One of the outstanding plusses for dining at Brio is the $5 parking rate. If you park in the building's parking garage, dine at Brio and then have your garage ticket get validated, you can get away with one of the cheapest rates in downtown. Now that's a plus, no matter how you look at it. Brio's General Manager Martin Atkinson stressed that you don't have to come in and have a full course meal to get that rate. So you can come for dessert and then head over to the O's game. My first visit to Brio did not disappoint. The property, which is located on the corner of Pratt and Calvert Streets, is simply regal, open, and light. The interior has a grandness that results from the arched colonnades and imposing wrought iron chandeliers, among other inspiring features. But enough about the decor, let's talk about the food.
My dining companion and I started our experience with the Bruschetta Quattro. This is a sampling of four of the restaurants bruschetta offerings. Make sure one of the four you order is the Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta. Ah! (Can I say "Ah!" in an article? I don't see why not.) Ah! The roasted red pepper is so sweet and the additional flavors of the fresh mozzarella, basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano are sweet harmony.
Next we had the Calamari Fritto Misto, which was standardly good. The flavoring of the pepperoncini brought in a noticeable sweet and spicy flavor, however, the breading was a little heavier than I would prefer. Another appetizer that is one of the favorites at Brio is Beef Carpaccio. Not found many places in Maryland, if you have a hankering for carpaccio, Brio's is cooked to order. Carpaccio in its authentic state is thinly sliced raw meat, but as you will note on the menu: ". . . consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness especially in certain medical conditions." Under that advisory, if you want to order it rare, go for it! Nonetheless, the cooked to order beef carpaccio is one of the more popular offerings and is served with field greens, capers, mustard aioli, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. (Read more at Examiner.com)
Sample of Desserts at Brio Tuscan Grille: Creme Brulee, Tiramisu Dolcino