Butterwoods has become a brand name among dessert lovers in WNY, but it seems that dessert is not the only thing they do well. Outside of expanding to Sweet & Savory by Butterwoods in the city of Buffalo NY, they now have a restaurant in Williamsville called Brioso that opened it’s doors in 2013. Located in the base of Wyndham Garden Hotel on Main St., Brioso has fused together a mixture of Southwestern, Mexican and South American flavored foods.
The atmosphere is what I would expect, being that Wyndham is a very upscale contemporary vibe for the jet setting crowd. When you first walk in you are greeted by marble, wood and bamboo accents that lead into a tastefully decorated dining area with warm colors and appropriate copper-topped tables imported directly from Mexico (or so I’ve been told). Hints of the South of the border inspiration are everywhere; from Georgia O’Keefe inspired artwork to napkins folded to match the Aztec Brioso logo. Even the name itself lends a nod to the Spanish culture- Brioso means “zestful and lively”.
They offer free range and organic meats and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. During my visits I had an opportunity to sample both lunch and dinner. And while I am impressed with the food, when asked if they accommodated gluten free, lactose intolerant or Celiac sensitivities, I was presented with a very circuitous answer. Basically they had absolutely no clue. After emails and phone calls to the manger went unanswered, I can only say that the food seems fairly healthy, with the exception of your occasional frites, cheese smothered and carnivorous dishes.
For lunch I sampled the Ahi Tuna Crudo ($14.00). The lightly moussed, avocado, passion fruit and habanero mojo tuna came with yutta frites. The excellently prepared tuna was presented with Spanish flair. It was mouth watering and bursting with so many flavors and spices, it left my taste buds dancing. It is not a large dish so the price didn’t sit very well with me; meaning, prices are a bit on the steep end, so go with a semi full stomach and be prepared to spend. Their cocktails range from $8-10.00 and wines can cost much more.
Although the atmosphere is anything but kid friendly, the menu is. They offer chicken fingers, burger, BBQ chicken sandwiches and a variety of quesadilla’s- all roughly around $8.00. I’ve heard that the BBQ chicken is a big hit among kids.
On my dinner outing with friends, I opted for a much more complicated dish. I started out with a grilled watermelon that comes with a carrot-Jicama slaw (1/4 moon is $7.00). It’s light, refreshing and a great way to cleanse the palate before dinner. The tortilla crusted half chicken was the main event ($22.00). This chipotle demi-glazed chicken comes with mixed vegetables and smashed potatoes. Definitely come hungry if you want to order this dish because I almost had to be rolled out the door when I was done. One of the friends in my party had ordered the Chiles Rellanos ($18.00). If you are lactose intolerant, stay away from this dish! It’s laden with gooey cheese, three bean succotash and rojo sauce (cream based) and comes with a side of sweet pepper slaw. It packs a punch of flavor and it is a hearty dish due to the cheese and three bean protein. My friend enjoyed it thoroughly.
Proseco in hand, I took in the many nuances of my meal. The opulent construction of the dishes, the many spanish/mexican infused flavors and the eclectic mastery of food combinations. All of which left me dizzy with anticipation. If you’re the jet setting type, this place will serve you well. The street inspired “bar food” is perfect for a quick dinner meeting with peers or a happy hour treat after a long flight. Prices range from $5.00-$12.00 and can only be served at the bar from 4-7pm.
While I’m inspired by the food and artistry, the ambiance and lack of communication from the managers left a mixed taste in my mouth. Is it contemporary? Is it family friendly? Is it for business associates only? Is it a mixed bag? I don’t yet know- but I will say I will go back again. Brioso is one of those places that just leaves you mixed with emotion and curious for more.