Bravi Ristorante is easily one of the city's most romantic restaurants. Nestled in a busy street of restaurants and bars ( Trevor Kitchen Bar , Lucien and Pravda are neighbours), and across from the historic Flatiron building , Bravi draws you in with its twinkling candles reflecting off its huge floor to ceiling windows.
We were greeted by the smiling wait-staff, and guided to our quiet nook of exposed brick. The only other table more secluded was the (still functioning) freight elevator at the back of Bravi. You can reserve this unique table for two and go up a floor to ensure total privacy. Gives new meaning to private dining!
With a new menu just introduced by Chef Jeremy, my partner and I were game (sorry, bad pun) to try the popular charcuterie board. We were not disappointed. All the usual suspects (prosciutto di Parma, bresaola) were served on the wooden plank, with upgrades like wild boar cacciatore and in house made pickled vegetables and fresh baked focaccia all for $16. The slightly sour pickling potion was a worthy rival to the texture of the dense oyster mushrooms.
We then shared the Romaine hearts salad, $12 which closely resembles a Caesar salad when, in fact, no anchovies (or pigs for that matter) were harmed in the making of this generous portion, and instead the subtle salty flavour was introduced by sundried tomatoes.
While they have no formal in-house sommelier, our sociable server had no hesitation in choosing an appropriate and well-priced wine from their enormous cellar (located in the basement, you can also rent this area for private parties).
While my partner opted for the carnivorous Lamb Shank $32, served with Yukon gold gnocchi, I inhaled my creamy Risotto Calabrese $16, and should have opted for the larger $24 portion. The lamb shank was a caveman's dream, meat slow cooked on a bone big enough to make Fred Flintstone jealous.
Last up was dessert, a chocolate torta, $12, with vanilla ice cream and fruit garnish. While the cake wasn't as moist as it should have been, the ice cream more than compensated.
Bravi separates itself from its competitors by two things. The warmth and charm of not just its glam interior, but also its shining wait staff.