TRAVEL | Top Family #SundayFunday Activities To Do In @BaltimoreMD #MyBmore

Dear Baltimore, I ❤ You. You may be misunderstood sometimes but anyone who has ever visited will discover that you have a whole lot of heart.

Recently, I was there to cover the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival and spent a ‘Sunday Funday‘ in the heart of Charm City at The Inner Harbor/Downtown Baltimore. It is a one stop place for family fun and a great city to travel this summer. Growing up here always makes it so surreal to return with my daughter and its beautiful to see her learn more about the city where her Mom and Dad where born.

Today, I am sharing my Top Family Sunday Funday Activities To Do In Baltimore,MD ! I am grateful to Visit Baltimore who provided passes to these attractions which allowed for me to review the experiences to be shared with you. Special thanks to BRIO Tuscan Grille for hosting my #HeighPartyof3. Hope you are inspired to visit this family friendly city soon! ❤

1. MARYLAND SCIENCE CENTER

We started our Sunday Funday skipping up the steps of the Maryland Science Center yelling, “Let’s Science!” Science is fun,factual and actual! If you agree, then check out the Maryland Science Center where there are so many cool things to do,learn and see! This attraction is known for its major exhibits that focus on dinosaurs, earth science,the human body and space exploration. With three floors of hands-on exhibits, the Davis Planetarium and IMAX Theater, families really could spend a whole day here.

2. INNER HARBOR

One of my fondest memories growing up in BMORE is strolling and hanging out at the Inner Harbor. Now I get to do it with my daughter and show her the beauty of Baltimore’s waterfront. The Inner Harbor is the heart of downtown and many of the top attractions, as well as hotels and restaurants, are located here.

3. SUNDAY BRUNCH AT BRIO

Baltimore was voted America’s Hottest Food Cities on the Coast and has so many great dining options. We chose to experience the flavor of tuscany at a restaurant conveniently across the street from the Inner Harbor. Page 66 of the Visit Baltimore Summer-Fall 2018 guide led us to BRIO tuscan grille. It’s a delicious family-friendly restaurant that offers weekend brunch,lunch & dinner. We started off with two refreshing Brunch Beverages: White Peach Sangria & Italian Mule and for Starters: Bruschetta Sampler. I absolutley loved the presentation of the sampler as well as the fresh ingredients used and combination of flavors. My daughter ordered pasta of the kids menu, my husband customized a veggie omelette and I enjoyed a Strawberry and Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinegarette. Save room for dessert and get the BRIO TRIO. You won’t be disappointed by the food or the great service here!

4. RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Baltimore

So our daughter has a love/hate relationship with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Sometimes she is freaked out by the weird displays, other times she finds the unusual items funny. We had a really good time going thru the Mirror Maze as a family and finding our way out to enjoy more of Baltimore. Our daughter left saying “I love Ripley’s now, I’m not afraid anymore. It’s so much fun!”

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium offers unique fun!

5.PORT DISCOVERY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

My cousin and I are both in our 40’s with young girls under the age of 7. We wanted to meet up at a place where the girls could play and our families could catch up. Port Discovery Children’s Museum, voted one of the ten best childrem’s museum, proved to be a fun spot for us all! Make sure you get your kiddos to see the Dinosaurs Land of Fire and Ice exhibit before it ends on September 9th. Port Discovery is a great place for kids to enjoy interactive exhibits and creative play!

There is really a diverse array of attractions for you to enjoy with family and friends in Baltimore. I would recommend a long weekend up to a week to enjoy Baltimore’s attractions museums, tours and historical sites. The next time you are looking for a city with things to do and places to enjoy a ‘Sunday Funday’, consider planning a vacation to Baltimore for the entire family! Read more of my family fun ideas to enjoy this summer in Charm City>>>here and watch this video to see more ways to have fun and explore BALTIMORE!

Have you ever visited Baltimore? What was your favorite family friendly attraction?

#VisitBrio for #ValentinesDay and enjoy delicious made-from scratch risotto dishes and more! @BrioItalian

Having spent time in Europe I realized quickly that risotto is to Italy what rice is to Asia! An Italian staple for centuries, risotto done right is now available at Brio Tuscan Grille for all! Located in Crabtree Valley Mall, this restaurant is a great place to enjoy lunch, bar bites, dinner or weekend brunch.

Per their press release, “It’s a Risotto Celebration” menu, available now until Sunday, March 25, 2018. This limited-time selection includes four chef-inspired risotto entrées, which all feature high-quality ingredients and are made from scratch. In addition, the menu includes three original cocktails, created to compliment BRIO’s new risotto dishes, and a decadent dessert.

The ‘It’s A Risotto Celebration’ Menu

I am a big fan of this restaurant because although a chain, it never feels like cookie cutter cuisine and this limited time only special should inspire you to make plans to dine there soon! We went at lunchtime and entered their bright and airy dining space. Only fresh good food comes out of their open kitchen and it shows. But before I get into how great the food is, let me tell you about their amazing cocktails!

Left to Right: Maple Bourbon Smash, Bulleit Rosa

There are three distinctive cocktails that are included on this special menu. My husband and I tried The Maple Bourbon Smash (Maker’s Mark, Monin Maple, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup, dash of bitters, orange garnish) and Bulleit Rosa ( Bulleit Rye whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, 19 Crimes Red Blend, lemon twist garnish). They were the perfect start to what was to come.

Of their four risotto themed dishes, we had the following:

Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail: mushrooms, red peppers, asparagus, and basil

Sea Scallop Risotto: pan seared sea scallops, ratatouille vegetables, basil, and red peppers

Although hard to choose among four great dishes, we opted for the Sea Scallop Risotto and the Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Lobster Tail because we are seafood lovers. WOW is the word that comes to mind when speaking of these dishes. Risotto is all about the cooking method. Not cooked well enough and it is hard. Overcooking risotto and you end up with nothing but mush. Brio got it exactly right! The scallops were in a red sauce and the shrimp & lobster in a light oil sauce. We actually exchanged plates halfway through because neither of us could decide which one was best! Only YOU can be the judge, but the shrimp & lobster was my fave.

We ended lunch with the featured dessert, a molten chocolate cake with mascarpone cream, white chocolate raspberry gelato. It was as good as it looks too and wonderful to share with that special someone!

SobeSavvy Tip: BRIO Tuscan Grille’s tempting Valentine’s Day menu features this decadent dessert, along with enticing cocktails, delicious starters and entrees. This offer is available during lunch/dinner, Friday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb.18.

Brio Tuscan Grille

4325 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27612

Brunching & Celebrating #NationalFrenchToastDay @BrioItalian #MyBrio

Disclosure: I had the opportunity to try Brio’s Brunch menu in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Brio Tuscan Grille | Berries & Cream French Toast, SobeSavvy.com

November 28th is National French Toast Day! A day to celebrate a breakfast and brunch dish that is a favorite in my family. Recently, I learned that Brio Tuscan Grille has an amazing brunch which features french toast, so I made plans to get a jump on celebrating National French Toast early this past Sunday.
THE MENU

Brio Tuscan Grille | Brunch Menu

Brio Tuscan Grill has savory and sweet dishes on their Brunch Menu to satisfy the whole family. The restaurant has done a great job at elevating brunch classics and giving it their own twist. For example, their Berries & Cream French Toast is stuffed with cream cheese and made with love. Seriously, the Chef admitted he loved this dish and would eat it daily if he could! You get six slices and its served with bacon, and warm syrup to top off this brunch masterpiece. Flavorful, creamy and delish. Everyone at the table loved it!

Brio Tuscan Grille | Berries & Cream French Toast

I am a Shrimp & Grits fan so my expectations were high when I order their version of this famous southern dish. Black pepper shrimp, creamy smoked Gouda polenta, poached cage-free egg and ciabatta. The shrimp were cooked perfect and the Gouda polenta were MIND BLOWIN’ good. I enjoyed breaking open the egg and using the bread to sop up all that goodness on a plate!

Brio Tuscan Grille | Shrimp & Grits

We also tried their Sicilian Omelette. An oversized omelette filled with ham, bacon, sausage, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and brunch potatoes on the side. I appreciated how the potatoes were cooked just perfectly and had the right amount of cajun spices dusted lightly on them. This was very flavorful and extremely filling!

Brio Tuscan Grille | Sicillian Omelette

Brunch is not complete without boozy cocktails to toast to the weekend right? Brio Tuscan Grille has Brunch Beverages on their menu to choose from. I recommend their Italian Mule served in a traditional copper mug, White Peach Sangria if you enjoy a fruity,sweet cocktail or a classic Mimosa.

Brio Tuscan Grille | Brunch Beverages

Dessert is not to be missed! You won’t have room but make room or do like I did and take it to go. The White Chocolate Berry Bread Pudding is everything I desire in a dessert..warm,creamy and has a sauce that goes with it. It was housemade, fresh and so delicious!

Brio Tuscan Grille | Dessert Anyone?

Brio also offers a Kids Menu, which our 6 year old ordered from and enjoyed the pasta. While our daughter waited for her meal, she enjoyed playing with dough given to her by our server, Doug (who provided great customer service and made our family dining experience enjoyable).

Brio Tuscan Grille | Play ‘Dough’ at Brio !

SobeSavvy Tip: Now thru 12/31/17 Recieve a $25 Bonus Card when you purchase $100 in Brio Gift Cards. Free shipping on all gift cards thru Fri Dec. 1st! Show your favorite foodie some love this holiday season! For more info, go to brioitalian.com Also follow Brio on Twitter (@brioitalian) and Facebook (facebook.com/brioitalian)

Brio Tuscan Grille | Holiday Gift Idea~ Brio Gift Cards

Although National French Toast Day is today, Brio Tuscan Grill only offers Brunch on Sat & Sun, so go this weekend and remember to try an order of their Berries & Cream French Toast or any of their amazing brunch dishes!

Brio Tuscan Grille

4325 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27612

*BRUNCH: Saturday/Sunday 11am-3pm

5 ways to Wine & Dine Your Valentine on #ValentinesDay @BrioItalian #myBrio NEW menu items

**DISCLAIMER** Thank you BRIO for sponsoring this post. Although the meal was on them, the opinions are 100% all me ! 

I have always loved BRIO Tuscan Grille for their high quality cuisine that has it’s foundation based on the cuisine from the Tuscany region of Italy. Having spent some time in Italy a few years back, I can attest that REAL Italian food is much more complex and nuanced than spaghetti & meatballs {although I like that dish also}. BRIO (means lively or full of life) has an atmosphere that I like to call casual elegance. Most of their ingredients are made in house, like their sauces, pasta, fresh whipped cream and baked bread.  

We sampled some dishes off of their limited time only “Flavorful Features” menu. Chef Mario, whom I met at the Raleigh, NC Crabtree Mall location, was very passionate and informative about the skill and love put into each dish. These recipes were created exclusively by the executive chefs at the company and lived up to the expectation of being flavorful!

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I wanted to review these offerings in a unique way to assist our readers who are looking to impress their dates on that special night {or any other night of the week at BRIO’s Tuscan Grille.

Here are 5 ways to Wine &Dine your Valentine at BRIO’s ~

1. Order a unique cocktail, such as an Italian Mule.  If you love a classic mule cocktail, this one will not disappoint as it has a limomcello twist! Pucker Up!

2. If your date is wanting a light dinner or a healthier option, BRIO offers a variety of salads. Try this Kale Ceasar (the kale is marinated which gives the salad wonderful layers of flavor) or Grilled Salmon Salad (underneath those crispy shoestring potatoes lies a nice portion of salmon making this salad a meal all by itself).

3.Get a few appetizers that are not only great for sharing, but will allow you to feed your date!  We loved the Bruleed Parmesan Creme served with Balsamic roasted grapes and grilled ciabatta. Or spice things up with their Spicy Shrimp & Eggplant. You’re gonna want to put that black pepper cream sauce on everything! It’s that good. 

4. Seafood is a known aphrodisiac and BRIO offers a plethora of options for the seafood lover like Scallop Risotto and Crab Stuffed Shrimp and Lobster Tail.  The portion is sized to share but it is so fresh and delicious, you may not want to. The scallops were prepared to perfection and I appreciated the size as well as the taste. Loved the plating of their dishes as well. We eat with our eyes first they say. Just look how beautiful the lobster tail is! 

5. Impress your date by speaking Italian and ordering dolce {that is the Italian word for dessert !}. Try this Dolchino Trio: Creme Brulee, Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake, Butterscotch Budino (which is Italian for pudding). This was a sweet ending to an amazing meal!

Make your reservations now because these flavorful features are only on the menu for a limited time thru 2/28/17. And for Valentine’s Day weekend,  Brio Tuscan Grille Crabtree Valley Mall is offering this two-course prix fixe menu special from 2/10/17 to 2/14/17:

If seafood isn’t your favorite, I highly recommend the Chicken Saltimboca. Three tender chicken breasts with provolone , fried sage, crispy pancetta and butternut squash risotto. Both tender and tasty , this entree is definitely not your average chicken dinner. 

Visit www.BrioItalian.com for a list of locations and to make reservations online.