Brio (http://www.briorestaurant.co.uk/) is an Italian restaurant ideally located on Worthing seafront near the Pier. It advertises itself as an “Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria offers the very best in popular Italian dishes as well as house specialities and locally caught fresh fish” and prides itself as being an Italian restaurant run by Italians. It is a large lively restaurant that has a nice terrace that over looks the sea and Pier and appears to be popular with families, parties and couples.
We made a quick unplanned visit to Brio on Saturday evening when we both decided we felt hungry whilst having a Pre-film drink in Worthing. Given it was situated right next to the pub we were drinking in it seemed like a suitable place to go for a quick dinner, I would not have gone there if I was actually planning on going out for a meal. The place was fairly busy when we went in and we were given a table on the terrace which was pleasant enough and the staff quickly gave us menus and asked for our drink order. The Menu itself is pretty standard and fairly unimaginative, with all the usual things you would expect to see. Given the location it would have been good to see them offering some interesting fish options – the menu does state that the waiter would be able to advise you of the fish available however they did not offer up this information. As we were only popping in we went straight to mains and so did not pay attention to the starters. Yolanda went for their exotic salad which had chicken and pineapple (the exotic part) as she was sticking to her meal plan. She was a little disappointed with the salad options as there was little choice other than chicken or a tuna option which we guessed would have been tinned tuna rather than fresh. I decided to go for something off their house specials list and chose the linguine vongole with a side of garlic bread.
The food arrived fairly quickly which suited us, although they brought out the bread before the main which is fine although they should have asked whether I wanted it as a starter or with my main. My first impressions of the food was pretty underwhelming. The linguine was not fresh and looked like it had come out of a packet and the sauce was quite watery and didn’t coat the pasta, not to mention that it was lukewarm. The flavour was in keeping with the visual effect without much real depth to it, there was some heat from the chilli once you got down to the sauce but there was none of that sweet and salty flavour coming from the clams or anywhere else for that matter. The one thing going for it was that there were a lot of clams in the pasta but given that they did not have much flavour it was more for show than anything else. Not a great plate of food at all really, tasted like something I would have quickly thrown together at home as an after thought. Yolanda’s salad was not much better with the chicken tasting like it had been pre-cooked and then heated through on a griddle or similar before plating up.There is not much more I can say about it than that in all honesty, it was basically a side salad with some pineapple thrown in and some chicken.
In summary it was not a dining experience to remember. The service was okay, although I noticed another table that appeared very unhappy with the service, and the food was unremarkable. As a restaurant that prides itself as being run by Italians it falls short of expectations, I’ve had better meals in chain Italian restaurants and would much rather walk though the doors of a Pizza Express than Brio again. Perhaps we did not give Brio a chance given that it was a flying visit and we only had one course, however flying visit or not the food should have been better therefore I would score Brio as a 2 out of 10.