Winner of the Dana Point Times 2017 “Best of Dana Point” People’s Choice Award for “Best Happy Hour” and “Best Bartender” (GOLD) and “Best Overall Restaurant,” “Best Pizza,” “Best Bar” and “Best Take-Out Food!” (SILVER)
I have to admit - I’m pretty particular when it comes to deciding where to go for dinner on date night, out for a family meal or simply stepping out to enjoy a glass of fine wine and live entertainment after work. Lucky for me, I live in Dana Point and am only a stone’s throw from a popular eatery that dishes up all this and delicious Italian cuisine to boot: Brio Tuscany Grille.
A recently unveiled updated menu includes familiar favorites (the signature Crab and Lobster bisque and Brio’s famous Pork Chop), wood fired pizza and specialty pasta dishes. A meat-and-potatoes eater? The Flat Iron Bistecca Pesto starts with a USDA Prime Cut oven roasted, garlic and fresh Italian herbs and freshly made pesto sauce. Prefer poultry? Try the Pollo al Mattone “Chicken Under the Brick” which arrives as a boneless half chicken marinated with citrus, rosemary, sliced fresh garlic and a blend of Italian spices, drizzled with olive oil and lemon sauce - cooked under a brick in a wood-fired oven. All produce is locally grown and organic.
For starters, the Antipasto Italiano Platter arrives with an array of flavorful favorites - Prosciutto di Parma, artisan salame, fresh buffalo mozzarella, Tuscan olives, grilled artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers and toasted ciabatta bread. Yum! A seafood aficionado?
The perfect complement is the piping hot oven baked baguette, baked fresh to order (think soft on the inside, perfectly crusty on the outside) and served with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
I love the wood-fired pizzas here. They don’t make deep-dish-American-football-sweatpants pizza. No. They serve handmade, thin, crispy, flaky crust pizza. I had “Make Your Own Pizza” with prosciutto and arugula, complete with a soft flurry of mozzarella. You know, the kind of pie you sip wine with, reflecting on the old country while a hot steam of freshness rises poetically around you. Or, as others put it: one heck of a tasty pizza.
Brio Tuscany Grille has an incredible selection of fine wines (and a full premium bar), great nightly specials and the kind of attentive-yet-unobtrusive service that makes any meal that much more enjoyable. Visit briotuscanygrill.com for their menu and catering options or call (949) 443-1476 for reservations. You won’t be disappointed!