During trips home to Kansas City, a meal at Brio on the Plaza is a frequent guarantee because my brother is part of their management team.
Writing about Brio breaks a couple personal blog rules; a family member is an employee and it’s a chain restaurant.
With that being said, although we are taken care of quite well we are not the exception. Their large establishment wouldn’t be consistently busy if they didn’t deliver excellence customer service, and if something does go awry, they fix it. And although I am extremely conscious of supporting local establishments, there are occasions when you had to make due (airports, large groups, few available food options and extenuating circumstances).
Besides, they really do have good food and I documented our meal.
To start our Christmas vacation we headed directly to Brio after my mom picked us up at the airport. Due to our flights we arrived at a strange time of day (around 3 p.m.) famished, tired and ready to eat.
For starters everyone at the table inhaled an order of Margherita Flatbread and Roasted Red Pepper & Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta, in addition to polishing off a basket of warm sourdough bread and seasoned crackers. The fresh mozzarella they use is creamy and delicious which elevates these standard appetizers. We ate so fast I nearly didn’t get any photos.
Needing a revival from traveling, Ben and I each ordered a side Brio Chopped Salad which consists of lettuce greens, tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumber, feta cheese and red wine vinaigrette. The dressing is light and flavorful without weighing down all those ingredients. It was cold, crisp and refreshing.
For our entrees we split two dishes which included a special for the night and a standard menu item. The special was a pasta dish with some generic name. It was good, but the Chicken Milanese was incredible. The Chicken Milanese is basically a version of chicken parmesan; a golden brown chicken breast on herb pasta, fresh mozzarella cheese and house made tomato sauce. It was satisfying, crispy, salty, and slightly sweet (due to the luscious sauce). The bed of hot spaghetti was mixed with cheese and herb butter, an intoxicating combination.
Unable to resist temptation, for dessert I chose a Dolchino cup of Tiramisu and Ben picked Caramel Bread Pudding topped with vanilla gelato. No matter how appealing the dessert tray looks I nearly always cave to Tiramisu. It’s unavoidable because it’s so good, I could eat a whole tray. Likewise, Ben cannot pass up a bread pudding (so I’ve tasted many). This version was stellar because of the caramelized edges and rich nuts.
The first floor of Brio is filled with tables and booths, a small bar, a wood burning oven and the kitchen. The second floor has a balcony, another bar, comfortable seating areas and private dining rooms. The interior of the main dining area was quite pretty when we last visited, covered in festive decorations for the holidays season.
We’ve eaten there many times and have been thoroughly happy with our food. I promise, if that wasn’t the case my brother would hear about it.
(Note: my mom and future sister-in-law were present, but both ordered undocumented salads.)
Brio Tuscan Grille
Country Club Plaza
502 Nichols Drive
Kansas City, MO 64112