Melodi and I had the pleasure of trying out a brand new restaurant at The Irvine Spectrum called Brio Tuscan Grille. It’s Italian (duh) and very modern looking. I am always excited to try out a new restaurant but I was super excited about this one because I knew I would be in for some yummy dishes! And we had no kids!!! So we could have a long luxurious dinner with no fighting, time outs or potty breaks.
They had TONS of seating and several different areas depending on your mood for the evening. They have a dining room, bar and outdoor seating. All areas served the full menu but you could also get happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers if you sat in the bar. We decided to sit in the dining room area.
As we were being shown our seat I immediately noticed the lighting. They had beautiful chandeliers and GORGEOUS natural lighting. I sat down in the booth, looked up and saw this fantastic skylight with soft white drapes coming from it going to all corners of the room. It gave the room such a nice warm feeling. I absolutely loved it!
BRIO TUSCAN GRILLE DRINKS
Our waiter’s name was Brice and he was so friendly. He was very knowledgeable about the menu and gave us some suggestions on what drinks and appetizers to get. I decided to order a Peach Bellini and Melodi ordered a Strawberry Fresca. They both were very refreshing and yummy!
The first thing Brice mentioned was that they had a fantastic Roasted Garlic, Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Of course we had to order it and boy was he right! It was fantastic! The dip was super cheesy, super garlicy and we couldn’t stop eating it!
One of the first things Melodi mentioned after we sat down was the Beef Carpaccio. She could not stop talking about it! She had had this dish at a different restaurant and had loved it. I, of course, LOVE red meat so we got it and man o man was it tasty!
INSALATA & ZUPPA (salads and soups)
We then ordered our salads. I got the Bistecca Insalata which is kind of like a wedge salad but it had this really good Parmesan dressing. The assistant general manager Dusty Alexander said their dressing was better than ranch….and he was right! Melodi got the Caesar Salad and she thought it was really good.
Melodi decided to also try their Lobster Bisque. She is a HUGE fan of Lobster and this had lots of lobster flavor in it. She really enjoyed this soup!
SPECIALITA (house specialties)
For my main course I ordered the Chicken Milanese. This dish had crispy Romano chicken with herb pasta, fresh Mozzarella and Pomodoro sauce. Their Pomodoro sauce was made in house and was one of the best red sauces I have ever had. Their chicken was tender and the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. And of course since I like cheese I had them add on fresh grated Parmesan.
BISTECCA (steaks & filets)
Melodi got the Gorgonzola Crusted Bistecca which was an 8 oz filet topped with Gorgonzola, served with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. She ordered it medium and when it came out it was perfectly cooked. Melodi really enjoyed this dish. I tasted this as well and I could definitely order this next time.
BRIO TUSCAN GRILLE DESSERTS
And last but not least was the desserts. By this time we were so full that we were going to share a dessert…..but we ended up getting 3!!!! Brice came over and showed us the dessert tray and we couldn’t decide on one. So we each ordered our own. As we were trying to decide Dusty (The assistant general manager) came by and told us that his favorite was the Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding. He said it was so good that he wanted to bathe in it! Well by that time Melodi and I had already decided on our choices. She got the Carnegie Deli New York Cheesecake and I got the Creme Brulee (one of my personal favorites). When they were brought out Dusty saw that we hadn’t gotten the bread pudding and made a sample plate HIMSELF and brought it out to us. And you know what…..he was right!! That was one of the best desserts I have ever had! I really did want to cover myself in that bread pudding!! I will never doubt Dusty again. 😉
As we rolled out of there 2.5 hours later (only with no kids can this be accomplished!) we were already planning our next trip to Brio Tuscan Grille and discussing what we would order next time.