh watermelon, Bacardi Limon, apple juice, lime and jalapeno and lastly the Melon-Berry Mojito: fresh watermelon, strawberries, mint, Cruzan Strawberry Rum and fresh lime juice. These tasty drinks left me a bit nostalgic that summer is definitely coming to an end. The Melon-Kick was my favorite with the hint of jalapeno that wasn’t too overwhelming at all. It packed just the right amount of punch. Overall, I enjoyed all three of these watermelon inspired drinks. Catch em before they’re all gone!
Our meal started out with the Bruschetta Sampler which featured their roasted red pepper, sliced steak and chef’s seasonal bruschettas. The sampler was an excellent choice for a starter. The roasted red pepper was a more classic take on bruschetta with the mozzarella, basil and balsamic glaze. The sliced steak was a little more adventurous with gorgonzola, arugula and charred tomatoes. The chef’s seasonal was the most impressive with balsamic caramelized onions, prosciutto and provolone. Of course be warned that the chef’s seasonal can change from time to time. Overall, this sampler is something I would come back for and recommend.
The three entrees we tried deserve their own debriefing, so for each we’ll share the make up of the dish followed by a photo and analysis.
1. The Chicken and Mozzarella stuffed ravioli: pancetta, sweet potatoes, asparagus, light champagne cream, gorgonzola, pine nuts and balsamic glaze.
The flavors that came through in this dish came from a very “fall” place but the ravioli itself fell short for me. The sweet potatoes made for a very unique addition to a ravioli and was cohesively delicious with the asparagus and champagne cream sauce. The ravioli filled with chicken and mozzarella is what didn’t impress me. When biting into the ravioli, there was a lot of open space that should’ve been oozing with mozzarella but wasn’t. The overall earthy sweetness of the dish was wonderful but I would have liked to have a better ravioli experience. It was definitely the most unique ravioli I’ve had and BRIO did a great job tying in fall components such as the sweet potatoes and pine nuts.
2. The Grilled Balsamic Glazed Pork Chop: Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, pancetta, brussels sprouts, caramelized onion and maple balsamic vinaigrette.
A pork chop cooked perfectly will always leave me satisfied. The grill marks on this bad boy had me excited and when I cut into the meat, it was perfect. This was one of my favorites with the glazed, grilled to perfection chop and the fall heartiness of the vegetables. It was simple but flavorful and to me really embraces fall flavors.
3. Steak Saltimbocca: stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, crispy fingerlings, chile flake, fried sage, broccolini and marsala sauce.
If you aren’t familiar with what saltimbocca is, it is an Italian dish where meat is lined with prosciutto and sage. In this case, BRIO used skirt steak and the sage factored in as fried on top. As you can see, a very clever twist to a traditional dish. When I first tried this dish, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It’s hearty and rich and not for the faint of heart. The skirt steak is rich in flavor and the provolone adds a tangy goodness that goes nicely. The fingerlings potatoes were crispy and seasoned perfectly. I’ve always loved broccoli anything so broccolini made me smile. It like the “cutie” version of broccoli and just as tasty and fresh. I thought about my papa eating this. He’s a very simplistic eater; loves his meat and potatoes and this was the epitome of steak and potatoes with fresh, fall take. The more I ate, the more I enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a filling, hearty entree, then look no further.
For dessert, we had the seasonal Snickerdoodle Peach Cobbler and also their all time Dolchino Trio. I was in sweet tooth heaven at this point.
Snickerdoodle Peach Cobbler: Served warm with vanilla bean gelato and powdered sugar.
If peach cobbler could grow wings and a halo, it would be this angle of a peach cobbler. Wow, wow and wow. If you love peach cobbler, like peach cobbler, think you might, or maybe just like snickerdoodles, then I promise you’ll enjoy this. The warmth and sweetness of the cinnamon snickerdoodle cookie melts in your mouth together with the gelato. The peaches are fresh and not mushy adding a little texture. This is fall in the form of dessert. That’s the best way I can put it.
Dolchino Trio: Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake, creme brulee and seasonal dolchino.
Dessert was literally the cherry on top of my entire evening at BRIO. If you’re not sure which dessert to try, try them all. The mascarpone cheesecake was my favorite in the trio. It takes creaminess to a whole new level.
If you’re ready for fall flavored entrees and desserts, then head over to BRIO Tuscan Grille before October 1. The entrees vary in prices from $16 to $28 for the steak dish. Keep in mind that the portions are big and you will definitely have leftovers. BRIO is also offering a two-course early dinner combo available until Oct. 20. Hang out, enjoy their outdoor fireplaces and catch some of their live bands throughout the week. These dishes have made me even more excited about fall than I was before.
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.