Brio Offers Italian with a Twist

Lombard Eatery Shakes Things Up

"To eat well, is to live well." Truer words have never been spoken, and it's the slogan the folks at Lombard's Brio Tuscan Grille (330 Yorktown Center) live by.

Brio actually means vigor and liveliness, so you might say to eat well, is to live brio. If the folks at Brio have their way, you'll be livin' large by nights end!

Brio likes to put its own twist on some familiar favorites. Four variations of bruschetta are punctuated by a wonderful roasted red pepper, sweet balsamic, and fresh mozzarella rendition. Ditch the usual potato soup options and instead choose the velvety and slightly spicy lobster and shrimp bisque. Lumps of shrimp provide texture and the right amount of spice warms the back of your throat.

To really live large, you need to experience their version of surf 'n turf. A beautifully tender, seasoned, and charred filet is accompanied by their signature crab and shrimp cake. Tender shredded crab meat is complimented nicely by the lump gulf shrimp. It's then pan fried to a golden brown.

Need a pasta fix? Hand made tortellini filled with ricotta cheese fits the bill. To kick it up a notch, it's topped with prosciutto, garlic, basil, and a sinfully creamy vodka sauce.

While I certainly love livin' large, it's also cool to live small every once in a while. Desserts at Brio are served in espresso cups, and are an excellent way to finish your meal without loosening your belt! Fun creations include the bananas foster bread pudding and the creamy chocolate peanut butter crème brulee.

Dinner for two with drinks runs about $125 -- upscale, but not astronomical.

After all, if you're gonna live large, no sense in breaking the bank in order to do it.

Read more of Hungry Z's food reviews at and the NBC Chicago Street Team Blog.

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