I rarely eat at Italian restaurants. I'm not really sure why, they just never seem to make it to the top of my list. It's not that I dislike Italian food (does anyone dislike Italian food?) so the offer of a good Italian meal for free wasn't one I was going to turn down.
Brio Pizza is a fairly small, unassuming Italian restaurant in The Light. It’s not a big showy place like some of Leeds’ other Italian restaurants, keeping things simple with plain wooden tables and a menu covering most of the Italian classics. I’d heard positive things about the cooking so was looking forward to giving it a try.
Things got off to a great start with a huge plateful of bresaola (cured beef), rocket and parmesan. All good quality ingredients, the meat served at room temperature as it should be. An accompanying garlic and basil pizza bread was spot on, light, crisp and well seasoned.
We didn’t try the pizzas, giving the specials list a work out instead. My veal (vitello a la romana), sautéed in a rich, buttery sauce with prosciutto and sage was generously proportioned and tender. My companion’s duck with cherry sauce was also well cooked, with a rosy pink centre. I wasn’t keen on the sauce though, finding it too sweet, but fruity sauces are not really my thing. Generous servings of vegetables (carrots and green beans) and decent home-made chips were also provided.
Desserts were excellent. A delicate panna cotta was just set and tasted of real vanilla, and a tiramisu across the table was smooth and light.
An espresso to finish was authentically Italian. Short, dark, rich and likely to keep you awake at night.
A really enjoyable meal, I’d definitely return to Brio Pizza. They’re probably doing themselves a disservice with the restaurant name, as there’s much more of interest here than just pizza. Service was efficient and prices top out at around fifteen pounds for the most expensive mains, which is fair given that vegetable sides are included. Pizzas are mostly under a tenner, and the quality of our garlic bread suggests they’d be very good. Well worth a visit.