I second that vote. They’re the best I’ve tried in all the restaurants I’ve covered since 2015.
“Try them,” I heard time and time again. I ordered them and it’s a fact.
What makes them extraordinary? Bricco’s chef prepares them with a Sriracha, honey & lime vinaigrette and without a doubt, the “Crispy Brussels Sprouts” appetizer is the perfect start to any meal at Bricco. Best of all, you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth with one serving of Brussels Sprouts while adding a vitamin-packed vegetable to your diet.
So why focus on an appetizer when the entree is equally as delicious? The sprouts set the stage for the food that followed. Chef Collier and his team created an organic chicken breast (made to order gluten and dairy-free) that was loaded with flavor. The variation, with mushrooms (of course from Pennsylvania – The Mushroom Capital of the World), elevated the meal to a profound level of perfection.
If you’re wondering what night to dine at Bricco, keep in mind the menu changes weekly but the theme — inventive Mediterranean dishes, California-style stone-oven pizza, and homemade pasta does not vary. Guaranteed, whatever you order, will be a crowd-pleaser. Chef Collier and his team draw from favorite flavors from the South of France, Italy, Greece, and Spain and quality and flavor are consistent.
Bricco is Harrisburg’s only Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA), Wine Spectator and Santé magazine award-winning restaurant,
Expect Joseph Benkovic, Bricco restaurant manager, to stop by your table and answer any questions you might have about the restaurant, food or wine menu, or ingredients. He can also give you a historical overview and more information about The Olewine School of Culinary Arts.
Bricco is a collaboration between The Olewine School of Culinary Arts and the Harrisburg Hotel Corporation. Up-and-coming chefs bring their ideas and skills to the kitchen. The program was founded and funded by the Benjamin Olewine III family. Bread and delectable desserts are among the creations the apprentice chefs create for Bricco clients.
Bricco is open for lunch and dinner daily. You can view a menu or make reservations here. Read more about Harrisburg in this companion article.
My trip was comped by Visit Hershey & Harrisburg but my opinions are my own and based on my experience.
Learn more about Hershey and Harrisburg at https://www.visithersheyharrisburg.org.
Whole Foods and Boutique Brewery Meet on Harrisburg Restaurant Row
Plant-based food & brew from whole foods can be a challenge to find when you’re traveling. But one restaurant along downtown Harrisburg’s “Restaurant Row,” makes it a point to cater to vegetarians and vegans. They’ll be right at home.
Years ago, if someone suggested I limit my meals to include only vegetables, I would have said, NO WAY.
Protein-Packed Vegetables, please…
But incorporating plant-based food options into my daily regimen is nothing new. My diet has always been centered on vegetables with meat, poultry, and fish as side-dishes unless of course my mother’s homemade meatballs and other comfort foods I’ve grown up enjoying are on the menu.
Catering to the Vegetarian in You
Fast forward to 2018 when “The Vegetable Hunter” quickly became one of my favorite restaurants. During a recent media trip to Harrisburg, arranged by Rick Dunlap, Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, I had an opportunity to sample a variety of menu items Harrisburg restaurant owner Kristin Messner-Baker and her staff brought to the table. The menu caters to vegans and vegetarians with generous portions of quality plant-based whole foods made to order.
Lawyer Embraces Cooking
“The Vegetable Hunter” is where Kristin’s hunger for travel, culture, and different types of cuisine met with recipes rich in made-from-scratch healthy ingredients she created and tested. After experimenting for several years, while raising her family and practicing law, she decided to open The Vegetable Hunter in 2014.
“I had a dream of opening a restaurant,” Kristin said. “I worked in restaurants with many different types of cuisine before, during, and after attending college and law school.”
What makes The Vegetable Hunter’s menu so appealing?
Kristin has compassion for her patrons who are not accustomed to a vegan or vegetarian diet and she recognizes and caters to them in the same way she feeds her customers who pass on animal-derived ingredients. Her goal is to offer “creative vegetable-driven quick dishes, magical elixirs, complimented by small-batch beer made with unique and fresh ingredients.” The menu offers such a variety of tastes and textures with the sweet or savory selections that will suit everyone’s hankerings.
Menu A Unique Spin On Vegetarian
She developed her restaurant model with help from her husband, John Baker, a graphic designer, illustrator, and high school history teacher. John helps at the restaurant when he’s not teaching and their love for music and traveling are a few of the elements that give the restaurant a unique spin.
Recommendations (based on the plates we shared)
Asian Noodle Bowl: Rice Noodle Broth Bowl with bok choy, carrots, broccoli, chili sauce, and boiled egg (Vegans can request no egg).
Superfood Protein Bowl: kale salad, chickpea salad, thyme roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, spicy raw beet salad, boiled egg, and homemade hummus (Vegans can request no egg)
Chick Pea Salad: garlic, cumin, shallots, and parsley
Spicy Raw Beet Salad: lime juice, cayenne, and jalapenos
Raw Brussels Sprout Salad: with balsamic vinaigrette
Curried Egg Salad: Mixed greens, tomato and onion in pita