Brio Italian Grille, a Tuscan-inspired fine dining experience at Waterside Shops, has attracted Naples residents and tourists for years. Looking at the expansive selection of gourmet creations, one would expect to embark on a culinary voyage unlike any other. However, high expectations quickly melted into a disappointing failure as the term “fine dining” was found to be a mere facade. 

The prospects of an enjoyable dining experience are still relatively high when one enters the foyer of Brio. Stepping into the restaurant, one is immediately greeted with the elegant and chic design, perfectly balanced with a touch of modern, trendy aspects brought by the outdoor seating area. The white curtains add an extra flair, and the interior of the restaurant is similarly pleasing, with arch walls and decorative palm trees creating a crisp Mediterranean look. 

The ambience of the restaurant is sure to please any customer, but unfortunately the service was not equally satisfactory. The wait time for ordering was far too long, and there seemed to be significant logistical concerns related to table management. Our table had the privilege of meeting three different servers, as well as the manager, before placing the orders. The lack of organization and attention to detail was apparent, as the staff was not aware of which table was or was not yet served. 

Despite the slow start, the chefs whipped up the appetizers quite quickly: a light cream lobster bisque. Unfortunately, however, this order was a miss. The soup contained a disproportionately high amount of salt, over dominating the flavor of the lobster. If ordering this dish, make sure to have a cup of water available for at least a couple of hours. 

Although the appetizer was disappointing, the entree surely delivered. The portions were the perfect size, and the dishes were neat and appealing. I would suggest ordering the Grilled Steak Salad, a refreshing but filling salad with sliced tenderloin and a balsamic glaze. The steak was prepared excellently, with a nice sear on the outside while being a perfectly medium-cooked meat. The balsamic vinaigrette provided just the right balance with its hint of sourness balancing out the stronger seasoning of the steak. The only flaw was the overabundance of gorgonzola cheese, an ingredient that could have been used less of. 

Considering the dining experience, I would give Brio 3 out of 5 stars. Customers can undoubtedly appreciate the modern design and atmosphere of the restaurant, but the poor service and long wait times are not something that I would like to experience again. Although some dishes should definitely be avoided, there are others that are worth a try, so expect your experience to be either a hit or a miss.