4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.; F at Lexington Ave.-63rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
52nd St. to 70th St., York Ave. to Fifth Ave.
Take a respite from strenuous sale-searching at Bloomingdale’s and recharge with a glass of red among sophisticated sorts and Midtown workers at relaxed, intimate Brio. The air here is mellow, with sleek, light-wood paneling and yellow fabric-colored sconces. But the real centerpiece is the wine. Nearly covering an entire wall is a custom wine rack; mounted along another are tasteful gold-accented pedestals that display bottles of wine like prized sculptures. The menu covers Northern and Southern Italian, with straightforward salads, antipasti, and pastas, plus hearty meat and fish dishes, brick-oven pizzas, and fresh focaccias. Diced, sumptuous, salmon tartar is accompanied by delicate, velvety mâche leaves (from the corn plant) encircled by a tangy balsamic reduction. Even more appealing is the homemade black ink linguine, which comes with sweet, red bell pepper strips and plump, tender shrimp; it’s delicately tossed with tomato sauce and cooked to al dente perfection. Pizzas are harmonious: the mouthwatering La Classica Margherita is an ambrosial blend of fresh, thinly sliced mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil—balanced by a slender, lightly charred, crisp and chewy crust.Extra
Brio’s wine list is slanted to reds from Southern Italy, especially Sicily, Campagna, and Puglia. Wines form other regions, like Tuscany and Rome, are also available.Recommended Dishes
Linguini nere smeraldino, $21; margherita, $16