Brio Tuscan Grille has long been one of my favorite spots for lunch in Naples, whether for a business meeting or a quick respite during a day of shopping at Waterside. (You can’t beat the patio setting!) Their standard fare is authentic northern Italian cuisine—think steaks, chops and seafood a la a Tuscan country villa.
Recently, though, they’ve introduced a new lunch menu, dubbed A Variety of Flavors, which puts a bit of an unexpected twist on Italian. For example: There’s fish and chips, but it’s Peroni beer-battered. (More on that to come.)
Executive Chef Ahmed El started us off with a prosciutto bruschetta ($11.95), which came with roasted red peppers, olive oil and burrata cheese. Flavorful but still light enough that we weren’t full before even getting our entrees. (Pescetarian disclosure: I had mine without the prosciutto, and it was still plenty tasty.)
This bruschetta isn’t on the Variety of Flavors menu, but it’s one of the Chef’s Seasonal Bruschetta selections and well worth a try.
We tried all three entrees on the menu (counterclockwise above): the Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli ($19.95), Braised Beef Pappardelle ($21.95) and the aforementioned Peroni Beer-Battered Fish & Chips ($17.95).
The ravioli—in a black pepper Creole sauce with spinach and grape tomatoes—was my favorite. It has a definite New Orleans-style spiciness without being overpowering. Jesse practically inhaled the hearty beef pappardelle, which came with rosemary-infused noodles and a balsamic and tomato porcini sauce, red onions, roasted carrots and crimini mushrooms.
The North Atlantic cod and fries with a Tuscan tartar sauce were also delicious, but the housemade Brussels sprout slaw was a surprising standout to both of us, who don’t typically have much of an affinity for slaws. This one has more of a savory flavor than sweet, plus a little dash of heat from the jalapeños.We couldn’t say no to the Butterscotch Budino ($3.95) for dessert. Budino, apparently, is Italian for pudding, and this one was light and not overpoweringly sweet, with Marcona almonds, caramel and vanilla whipped cream.
Brio Tuscan Grille
5505 Tamiami Trail N., Naples (Waterside Shops) | (239) 593-5319
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)
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