Brio Tuscan Grille debuted at the Irvine Spectrum on July 17, 2014 and was the second location to open in California. It is located on an island offshoot next to the Nordstrom parking deck. The exterior is regal with a pinnacle foyer and lovely outdoor lounge. The interior is very light and makes you feel like you are in Tuscany. You can image a soft breeze coming through if the restaurant didn’t have windows. The service is relaxed yet attentive. A manager was always in view as well.
“A Tale of Two Risottos” is a classic tale of old-world meets new. Brio’s love affair with risotto and the finest seafood has inspired a special menu. See below for more on these special offerings marked with an “*”.
Calamari Fritto Misto ($11.95) is calamari and pepperoncini fried to a crispy golden brown and served with creamy aioli and Pomodoro. The outside is perfectly crispy yet the calamari is tender on the inside. The aioli tastes a little too much like mayonnaise. It would be better if it were a little creamier, but pairs nicely with the pepperoncini. The Pomodoro tastes homemade with bright tomato flavor but could be a tad heartier. Rating: 4.3/5
Spicy Shrimp Bruschetta ($11.95*) is topped with homemade lobster sauce, fontina, and charred tomato relish. The bruschetta is rich in flavor from the lobster butter – luscious and decadent. The slightly spicy tomato relish adds a nice counter balance to the sauce. The shrimp are perfectly cooked and succulent. Unfortunately, the fontina cheese gets lost in the mix. This dish might not need it at all as the lobster sauce is easily creamy enough. Rating: 4.3/5
Sea Scallops & Ratatouille Risotto ($19.95*) is seared sea scallops served over risotto with roasted eggplant, red peppers, zucchini, tomato compote, basil, and reggiano. This dish is reminiscent of seafood jambalaya. The scallops are cooked to perfection. But the risotto is in need of some salt to balance out the sweetness of the tomato. The flavors are very subtle and mild. Rating: 3.3/5
Cold Water Lobster Tail with Shrimp Risotto ($19.95*) is risotto with shrimp, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, asparagus, basil, and parmesan topped with a broiled Maine lobster tail. The seafood is cooked perfectly but the risotto is too soupy. Risotto should be thick, creamy, and cooked to al dente. The sauce itself has bright and crisp flavors. The vegetables add a nice texture to the risotto as well. Rating: 4.5/5
Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding Dolchino ($3.95*) has chocolate chunks and topped with vanilla bean gelato and chocolate sauce. This has the perfect bread pudding consistency with the added bonus of a light chocolate flavor. The vanilla gelato makes the perfect pairing of a rich, creamy, decadent element. Rating: 5/5
Tiramisu ($6.50) is coffee liqueur soaked lady fingers layered with mascarpone cheese, and topped with cocoa powder and whipped cream. It is picture perfect in both look and flavor for a tiramisu. The rich, creamy mascarpone and just the right amount of coffee liqueur to create perfect harmonious flavors. Rating: 5/5
Make a reservation today to try “A Tale of Two Risottos”. Mangia!
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars
For more information:
Brio Tuscan Grille
774 Spectrum Center Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618