Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1/18/10-Brio Tuscan Grille, West Hartford, CT

Out to lunch on this very busy MLK day with my lunch partner-in-crime (and shopping!) Sheri. At 2pm, there was about a 15 minute wait and they held true to their timing. When seated, our waiter quickly came over and introduced himself, asked if we had ever been before--we both had not, and he proceeded to tell us about the specials for the day and also about some of their more popular menu choices. When drinks arrived, we placed an order for the calamari appetizer--it arrived nicely presented with two dipping sauces, marinara and a mustard-based sauce; the marinara was the clear winner for us. For our entrees, Sheri had the Shrimp and Scallop Linguine "Tossed with sauteed shrimp and Bay scallops, Shiitake mushrooms, garlic, pepper relish, black pepper cream sauce and fresh basil"--she commented that the pasta seemed very fresh but was very surprised by the spiciness of her dish and the asian influence the dish seemed to take on. I had the Pasta alla Vodka "Delicate handmade pasta filled with Ricotta cheese, tossed with crispy pancetta, garlic, basil and a Tomato Parmesan cream sauce"--pasta was cooked al dente and the sauce was very enjoyable and I loved the little bit of pancetta, though I wish there was more (it's given me inspiration on how to tweak my vodka sauce!).

Our waiter was attentive and pleasant and even shook our hands after dropping the check! Overall it was a nice experience and although I am not privy to dining at chain restaurants, I would return.


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