BRIO Tuscan Grille is an Italian restaurant chain you will want to visit! While visiting my mom in our hometown of Freehold, NJ, I was pleasantly surprised to find a BRIO in the area. Located at The Freehold Mall, this Italian restaurant is a gem with house made pastas, creative cocktails, and delicious seafood as well as meat options. Before I heard about the new menu additions here at BRIO, I was dying to try this spot due to my mother, who swears by their Lemon Basil Martini’s.

Chef Rob Ferranti takes classic Italian favorites and adds his own unique culinary flare and artistry to every dish. What intrigued me was the fact that even though they are a large restaurant with many locations, and as a corporate company, they have to keep to certain menu standards and recipes, the dishes here really stood out and you could absolutely taste Chef Rob’s culinary influence within them. The Flavorful Features menu comes with a variety of the favorites on the menu with wine options to pair.

The first thing I noticed when arriving at BRIO, were the smiling and friendly staff members as well as the very clean and upscale decor. From the hosts/hostesses to the service staff and management, everyone here is kind, accommodating, and gives great menu recommendations. I always enjoy when I ask my server for a recommendation, and they get excited when describing their favorite dish. This not only means that the restaurant takes time to have the staff try the food here, but that you can see that they enjoy what they do and love the food too.

I started my evening off with the Flirty Cosmo and way too many helpings of their delicious fresh baked bread, while my mom sipped her Lemon Basil Martini. First course was an incredible appetizer of Burrata & Prosciutto Bruschetta. Perfectly plated on a wooden slab, this starter is great for a party of 4-6 people as a share-able appetizer (although I had no problem eating four of them to myself). The entrée selection is a delicious one where you can enjoy three creative options such as the Scallop Risotto, Crab Stuffed Shrimp and Lobster Tail, as well as Chicken Saltimbocca. The Scallop Risotto is comforting and full of fresh Italian flavor. The Crab Stuffed Shrimp and Lobster Tail is perfect for those who really enjoy their seafood with a side of orzo, farro and veggies.

“What pleasantly surprised me however was the Chicken Saltimbocca because usually when I dine out, I never tend to order chicken dishes due to my love of red meat, as well as seafood… but here I would absolutely order this dish again.”

This chicken is perfectly salted and comes with crispy pancetta, sage, and butternut squash risotto that is out of this world, yum! Alongside all the entrées I devoured, there was a side dish that I could not resist: The Creamed Spinach and Kale. I would order this side dish over and over again when dining at BRIO because it’s deliciously creamy, full of flavor, and has a wonderful crispy cheese layer to it that makes it a delectable side dish worth ordering.

The portions here are large but appropriate for the prices and since I was in the mood for something sweet to pair with my Italian Mule cocktail, dessert was a must. The Butterscotch Budino is one of the best desserts I have had in a while, and is an Italian pudding topped with caramel, Marcona almonds, and whipped cream. Alongside the Budino was Crème brûlée and a Marshmallow Upside Down Cheesecake; all of these delicious dessert options I would say are, “edible entertainment”.

BRIO Tuscan Grille brings you the best in Italian favorites paired with a wonderful wine selection and cocktail menu. Whether you’re with friends, having a family gathering, or simply want to enjoy a great happy hour during the week, BRIO is a must visit. It’s hard to find gem’s that exist like this when it comes to large, upscale chain restaurants, but BRIO will surely impress and delight your palate!