Tuscany for You and Me

From Frontenac, with Brio

Desserts are always a struggle after a big meal, but our party finally settled on crème brûlée and a special chocolate-soufflé cake. The cake was light and moist, accented by a small scoop of vanilla gelato. Although perfectly torched for a dark, caramelized sugar topping, the crème brûlée suffered from a lingering refrigerator aftertaste, detracting from its otherwise cool creaminess. An extensive selection of specialty coffee is available, from espresso to brews spiked with rum, bourbon or assorted liqueurs.

Brio offers a large selection of wines by the bottle, many from Tuscany and surrounding regions. A handful of reds and whites are available by the glass and will run you anywhere from $6 to $10; bottle prices range from $17 to $95. When I ordered an inexpensive Orvieto, the server returned with a revised list -- it turned out she'd inadvertently supplied the old one. Evidently the light, dry Umbrian wine wasn't selling well around here and a pinot grigio had taken its place. If you're ordering a bottle, make sure to inquire about the vintage, because, disappointingly, they're not listed. Eight sparkling wines (by the bottle only) and five ports and sherries round out the roster.

Improbable, but not impossible: There's a slice of 
Tuscany in Plaza Frontenac!
Jennifer Silverberg
Improbable, but not impossible: There's a slice of Tuscany in Plaza Frontenac!

Location Info

Map

Brio Tuscan Grille

1601 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Frontenac, MO 63131

Category: Restaurant > European

Region: Frontenac

Details

Calamari $8.75
Field greens salad $6.95
Chicken "under the brick" $15.95
Grilled pork chops $16.25
Flatbreads $8.95-$10.50
Crème brûlée $4.50

314-432-4410. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu.; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun.

Plaza Frontenac, 1601 S. Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac

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Brio isn't a place where you want to dawdle, as you would in a true Tuscan trattoria. The place is packed most weekends and a few weeknights; the bar area is a magnet for well-heeled young professionals and the noise level is at a constant high pitch. That said, Sunday nights and midweek seem to be good times to avoid the masses. Better northern Italian cuisine is doubtless available elsewhere (Lafayette Square's recently opened Eleven Eleven Mississippi comes to mind), but Brio seems to have captured a slice of the Tuscan sun and packaged it without homogenizing to the point of serving grits and calling it polenta.

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