One more piece of the remaking of CityPlace’s retail and restaurant mix will fall into place in late February when the third local Brio Tuscan Grille is slated to make its debut in the street-level space at 550 Rosemary Ave.
Several shops were cleared out to make way for the giant 7,000-plus-square-foot restaurant, which joins siblings in Boca and Palm Beach Gardens. Based on those siblings, you can bet the Brio folks won’t leave any money on the floor when it comes to dressing up their latest eatery, which seeks a villa-like atmosphere complete with antique cypress-wood floors, Venetian plastered walls, hand-crafted Italian mosaics, wrought-iron chandeliers and imported Italian marble.
Almost 300 diners seated indoors, outdoors and at the bar can check out all this design eye candy, which tucking into a something-for-everybody Italian-esque menu that ranges from the ubiquitous (fried calamari, lasagna, veal Milanese, bistecca alla Fiorentina) to the slightly less ubiquitous (caprese salad, shrimp and lobster ravioli, chicken “under a brick,” gorgonzola-crusted New York strip).
Not long ago I had dinner at the Boca Brio and, though expecting indifferent, cook-by-number corporate fare, was pleasantly surprised at both the quality of ingredients and the care in their preparation. This is not the place you’d bring your food-savvy friends from New York, Chicago or San Francisco, but it beats the ricotta out of most local Mom ‘n’ Pop red sauce joints, with their interchangeable menus and product straight off the food-service truck.