a taste of Italy at Bruno’s Trattoria

Brea has been getting some great eateries this year and the latest addition is a lovely Italian place called Bruno’s Trattoria. We were invited for a preview of what the restaurant has to offer and I was delightfully surprised by what we tasted.

We started with an Antipasto Platter consisting of Arancini risotto balls filled with ham, cheeses, fresh herbs, lightly fried with marinara sauce. Cheesy and gooey on the inside, these delicious morsels were the ideal start to the meal.

Crostini topped with butternut and fresh ricotta cheese is a nice bite with whatever it is you’re drinking. The sweetness of the butternut with the milky ricotta cheese went very well together.

A little bowl of Peperonata red bell peppers, onion, olive oil is all roasted in-house and it goes perfectly well with the antipasti.

My favorite of the appetizers was the Fromaggi/Salumi/Olives featuring prosciutto, coppa and gorgeous cheeses like fontina, ubriaco and nostrano.

I was so pleased with the Pasta Duo. Pasta is made in-house and you can totally taste the difference. Bruno Pappardelle with braised short ribs and wild mushrooms was absolutely delicious. I have been craving the home-made pastas I enjoyed in NYC and was so happy when I put this in my mouth. The pappardelle had a perfect consistency with just a bite, and the rich short ribs and mushrooms coated the noodles to create a delicious mouthful.

Risotto all’ Aragosta was filled with umami and the lobster, asparagus, roasted tomato and basil together with the rice was creamy and sublime. LOVED IT.

Entrees came in the form of Branzino, crispy skin flaky and moist flesh underneath. This¬†Mediterranean seabass was tasty with a lovely lemon caper sauce. Often, lemon sauces aren’t tart enough for me, but the one here was spot on.

Another entree we sampled was Bistecca “Flat Iron” grilled flat iron steak served with creamy polenta and roasted cipollini onions. The latter was seasoned with balsamic vinegar and the tart sweetness was just intoxicating. I absolutely love all these acidic flavors on the plates.

Naturally when it came time for desserts I was already full, however, I was assured that I would enjoy these even though my sweet palate is virtually non-existent.

Torte di Pesche is an almond meal cake with fresh peaches, almonds and served with vanilla bean gelato. The texture was coarse and pleasing and the peaches added a great contrasting texture. Very nice.

I normally dislike Tiramisu, but the one here was surprisingly good. Texturally it was even and creamy. The lady fingers were soaked through perfectly and the flavors of espresso, mascarpone, rum and cocoa melded well together. It wasn’t overly sweet which was also great for me.

My favorite was Budino al Caramello, a caramel pudding with a touch of chocolate ganache and topped with whipped cream. Again, this wasn’t super sweet which was heaven in my mouth!

Brea is slowly becoming a little eating mecca and Bruno’s is helping the downtown area get closer to its final goal. Food is great, atmosphere is warm and inviting. I only wish I lived closer.

This week, Bruno’s has generously donated a $50 gift card for one of you to win. Just leave a comment telling me which of these dishes you are most excited to try. Don’t forget to leave your FULL name to be entered. Winner announced Monday.

Bruno’s Trattoria
210 W Birch Street
Brea, CA 92821
Tel: 714-257-1000

Bruno's Trattoria on Urbanspoon


  1. Marta Elena Utter says

    I am recovering from Breast Cancer surgery, and I would love to have the wonderful looking Bistecca Flat Iron, to celebrate that I am “Cancer Free”, it looks like it would melt in your mouth, and of course all the desserts look wonderful, but I would love to have the Budino al Caramello, to end a great meal. Since we are great fans of Cha Cha’s My husband and I had been waiting for the restaurant to open, however, due to my unexpected diagnosis, in mid August, we have not been able to enjoy a meal at Bruno’s.

  2. says

    My wife loves these cheese /salami plates also so I would probably get the Fromaggi/Salumi/Olives as well and some wine to try this place out. Oh, and the parpardelle looks awesome too!

  3. Irina says

    Thank you for providing review for Bruno’s Trattoria. I can’t wait to go there and try Risotto all’ Aragosta and Branzino.

    Regards, Irina Dolan


  4. jon says

    Would be a great place to celebrate my great great grandma getting out of the hospital! she loves italian! Those arancini look amazing!

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