Jacqueline Monahan



By Jacqueline Monahan

Brio Tuscan Grille Expands Social Hour Bar Menu – Elegantly

Talk about a fab four! Town Square’s elegant Brio Tuscan Grille, a culinary jewel in the crown of its eateries, has expanded its Social Hour bar menu to include a quartet of new offerings. Whether creamy, crispy, or spicy, these “bar bites” as they are called, are packed with flavor and flair, pleasing both the eye and the palate.

Here’s what’s new:
The Buffalo Chicken Nachos come stacked in a mound of house-made potato chips, covered in cheddar cheese sauce, creamy horseradish, gorgonzola, green onions and celery; chunks of spicy Buffalo chicken nest among the layers, waiting to impart a kick to the taste buds. Bite these nachos and they just might bite you back – in a good way.

Buffalo Chicken Nachos


Buffalo Nachos and Brio Potatoes

Potato Skins

Crispy Shrimp Brio packs a crunch in each bite. Batter-fried shrimp are covered with and nestle in a spicy Remoulade sauce and topped with green onions. The presentation makes you want to pop one in your mouth as soon as it hits the table – and then keep going.

Crispy Shrimp Brio

Warm Margherita Dip arrives in its own little cast iron skillet, keeping the four cheese blend, tomato compote, Reggiano, and basil, heated through and decadently spreadable. Served with a side of grilled ciabatta, this bite provides a creamy and chewy mouthful, worthy of many happy returns.

The Bruschetta Trio consists of three different varieties of the sliced, grilled bread heaped with savory toppings. Roasted Red Pepper sits atop mozzarella with basil and balsamic glaze; Sliced Steak shares the stage with roasted tomato, arugula, and gorgonzola; Spicy Shrimp is covered in lobster butter. Seafood, meat, cheese, and vegetables make this plate a party in each diverse mouthful.

Warm Margherita Dip


Bruschetta Trio

With nothing higher than $6 on Brio Tuscan Grille’s bar menu, decadence and quality invade one’s eyes and palate at a surprisingly satisfying rate. The words “bar menu” do not do this food justice. Starting at only $4 bar plates are available weekdays in (where else?) the bar, of course. Social (Happy) Hour(s) are Monday - Friday 3:30pm - 6:30 pm, Monday - Thursday 9:00pm - 11:00 pm.

The full bar menu includes Beef Carpaccio. The beef is shaved so unbelievably thin that you will be amazed, even more so when you taste the delectably tender, melt-in-the mouth texture. Eaten on parmesan flatbread, and accompanied by field greens, capers, and mustard aioli, the flavor is prominent in a parade of throw your head back and close your eyes delight.

Beef Carpaccio

Beef Carpaccio

Margherita Flatbread is a thin, pizza-like rectangle of goodness, incorporating mozzarella, tomatoes, basil that you must pace yourself to fully enjoy, lest you start chomping and forget to stop. The BRIO Burger incorporates provolone, special sauce, and house-made chips; it tastes like steak and the care Brio’s chefs take in preparing it mean that you’re also eating with your eyes (sometimes) closed. Yes, it’s that good.

Flatbread Margherita

Margherita Flatbread

Brio Burger Rare

Brio Burger

They don’t call it a Caprese here, but this Tomato Mozzarella Salad includes field greens, basil, balsamic, lemon vinaigrette and looks like a work of art on a plate which transfer happily to the palate. Black Pepper Shrimp sit on pillows of Romano- crusted eggplant that are nestled in a plate-long river of spicy black pepper cream sauce that you’ll want to spoon up like soup. Brio Potato Skins arrive covered in cheddar cheese sauce, Applewood bacon, green onions, and lime crema, which distinguishes and elevates this dish far above its more ordinary cousins.

Brio Caprese

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Pepper Shrimp

Pepper Shrimp

The restaurant itself is an experience; both its exterior and interior are eye-candy gorgeous. Dining al fresco – even in December- is enhanced by large, flame-filled heaters on a spacious patio along a sidewalk that takes visitors past Town Square’s promenades of shops and eateries.

A step inside Brio reveals a sublime world of elegance, Italian style. There’s even a private dining room in the shape of Rome’s Coliseum. The large dining space is adorned with foliage, massive chandeliers, a dramatic, draped ceiling and mood lighting to enhance the experience even further.

Brio Interior

Brio describes itself as a “polished casual” restaurant and its name means “full of life.” The “Tuscan Grille” refers to oven-roasted steaks, chops and seafood, similar to what one would find in an authentic ristorante in Tuscany (northern Italian cuisine).

Brio Interior 2

The restaurant also offers $5 Martini Wednesdays, with drinks like the Flirtini, Razzbertini, and Lemon Basil Crush. $5 Wine Thursdays feature white varieties including Porta Palo Sauvignon Blanc and red varieties such as Sartori Pinot Noir. Other BRIO cocktails include the White Peach Sangria, Tropical Cosmo, Cucumber Basil Gimlet, and a Seasonal Margarita. Guests can also enjoy craft beer selections.

Your humble correspondent was able to sample a Tropical Cosmo (Pineapple infused vodka, Malibu Coconut Rum, cranberry and lime juice) which tasted like being on vacation in a glass, and Cucumber Basil Gimlet (made with your choice of vodka or gin, Angostura bitters, fresh lemon and lime, and served on the rocks) which was like a refreshing, smooth, and clean tasting liquid garden.

Cucumber basil Gimlet and Tropical Cosmo

Cucumber Basil Gimlet and Tropical Cosmo

BRIO offers lunch and dinner, as well as a special children’s menu; brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday until 3 p.m. BRIO locations in the Las Vegas area are at Tivoli Village and Town Square (visited for this article; shout out to Angela, hostess and food guide extraordinaire).

Servers are swift, friendly, and knowledgeable about ingredients and pairings. Surroundings are impressive; bar bites are sublime, and cocktails flow like the River Tiber. Brio’s Social Hour captures the flavors of Tuscany with new additions to the Bar Menu. At $4-$6 each, this Tuscan experience requires no luggage or airfare, just reservations.

Bravo, Brio.



A selection of desserts

Photo Credit: John Hardin