As much as I travel the stretch of Main St between the City line and Clarence, I haven’t tried as many restaurants as I’ve wanted. One of these places was a place I’ve had in mind for a while, Brodo located in Amherst next to Siena (another must try).
I visited on a Thursday night and the rather small restaurant was full, but there was no wait. The atmosphere is quite unique, modern decor, almost eclectic with lots of indirect lighting and warm tones. There is a very nice bar area, with a single plasma television mounted behind the counter. Seems like it would be popular for the 40 and up crowd.
We were seated immediately at one of the few two person tables, a candle was lit, water glasses arrived and menu’s were in our hands. The menu is broken into 5 sections: apps, salads, entrees, focaccia and sandwiches. Entrees range from $13 to $20 with specials at $25+.
After studying the menu far too hard, I decided to start with the Duck Quesadilla with Caramelized Onion and Mango Chutney. While we waited for the appetizer, some of the most delicious bread and dipping oil arrived. I’m a fan of Bravo’s oil, but this one at Brodo made the one at Bravo taste commercial (which it honestly is). The Quesadilla arrived. It was hot and the cheese was gooey, onions sweet and silky with tender chunks of duck throughout. Paired with the chutney, it was tasty, yet I felt there was something missing from the dish. I don’t know if it would have benefitted from a herb flavored shell or additional seasoning was needed to turn it from ‘good’ into ‘great’.
Our entrees arrived shortly after we were done with the appetizer, the Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna with Red Pepper Cream Sauce was excellent. It was very dense, heavy with mozzarella and ricotta. Plenty of spinach was used and the layers were laced with chunks of the artichoke as well. The red pepper cream sauce was the perfect complement. They could have served the sauce in a bowl and I would have eaten it as a bisque. The Beef, Pork & Veal Meatballs with Spaghetti, Red Sauce and Crostini was okay. Al dente pasta and a sauce that was a little too thick and pasty were a bed for 4 decent meatballs. They tasted homemade, but they pale in comparison to the texture and taste of the meatball at Mulberry.
I left room for dessert because the table next to us ordered a delicious looking Strawberry Sorbet, and my girlfriend and I planned on sharing one ourselves. When presented with the dessert menu, I learned that they also had a Flourless Chocolate Torte. I have an extreme soft spot for few desserts, one being Flourless Chocolate Cake (Creme Brûlée and Tiramisu being others). The best I’ve had was at Protocol. We ordered both the Torte and the Sorbet. When they arrived, I was so excited for the torte, but was quickly disappointed. I found it to be too fudge-like and missing that pizzaz of cake texture without the flour. Perhaps it wasn’t cooked long enough, I’m not sure if it was made in-house or outsourced. The sorbet on the other hand redeemed dessert. It was so light and refreshing, not too sweet and simply perfect. I would have liked to take a pint home with me if I could have.
The service at Brodo was excellent. Our waiter, Sean, was helpful and attentive. Even when I knocked my water glass into my girlfriends purse, all over my Canon dSLR and onto the floor, he joked that it was “the busboys fault” and he will make sure he hears it. It’s also nice to see the owner walking around, conversing with patrons. A nice touch that is often lost in today’s restaurants.
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