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Entering Brio Tuscan Grille transports you to the Tuscan region of Italy. Whereas it is larger than most of the restaurants we experienced in Tuscany, the feeling is similar.

Having hiked 14-18 miles a day through Tuscany and enjoying the food, we were delighted to discover a taste of Tuscany in Gilbert at Brio Tuscan Grille. Like most Tuscan food, the focus is on using the freshest ingredients.


SIGNATURE RECIPE FOR INSALTA ROMA

Ingredients for Finished Bruschetta

2.5 cups of Mixed Field Greens (this can be purchased at any Grocery store pre-packaged)

3 tablespoons of diced Roma tomatoes

2 tablespoons of Flavored Pecans (Grocery stores sells flavored/candied pecans.)

2 tablespoons of Gorgonzola cheese – crumbled

.25 cup of haricot vert (thin green beans)

3 to 4 tablespoons of red seedless grapes – cut in half

1 pre-cooked and sliced thin 4 to 5 oz Chicken Breast

2 teaspoons of Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

2 pinches of Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro Leaves

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Sweet Italian Dressing (Purchase at the store)

Instructions to Assemble

In a stainless or glass bowl, combine lettuce and Italian dressing, tomatoes, 1 Tbsp of pecans, 1 Tbsp Gorgonzola cheese, salt & pepper. Toss to combine.

In a saute pan combine pre-cooked chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinaigrette

Heat and add haricot vert, grapes, salt & pepper.

Pile lettuce mixture in the center of large pasta bowl or plate.

Pile warm chicken on top of greens towering in the center.

Top with the remaining Gorgonzola cheese, spicy pecans and tomatoes.


SPECIAL TOUCH:

Chill your salad bowls or plates at least two hours prior to serving. Another added touch is not chill your salad forks as well. This is a very nice touch, especially in the warm summer months.

We started off with Brio’s Bruschetta Quattro, a sampling of the four house-made bruschetta. It includes Roasted Red Pepper & Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta, fresh basil and a`balsamic drizzle; Bruschetta Caprese, red and yellow vine-ripened tomatoes marinated in red wine vinaigrette with fresh Mozzarella,
basil and a balsamic drizzle; Shrimp Bruschetta, lobster and sherry sauce, Fontina cheese and charred tomato cilantro relish; and Sliced steak Bruschetta, Gorgonzola Dolce, arugula, fennel, charred tomato, shaved Parmean and Tuscan Italian dressing. They were all distinctive and good.

For our entree, I had Oak Roasted Pulled Chicken Salad (recipe shown). It had mixed greens tossed with roasted chicken, tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese, Kalamata olives, grapes, and pecans. The menu says it is an insalata grande and it certainly is. Besides being delicious, it was large enough for Norm to share and take home for another meal. The pulled chicken was favorable and the best pulled chicken I’ve tasted.

Norm had the Pasta Alla Vodka. This dish was delicate hand made pasta filled with Ricotta cheese, tossed with crispy prosciutto, garlic, basil and a tomato Parmesan cream sauce. I shared three bites of this and Norm enjoyed it so much, he cleaned his plate. In addition to the pasta being cooked to perfection, the sauce was terrific.

Another special feature of Brio’s is the desserts. They are small selections of served in demitasse cups. You can get a single, a triple or whatever you want. Not huge, but a wonderful finishing touch.

While speaking with Executive Chef Bruce Kalman, I asked him what his favorite cooking utensil is. He replied, “A truffle shaver, because then you have truffles.” It certainly makes sense that someone that overseas the preparation of such fine Tuscan food would love truffles.

The prices on the menu are comparable to other good Italian restaurants in the area. This is definitely as spot that you should try. Let me know how you like it. I look forward to hearing about your experience. Brio is located in the San Tan Village, 2150 E. Williams Fields Rd., Suite 118, Gilbert, AZ 85296, phone 480 917-9177.


Culinarily yours,