tonight’s dinner was probably my favorite of the trip. we decided on brio, a beautifully decorated italian bistro that i had heard rave reviews about. because brio is a chain, i fully expected a red and green color scheme and overdone “italian” thematics. upon walking in, i was so surprised at how bright and tasteful the main dining room was, complete with chandeliers and gorgeous draperies descending from the near-cathedral ceilings. we were seated in the bar at two high top tables to accommodate our party of seven and initially i was disappointed in being unable to enjoy the gorgeous dining room. the bar turned out to be a perfect location and allowed us to be seated instantly, avoiding an hour long wait. no complaints there.
we started the meal with a sausage, arugula and goat cheese pizza topped with caramelized onion jam. absolutely unreal. because of my upbringing not far from new haven, home of the infamous frank pepe’s pizza, i tend to hold pizza to much higher standards than the average diner, and this one surely did not disappoint. the flavors all worked so well together and the addition of the onion jam added a really unique and slightly acidic finish. delectable.
for my entree, i chose a pasta dish from the “lighter fare” portion of the menu because the pizza was rather filling. my tastebuds were treated by angel hair noodles caressed in a light pesto sauce with grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, heirloom tomatoes and caramelized onions. the portion size was perfect and left room for dessert. crucial.
i rarely order dessert from restaurants(so many places near me have either ice cream shops or bakeries close by), but tonight i made an exception because, technically, i’m “on vacation.” also, i could not resist when our waitress brought over one of each each dessert on the menu for us to see. all too tempting. my mom and i chose to split a slice of brio’s tuxedo cake- a super moist chocolate cake layered with dark and white chocolate mousses. probably one of the best decisions of my life. to wash it all down, i enjoyed a cinnamon cappuccino. god bless brio.