Brio Tuscan Grille

The perfect place to break for a light lunch while shopping at the Waterside Shops

The dessert tray at Brio makes an impression, by Tara for TKGO

It’s hardly authentic Tuscan, but after a long day of shopping at the Waterside Shops, you’ll need some sort of nourishment. And after wandering around Saks and Nordstrom (or just the sale racks), you might be in the mood for what one of my friends calls “a ladies luncheon” with white tablecloths and salad forks.

Or not. Either way, Brio delivers.

If you’re looking to use that salad fork and still leave full, the Sliced Steak Salad with a creamy horseradish dressing is a hearty, never-fail main course ($14.75). For those of us who still like to use our hands despite the presence of white tablecloths, try Brio’s Bruschetta Quattro appetizer made to share, featuring two big tastes of each of four bruschettas: Roasted Red Pepper & Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Steak Bruschetta (with gorgonzola and arugula), Sausage Florentine Bruschetta (with spinach and provolone, it’s my personal favorite) and a fourth that changes with the seasons ($13.95). Bruschettas come dripping with juices and covered in herbs, and each has at least two types of cheese. If you’re not in the mood for bruschetta, any other light lunch fare is the restaurant chain’s specialty. You’ll still find these favorites on the dinner menu along with most of the lunch menu — not much changes. And I have yet to order a dessert I don’t like at Brio. The mini portions, served in cups, are the perfect size after finishing (read: trying to finish) one of those massive steak salads ($2.45).

Tara for TKGO City Guides

5505 Tamiami Trail, N#1, Waterside Shops. (239) 593-5337. Brio has other locations across the U.S. but many more are in Florida than any other state.
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