Our East Memphis correspondent, Steph, delivers on her promise to review the Brooklyn Bridge. Warning: Even without pictures, this will make you hungry!
Brooklyn Bridge Italian Restaurant
1779 Kirby Parkway
Before this review even begins, I have to go ahead and make a confession: I am a total Brooklyn Bridge homer. I have loved this restaurant since I was in high school. When my brother turned 16, he requested a Brooklyn Bridge cheesecake as his birthday dessert. When I was in my 20s, my brother and my boyfriend both worked at Brooklyn Bridge for extended periods of time. When I married that boyfriend, we had the rehearsal dinner at Brooklyn Bridge. When I was pregnant, I craved their spinach and ate it at least once a week. When I. . . well, you get the picture. I love this place.
So why have I never reviewed Brooklyn Bridge before? I'll tell you. The main dinner item that the kids enjoy from there is pizza. So it seems like anytime the kids eat food from Brooklyn Bridge, it's when we've gotten pizzas to go and eaten them at home, which doesn't lend itself to a DWM review. We recently realized it was time to rectify that situation. I asked Chloe if she would like to go to a special restaurant to get pizza on her fourth birthday. Being the more adventurous of my two children, she said, "Sure!" (Her almost-7-yr-old brother would have said, "No way! Wendy's!")
Her birthday was on a Monday night, and it turns out that Brooklyn Bridge has a special on pizzas on Monday nights! Joy to the world! By showing up on a Monday, we got $5 off a large or $4 off a medium pizza. This is a fantastic deal, since their pizzas are huge and generally cost around $20. We ordered a Spinach and Four Cheese pizza for me and Chip- or I should say, I ordered it before Chip got there. His favorite pizza is the Grilled Chicken pizza, with red onion, basil, mozzarella and Romano. While I enjoy that one as well, I really wanted my favorite, which has the aforementioned crave-worthy spinach Florentine, with provolone, mozzarella, ricotta and Romano. I also ordered a Caesar salad for us to share. For the kids, I ordered a "Pizza for One" off of the appetizer menu, as I knew it to be plenty large enough for two kids. The pizza got to the table well before anyone got antsy, due in part to the homemade bread and butter served while we waited. I even talked the kids into eating some of the bread, rather than just spoonfuls of butter. Score!
I hate that all I've told you about is pizzas. So while those are great and you should try them, let me give you some tips on other things to eat there that are awesome, just in case you want more of a meal than just pizza.
My favorite appetizer, possibly ever, is the Shrimp Gorgonzola. It is shrimp sautéed with fresh basil and brandy in a gorgonzola cream sauce. Seriously, the brandy/basil/gorgonzola cream sauce is like my holy grail of cooking. I have tried a million times to recreate it, and for some reason mine is just never, ever as good as the original. Ask for extra bread to sop up the sauce with- there is no excuse for letting any of it go to the dishwasher. I think I've used a spoon before. They have recently started serving a pasta dish with this sauce, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet. It's on my to do list.
Excellent entrees include the Vodka Penne, the only dish in town that has ever caused me to come back for more of a tomato-based sauce. I'm sure that having vodka and cream as the other main ingredients plays a big part in that. I like this with chicken- you can get it with shrimp, but you'll probably be tired of shrimp since I know you ordered that appetizer. My other favorite is the Pollo di Florentine, aka Chick Flo- Chicken breast topped with prosciutto and mozzarella in a white-wine mushroom cream, served with spinach Florentine. Yes, I realize every suggestion I've made involves the word "cream." Plan on working out the day after you eat there. The Marsala dishes are also out of this world, either veal or chicken. You can't go wrong with any of these.
Lest you think I'm not at all objective, I will tell you that I don't recommend the steaks at Brooklyn Bridge. I'll assume that's enough to lend me some credibility. But you can get a steak anywhere- you should try something more creative when you're here.
When you're done with your meal, and you're full, pretend like you're not and get the cheesecake. Not a fancy flavored one with lots of sauces, just their plain ol' cheesecake. It's the best I've ever had, bar none. Although the rest of their desserts are good too, you've got to try the cheesecake before moving on to the rest of the menu.
So back to our meal with the kids. It was great. They loved their pizza, they loved the special attention we got from employees we know, they loved the fact that there is a changing table in the ladies bathroom. (I might have made up that last part, but I thought I should fit that fact in somewhere.) Brooklyn Bridge is owned and operated by the Correale family, and they welcome you and your family. Go and fill up on cream sauces, and tell them the Chockleys sent you.