We recently posted an article called Playing Favorites: Trattoria Aroma on Bryant where we raved about their fantastic dinner menu, service, ambiance, location…you get the picture. After hearing some equally rave reviews from friends and strangers on the internet about their brunch offerings I knew it was the place to go for an upcoming brunch with friends. We ate, we drank, we brunched, we loved everything like the internet said we would. Let the raving begin!
311 Bryant St / Elmwood Village / Downtown | (716) 881-7592
Cuisine: Casual Italian
Open: Mon – Thurs: 11:30 am – 10 pm, Fri: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm; 5 pm – 10 pm
We arrived at around 1:00pm and it was pretty packed, apparently other people had also heard the news about their brunch. We put our name in and headed to the bar for some waiting-drinks and were greeted with a lovely surprise: lots and lots of options. And not just any options, brunch specific options. There were Bloody Mary’s of all shapes and sizes: some with clamato and hearts of romaine, some with Cajun seasoning and shrimp, and some with Guinness Irish Stout and Slim Jims. There were different types of Prosecco cocktails including Peach Bellini’s, Italian “75”s, and St. Germain’s. And, wait for it, there were versions of these drinks you could order by the pitcher. Nothing screams brunch like a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s on a Sunday afternoon, so a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s is exactly what we ordered. We also tried the Aroma Mary ($9) which was made with their house-made Bloody Mary mix, red wine, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, banana pepper, and sun-dried tomato and the Buffalo Bloody ($9) which was made with their house-made Bloody Mary mix, Frank’s Hot Sauce, gorgonzola cheese, garlic, and cumin. Between the two I personally liked the Buffalo Bloody a smidge more, but that might be due to my bias for anything that tastes remotely like chicken wings.
We were finally seated around 2:00 (not that we minded thanks to that pitcher of Bloody Marys) and got a great seat right by their large window in front of the patio. Their patio, by the way, is one of the best patios I’ve ever seen – it’s large and spacious enough that you’re not crowded and bumping into people, it has cast-iron rails all around it that make you feel like you’re in Paris, and it’s on the perfect street corner for people watching. I foresee an upcoming ‘Patio’ article about this place in the very near future, but I digress. After lots of back and forth between several items that we wanted on the menu we ended up ordering the Biscuits & Gravy ($15), Mare e Monte Omelet ($15), and Aroma Benedict with Smoked Salmon ($15). The Biscuits & Gravy isn’t your ordinary biscuits and gravy; this one comes with house-made sausage, black peppercorn gravy, house-made buttermilk biscuit, broccoli, home fries, and a poached egg. The thing about Aroma on Bryant is they go the extra mile to make sure their food is extraordinary and it shows* (*tastes), and the Biscuits & Gravy is a prime example of the TLC that earns them all those rave reviews. Three words: Just try it.
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The Mare e Monte Omelet is comprised of lobster tail, pancetta, sweet pea, tomato red chili hollandaise, and home fries. On the outside this may look like an ordinary omelet but it is anything but. It has lobster tail and a tomato red chili hollandaise for crying out loud. To be honest my friend who ordered this loved it so much she gobbled it down before any of us could get a taste and then afterwards proceeded to tell us how good it was. If watching her entire experience with this dish taught me anything it’s that I need to order this the next time I come here for brunch.
Last but certainly not least was the Aroma Benedict with Smoked Salmon. I have a thing where I can’t not order anything that has salmon in it (especially a benedict) so alas, here we are. That said, I have had many smoked salmon benedicts and this one did not disappoint. The Aroma Benedict was made with a poached egg, house-made buttermilk biscuit, hollandaise, home fries, and smoked salmon. The game-changer with this Benedict is the house-made buttermilk biscuit which had the perfect consistency and just the right flavor to compliment the rest of the dish. Or it could have been the hollandaise…or the smoked salmon…or the home fries…or the poached egg. Each bite somehow seemed better than the last so it’s pretty hard to analyze this dish since I thought the whole thing was perfect.
The moral of the story is Aroma on Bryant surpassed our expectations once again. There’s a reason people rave about it and after dinner and brunch there it’s not hard to see why – the food is fresh and excellently prepared, the staff is always friendly, the décor and atmosphere makes you feel a little bit cooler, and who doesn’t love a place where Bloody Mary’s come in pitchers? Next time you’re thinking of a place to go for any occasion or reason: Aroma on Bryant.
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