We'd been hearing the buzz about coolly sophisticated Bru since it opened in late 2011 but missed it on our last couple of visits to town. We won't be making that mistake aagin. Wow. The atmosphere lets you know this isn't a greasy, git-n-split kind of place. Dark wood, dim lighting, flat-screen TVs behind the bar (and one in the dining room, all tuned to sports) offer a kind of high-end take on the Cheers bar vibe. Patrons included families with grown kids, a handful of college guys dropping the F-bomb frequently, and professional women out for a break from the office.
Even if you're not a die-hard burger eater, you will enjoy every mouthful of the dishes. You can go basic with a $4 burger snack or basic cheeseburger for $8, or choose from more than a dozen chef concoctions (burgers that cost $9 to $12). Some tempting options: an ahi tuna burger with sweet chili mayo and mango-cucumber slaw; the Provencal, with red onion jam, herbed goat cheese and sauteed mushrooms; and the namesake Bru Burger, topped with Taleggio cheese and caramelized onions. We opted for the Mexcali, topped with white queso, roasted chili, fried onions and homemade barbecue sauce, and totally splurged by getting onion rings on the side. Urp. The third-pound patties are cooked to order and arrive hot, juicy and oozing with good toppings. And the onion rings? These babies are thick, and the onion stays right where it should when you take a bite—it doesn't all come slithering out the way most onion rings do.
Bru also serves a nice selection of bar-style appetizers cooked with a chef's touch, like buttermilk battered chicken tenders, roasted red peppers with goat cheese, and chicken wings. Though we didn't have room, the dessert list looks pretty killer: white chocolate bread pudding and Guiness stout chocolate cake. And you can get hand-dipped milk shakes, too. Something to aspire to next time we're in town.