Happy Hour is Monday thru Friday from 3pm – 6pm, and from 9pm – Close Sunday thru Thursday.
Seating at the bar was available both indoors and out, but since our record mild-weather wave seems to be ending, we opted to sit in the cooler, darker indoor side.
Once seated, we perused the wine and $2.95 Tuscan Taster Bar menu. Brio has a small but reasonably priced wine list, with all but a select few available both by the glass and by the bottle. We expressed an interest the 2007 Kaiken Reserve Malbec, and our server was happy to open a fresh bottle for us to sample. We kept the bottle.
One of the problems with living in the desert seems to be that almost everyone serves red wine too warm. When we mentioned this to our server he was happy to put our bottle in the bar cooler while we decided what to order. When our appetizers arrived, he presented our wine to us in a chilled stone cooler that’s normally used to keep white wines chilled, a nice touch.
We started off with a Carpaccio Plate and a Sausage, Pepperoni & Ricotta Flatbread. The Carpaccio was thinly sliced, well chilled beef with crisp field greens, capers, a very good mustard aioli and fresh Parmesan cheese. The Sausage, Pepperoni & Ricotta Flatbread was very thin, very crisp, and loaded. Both were excellent and quickly consumed.
We then chose the Spicy Shrimp with Eggplant, and I went to the main dinner menu to order the Gorgonzola Lambchops appetizer, which is not available on the Tuscan Taster Menu. The Spicy Shrimp with Eggplant was the hit of the day, grilled shrimp on top of Romano-crusted eggplant covered in an absolutely delicious pepper cream sauce. WineWench is not a big eggplant fan, but she happily ate her share of this one. The Gorgonzola Lambchops ran a close second, four tender lamb chops grilled medium rare with Gorgonzola crust, sauteed spinach and a red wine veal sauce. WineWench is not a fan of lamb, so these were all mine, and I took full advantage.
Good food, good wine and a bill that totalled less than what we’ve paid for wine alone at other establishments are all reasons why we’ll be going back to Brio for Happy Hour very soon.
...And This Is Why We Drink™