Brio Tuscan Grille: Easton location’s fountain makes this fine-dining destination our top family-friendly restaurant for August

Easton location’s fountain makes this fine-dining destination our top family-friendly restaurant for August

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It’s August and it’s hot. But that’s no reason to consume another box of mac and cheese in an air-conditioned home. Instead, consider heading to Brio Tuscan Grille at Easton Town Center for penne pasta and cheese, enjoyed on Brio’s patio adjacent to Easton’s Town Square and fountain.

Columbus-based Brio has multiple locations, but the fountain is key to the family-friendly quotient at Easton. Ask to sit on the patio, alongside the fence that faces the fountain. Reservations are not accepted for this area, so it’s first-come, first-serve. We sat by a gate that allowed our children to exit and re-enter the patio. It gave us a chance to enjoy fine food and a conversation, mostly uninterrupted by our kids, who were frolicking in the fountain.

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Town Square is the site of many ongoing events during the summer at Easton, including an outdoor movie series on Tuesdays, concerts on Wednesdays and a farmer’s market on Thursdays. So if the fountain isn’t running, such as during concerts, the patio is still the best seat in the house. Learn more about events.

Are bathing suits acceptable attire?

We were skeptical if it’d be OK for our children – ages 7 and 9 – to wear their bathing suits concealed by coverups to the restaurant, only to tear them off during dinner to splash in the fountain. Assistant General Manager Brian Peters assured us that it was OK. Just be sure to bring a towel and change of clothes, if you plan to splash in the fountain. If you forget, though, there’s a Gap Kids a stone’s throw away.

Brio recently updated its menu, but Mike’s go-to dish remains the Pasta BRIO, made of rigatoni, grilled chicken, seared mushrooms, and roasted red pepper sauce. I like to try any number of the delicious seafood dishes. “Bambino Favorites” include ravioli, lasagna, chicken parmesan and grilled salmon – all under $7.

Our kids loved the mac and cheese, but the fountain got all their attention. They ran around in circles with other kids and soaked up the experience. That is, until we had Torta di Cioccolata, a cake-based dessert with a warm chocolate center, vanilla bean gelato, anglaise sauce and a chocolate drizzle.

And for the parents?

Mike and I liked having a good meal somewhat by ourselves as we watched our kids play in the fountain – something we thought they may have outgrown. It was nice to see they hadn’t – at least not yet.

Brio Tuscan Grille is located at 3993 Easton Station, Columbus. Learn more.

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