Notable Italian cuisine
and service at a moderate price
|The Bravo Cucina Italiana Dining Room|
Dining at new restaurants in their infancy can be a dicey situation. When we received an invitation to join the new Bravo at Rookwood for a gratis dining adventure during one of their training sessions, we promptly accepted. Who wouldn't? We tossed our hesitancy aside and slid into one of their comfortable booths in the open dining area decorated in a grand Italian-type manner with rich woods and bright warm accents.
From the Appetizer Menu came the chef's choice of Calamari Fritti. Served with creamy horseradish and pomodoro sauce, the calamari was tender throughout with a seasoned and light batter. We found the horseradish sauce particularly nice and felt this dish would hold up to fine dining standards. It's reminiscent of Brio's version, which is another brand also owned by the same company.
|Soup and Brussels Sprout & Almond Salad|
It was our choice from the Soup & Salads Menu. Eric chose the Italian Wedding Soup served in a tureen with a lovely thick broth. I went with the Brussels Sprout & Almond Salad at the recommendation of our server. The mixed greens with shaved Brussels sprouts, candied almonds and Parmesan worked well together with a lemon garlic vinaigrette. We felt this was a must dish at Bravo.
Again, we chose from the Chef Specialties. Eric loves eggplant and I do not. He typically orders it when on a menu and found the Eggplant Parmesan there. Two large, breaded "filets" were served atop a bed of linguine and topped traditionally with mozzarella. It was like having perfectly cooked fish and was an idiosyncratic way to prepare it.
|Grilled Tilapia with Crab & Shrimp|
I wanted something lighter, ordering the Grilled Tilapia with Crab & Shrimp. Wonderfully seasoned with a slightly spicy rub, the crab and shrimp were diced and mixed in a cream sauce on top. The seasonal vegetables were sautéed excellence.
|Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding|
It was server's choice for the dessert and we were hoping it would not be a bread pudding. Ding, ding, ding! The spin of the wheel landed on the dessert of the day—Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. Like a warm molten cake, it was accompanied with vanilla bean gelato and caramel sauce. When done well, even overrated concoctions can win one over.
We would have never guessed that this was a pre-opening dining experience. It appears everything was operating on all cylinders and ready for a long run.