Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bravo! Cucina Italiana

We’d seen this Italian restaurant under construction in the new section of the Spotsy mall called the “Village at Towne Centre.” My expectations weren’t high—it’s yet another “plastic menu” chain. With an exterior that looks like it would be at home on Disneyland’s Main Street. And then there’s that annoying exclamation point in the name. And I’d read somewhere that it wasn’t as good as Carrabba’s. But in celebration of their grand opening, we got a coupon in the mail, and I can’t resist a coupon, so we decided to check the place out last Sunday.

Low expectations must be a plus, because we were very pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. The service was excellent (thank you, Andrew), and the menu had a lot of variety. We generally like Carrabba’s, and were expecting something along those lines. Which Bravo is. But I prefer the ambiance of Bravo’s spacious dining room, with tables and booths that afford more privacy than the jam-packed Carrabba’s.

It's still a chain (although a very small one, with only 35 locations), so you're not going to get innovative chef's specials. And a good food critic would visit a restaurant several times before passing judgement, so this review might be premature. But we had a lovely time (the inexpensive bottle of wine we consumed helped, I'm sure), it didn't cost us a fortune, and we'll definitely go back again.

Here's the "Flatbread Roma" we shared, in lieu of the pricier appetizers. It was crispy and delicious.

In front is the seafood risotto, and in back is the grilled scallops over potato gnocchi. The herb bread is forgettable, and I hate the dishes with the goofy logo, but the entrees were tasty.

Happy cooks are a good sign, no?


Bonz said...

I went there last week for lunch with a friend. It was really good!! I loved it! :)

Merry N said...

I saw your blog post about it, and that helped me decide it would be worthwhile to check out. So thanks!

EA said...

We go there for the Happy Hour specials during the week. Two can dine on appetizers and wine for under $40. It's pretty sweet.