We first went to Brix last September. After my visit there I decided to wait for a while and make a return visit to see if they had made any improvement. I had been getting some feedback that others had decent experiences there.
Overall our return visit to Brix was better. A big reason for this was our server Damon. He seemed to be fairly knowledgeable and made some good wine and food recommendations.
The wine selection seemed to be improved. My biggest complaint is that they do not have any vintage designation for any of the bottles. I guess I can understand this for a $20 bottle of Walnut Crest. But for a $250 bottle of Opus One…it seems odd and as if they are hiding the fact that they can’t turn over their wine inventory…Or they carry a very limited inventory.
Brix does offer a large selection of wine for $20 per bottle. I think this is a nice way for someone interested in learning about wine to experiment with the different varietals. The bottles I did recognize can be purchased in the store for under $7.
We began our meal by sharing the Goat Cheese. There were 2 goat cheese medallions encrusted with pecans served with crostini and rosemary honey. It was a nice way to begin the meal.
Next we move onto the salad trio. The beet and arugula salad was good. Fresh and seasoned well. The golden and red beets gave it a nice contrast. The Cesar was not good at all. It was overdressed and tasted fishy. Not in a good salty anchovy way but in an old not so fresh anchovy way. The Pear and Gorgonzola spinach salad was good. My only complaint was that the pears were hard, woody and added no value to the salad.
We went with the specials for the main courses. We tried the Citrus Copper River Salmon and the Chilean Sea Bass Cartoccio. Our server recommended we order the Salmon medium well instead of the chef recommended medium rare. I still question whether this was because the fish was not as fresh as they would have liked or because like he said “cooking it more will make it pick up more smokiness”. It was reported that the dish was very good. I am highly allergic to salmon so I did not try it.
The Sea Bass was good. It cam baked in parchment paper. The potatoes and vegetables were prepared well. I thought they did a nice job on this one. Damon paired a very nice pinot grigio with this. I am not usually a fan of this variety but it worked well with the dish.
We ended up skipping dessert and went for cappuccinos instead. They were fine. Not great but not bad either.
Overall Brix is a better restaurant then it was 9 months ago. I still think that a restaurant that is focused on wine needs to take the wine more seriously. Another thing that bugged me was they brought our entrees before we were finished with our middle course. Since we only ate 2 of the 3 salads in the trio…it felt as though we were being rushed. I also had to wait halfway through my main course for another glass of wine. Wine by the glass is one of the highest margin items in a restaurant. You would think they would want to sell me as many as possible.
If I were in the neighborhood and looking for a quick bite, I’d probably go back to Brix. That said…if I want a psudo-Italian meal of this variety, my first choice would be Caio Bella.