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New Menu Items at Bravo

I was invited to a new menu preview at Bravo at Bridge Street Monday night. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Bravo and the last time I wrote about visiting there was over a year ago (See previous blog post). The new menu starts Tuesday June 7th. I had the chance to speak with James Luhring the General Manager of the Huntsville Bravo about the changes. He told me that they update the menu about twice a year, however, these changes are more extensive than usual. Besides the standard menu change, Bravo is also adding a new bar menu featuring $5 items. The menu includes $5 cocktails, wine, beer and bar bites. We didn’t sample those, so I’ll have to go back and try them another time. On to what we did sample….

We started with two new appetizers – Zucchini and Eggplant Fritti and Ricotta and Ciabatta. The Fritti were lightly breaded and fried. IT was served with a lemon aioli and a tomato pomodoro sauce. The sauces complemented to fried vegetables very well. The Ricotta was served warm in a small cast iron skillet on the larger plate. The plate included marinated red peppers, sopressata, arugula, and grilled ciabatta bread. After assembling, the flavors were very nice together. I especially liked the warm ricotta spread. The appetizers were paired with two wines – a Moscato and a red blend, 19 Crimes. The red blend was a light drinkable wine that went with the appetizer very nicely.

Next up was the Antipasti Salad. This salad included romaine, sopressata, Provolone, perperoncini, red onion, black olives and marinated red peppers with a vinaigrette. The salad was paired with two different wines – a Wente Riesling and an Estancia Pinot Noir. The Riesling was not my favorite. The Pinot Noir was medium bodied and paired very well with the salad.

Next up was the pasta course. We had two different pastas – Spicy Shrimp and Clam Linguine and Linguine Carbonara. The Spicy Shrimp was not that spicy, but the heat seemed to be on the finish. I don’t like really spicy dishes, but this one was mild enough that I enjoyed it. Carbonara is a classic Italian sauce for pasta which included bacon, peas, alfredo sauce and of course Parmigiano cheese. Both were very tasty, but of the two, the Carbonara was my favorite. The only new wine of the night was paired with the pasta dishes – a Hess Chardonnay.

We then moved on to the entrees. They served us three entrees. We started with the Bravo Ribeye. It was served with a creamy polenta, balsamic roasted mushrooms and shallots. The Ribeye was cooked how I like it – more on the rare side. The polenta was prepared with mascarpone cheese and stock Following the steak were two chicken dishes. The first was grilled chicken with sun-dried tomato goat cheese. This was served with a lemon butter on top and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with haricot verts. The lemon was very refreshing and melded with the other flavors in the dish. The last chicken dish was the Citrus Marinated Chicken. This was made with chicken thighs and served on skewers. It was served over orzo, farro, roasted red peppers and spinach. This chicken was my favorite of the two, however, the orzo could use a little more seasoning for me. The entrees were paired with what I thought was the wine of the night – Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. Also paired with the entrees was the Migration Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Surprisingly, I actually liked the Chardonnay and thought the pairings were quite nice, especially with the chicken dishes. But, the Cabernet overshadowed the white wine for me. If you are a big Chardonnay fan, definitely try the Migration with either of the two chicken dishes.

We finished with the new dessert – a Warm Cookie Butter Blondie. The Blondie was topped with a vanilla bean gelato, cookie butter caramel and sugared pretzels. Along the sweet and salty theme, I was surprised by how well the pretzels went with the overall dish. It was very tasty, but maybe just a bit sweet for my tastes (but as many of you know, I don’t like my desserts overly sweet).

All in all, I was very impressed with the range, quality and flavors of the dishes we were presented. Since this was a tasting, we were served family style and had the opportunity to taste a lot of different dishes. If you go with several people, I would highly recommend that you try that approach.

Disclaimer – this is NOT a sponsored post, however, Bravo did provide the tasting of the menu and the wines at no charge to me.

A note on the pictures – I ended up using my phone for all of the photos for the evening. As you can see in one of the pictures, I attended with Sarah Belanger who takes much better photos than I do. Be sure and check out her photos at The Jealous Crumpet once she posts them. (Sarah is an AWESOME photographer and is working with me on the photos for my cookbook.)

Wines for the Preview Tasting

19 Crimes Red Blend from Australia

Zucchini + Eggplant Fritti

Ricotta + Ciabatta

My sample of the Ricotta and everything else

Antipasti Salad

Spicy Shrimp + Clam Linguine

Linguine Carbonara

Bravo Ribeye

Grilled Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese

Citrus Marinated Chicken

Warm Cookie Butter Blondie

Executive Chef Kevin Fitzpatrick with dessert

My two favorite wines of the evening

CC & Sarah after eating way too much!

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