First look: Brosia

 

Sangria and mezze-style small plates under old oak trees. That's right, oak trees.

brosia image
Brosia: spacious and scrumptious.
 

By Sara Liss

The goods: The Design District welcomes Brosia to the area's burgeoning restaurant scene, solidifying this once-sleepy enclave of furniture showrooms into a bona-fide culinary hub. The main attraction is the restaurant's vast open courtyard, also known as Oak Plaza for its regal hundred year-old trees. Clad in azure mosaic tiling and featuring a soaring loggia (a nicely shielded perch during rainstorms) on its northern side, Brosia's patio offers a breezy, hip palazzo perfect on temperate nights.

The grub: A Mediterranean-influenced menu reflecting regional specialties from Italy to North Africa. Helmed by chef Arthur Artiles, who apprenticed with Norman Van Aiken and served as executive chef at Chispa's Coral Gables location, Brosia offers a concise selection of rustic fare. Simplicity is also reflected in the prices, which rarely climb above $20. One could easily concoct a meal from the mezze-style small plates like a tuna crudo topped with house-cured lemons and sea salt, a minty tabouli salad and lamb skewers with tzatziki sauce. The rabbit "stifado" with walnuts and pearl onions accompanied by a thick gravy is not to be missed. Duck-lovers will relish the pomegranate-glazed crispy duck leg, served with a green lentil salad. Sides include bistro fries seasoned with sherry vinegar and a creamy polenta.

Wash it all down with a glass of sangria -- the white's got proseco and peach nectar while the red is composed of malbec, brandy and amaretto. Both are chock full of sliced star fruit and apples.

The verdict: Gallery goers and Design District regulars will appreciate Brosia's unique courtyard seating and moderate prices. With free wifi, mod patio furniture and a tranquil atmosphere, Brosia is also a comfortable lounge spot, sure to attract artsy hipsters.

Brosia, 163 NE 39th St., Design District; 305-572-1400

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