SoulCycle & Brio at Chestnut Hill Square

15 May

Last week I joined the Boston Brunchers for the first time in a while – it was so nice to get together with some great folks like Renee from Eat.Live.Blog and founder of the Boston Brunchers and Erin from A Girl & Her Mutt. I also finally met Tiffany from The Fab Empire and Melissa from Foodies at Work!

This was the plan: meet up at Chestnut Hill Square (the new complex across from Chestnut Hill Mall, where you can find Wegmans and a bunch of other retail stores and places to eat), check out a SoulCycle class, have brunch at Brio, and then do some shopping in the square.

SoulCycle at Chestnut Hill Square

First up was SoulCycle. SoulCycle has a great environment and their high level of customer service is everything you expect from a boutique workout spot. This is the kind of place that makes you want to work out: the music is loud, the staff beautiful, everything is spotless, and the regulars make spinning look like a viable way to get incredibly fit. I. Want. That. And for $30/class, you should get all of that.

Maybe I’m easily converted to fun workout options in general (okay, I am – I love exercise classes!), but I’m a fan. I’ve attended good spinning classes before, but not on bikes that require clip-in shoes, not in a room that’s lit by candles, and definitely not from a teacher who doubles as an enthusiastic fitness instructor AND a ripped DJ in a sports bra. I had such a good time that I forgot for small stretches of our 45 minute class that I was intensely exercising. Our instructor Molly was phenomenal – she’s based in LA and was teaching for a few weeks in Boston.

Here’s some of the Boston Brunchers clan after the class:

SoulCycleGroup

Following the class we walked next door to Brio Tuscan Grille. Opening in November, the Ohio-based chain restaurant’s Chestnut Hill location is the first to open in Massachusetts. Brio’s concept is Tuscan-inspired food, but the brunch menu seemed disconnected from this. Entrees on the eight-item brunch menu are fairly standard.

We started with bread and fruit salad – I was so hungry after the spin class, so it was nice to start with fruit. We sampled four items family style:

  • Berries & Cream French Toast: This was tasty, but very sweet, so it was good to have a small portion.
  • Ham & Biscuit Benedict and Turkey Sausage, Spinach & Biscuit Benedict (I didn’t try the latter, but looked very similar to the ham benedict): The benedicts are made with a biscuit on the bottom, which was a nice twist on the classic and provided a buttery base that complimented the hollandaise.
  • Roasted Turkey Sweet Potato Hash: The hash seemed more steamed than roasted – the flavor was good, but the preparation seemed a little off.

The Bloody Mary was mediocre – lots of ice, regular tomato juice, and horseradish. I’ve been spoiled by so many inventive breakfast cocktails that this wasn’t great in comparison. I always hope for some kind of kick (alcohol or otherwise), which was lacking from this drink.

Brio Brunch at Chestnut Hill Square

 

Brio Brunch at Chestnut Hill Square

With all of the high-endorphin levels and good vibes in the SoulCycle class, it was hard for brunch to Brio to live up to the occasion – in general, the whole brunch experience fell kind of flat. The servers seemed inexperienced, the atmosphere had a Cheesecake Factory kind of feeling, and I left feeling full, but wishing I had just stopped by Equinox’s Squeeze Juice Bar instead. We’ve had some AMAZING brunches through the Boston Brunchers (like The Sinclair, The Painted Burro, and Moksa); Brio was just in that less-memorable, but not terrible, category.

Following brunch we wandered around the square a bit, stopping to be fitted for sneakers at True Runner. I was super impressed that they offer an orthopedic-style analysis of your stride before fitting. We were ready for a nap after our busy morning, so we didn’t venture into Wegmans, but I’d like to check out their new location another time.

Thank you Boston Brunchers for planning such a fun Sunday! It was great to check out Chestnut Hill Square.

The SoulCycle class and food portion of brunch at Brio was complimentary through the Boston Brunchers, and I did not receive compensation for writing this post. I paid for the drink and tip at Brio. As with all EatingPlaces posts, opinions are my own.

One Response to “SoulCycle & Brio at Chestnut Hill Square”

  1. A Girl & Her Mutt May 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I completely agree with your assessment of Brio! We have had some pretty incredible brunches so the competition was fierce, but I felt like *something* was lacking.

    As always, it was lovely to see you! Now let’s get ripped abs like Molly!

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