I’m adapting that delightful phrase oft heard in Asia, “Same same but different” to describe the launch of the new menu at Penticton’s Brodo Kitchen. (It’s a saying that evolved as a basic way to tell foreigners that an item being sold is just as good as something with which they are familiar to a broader truth expressing how we share common human experiences throughout the world.)
Just shy of its five-year anniversary, Brodo Kitchen has tweaked its menu to refresh what’s available as regular offerings. From its opening in May 2013, Brodo Kitchen was an immediate success and local favourite. Consequently, Chef/Owner Paul Cecconi, wife Holly, Sous Chef Liam McNulty, and team, didn’t mess dramatically with the winning formula. Rather they’ve seized the opportunity after years of presenting daily specials to see what items tickle the taste buds of customers and to consider what are emerging trends in cuisine.
These observations are now honoured on the invigorated menu. Plus, popular options like being able to create your own Soup Flight of three of the day’s varieties remain.
It’s still the folksy approach we love posted on chalkboards above the order counter or on the bulletin of daily specials pasted on the cash register that I first wrote about in Savour Magazine in Fall/Winter 2013. You can link to that article, found on page 44, Savour Magazine Fall/Winter 2013, if you’d like to read more about Chef Cecconi’s culinary background.
Brodo Kitchen was included in an article called “Trash to Food Treasure” that I wrote for OpenRoad Driver Magazine. Read it on pages 26 to 30 of Volume 14, Issue 1 OpenRoad Driver.
On www.tastebrodo.com you can also learn more about the Brodo story, its menu, catering, and takeout as well as read the blog to get to know the team and latest accomplishments.
As you’d expect, there’s still a strong connection to comfort food and what can be sourced locally and what’s in season in the Okanagan. The motto of “simply fresh food” remains and “farm fresh” ingredients are purchased locally and from producers in the Okanagan or from around BC. All seafood is Ocean Wise ®. The new menu provides a few more vegetarian options and upon request, everything can be made gluten free.
What you might not expect are some delightful surprises emerging from the kitchen as Brodo’s contemporary spin on comfort food is enlivened with an international flair. Think Cubano sandwich, Soba noodle salad, Truffled mushroom and lentil soup.
On Chinese New Year’s, I was lucky to be included in an afternoon sneak preview which included small bowls and bites of the new items. Already I have some personal favourites such as the Spicy Tomato Meatball sandwich; Smoked Salmon ‘Nicoise’ salad or Pulled Chicken and Dumpling soup which I’ll be seeking regularly to jettison cravings.
The preview proved that you can’t go wrong whatever you select. Some items such as the Grilled Cheese sandwich represented a fine tuning of the previous one offered. If like me, you’re ready to shed tears for a couple of favourites no longer on the chalkboard, fear not: Brodo Kitchen plans to feature them periodically on its daily specials – more reasons to follow Brodo Kitchen on Facebook and @tastebrodo on Instagram.)
While the food reveals the touch of an accomplished and experienced team, the ambiance at Brodo Kitchen shows no snootiness. For those late to the fan club, you’ll find Brodo Kitchen at 483 Main Street, Penticton, BC. It’s open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday, 11 am to 8 pm.
Step in the door and head to the counter on your left to peruse the chalkboard menu organized by Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads. Be sure to check out the daily specials bulletin and the glass cabinet for desserts of the day. Place your order, pay, and await your number to be called. If you’d like some water, just fill one of the mason jars on the side counter from the container beside them. That’s where you’ll find napkins and cutlery.
Choose, too, from a nice selection of beverages such as local wine, craft beer, apple juice, Backyard Beans coffee roasted in Summerland, and Brodo’s own bone broth and homemade seasonal fruit drinks.
While you’re waiting, check out the coolers for take-home soups, broth and other items; and see the shelves above the water counter for pickles and preserves you can buy.
The restaurant’s atmosphere exudes an appreciation for community and while the team doesn’t brag about it much, you’ll find them involved in many local initiatives. Once a month, Brodo’s hosts Soup Sisters/Broth Brothers Penticton where folks pay to participate in soup-making for the women’s shelter with the bonus of growing friendships and indulging in a bowl of that beautiful soup along with a glass of local wine.
Additionally, Chef Cecconi volunteered at Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School located on the Penticton Indian Band Reserve, as part of the Okanagan Chefs Association program, Chefs in the Classroom, last spring. Not only has he signed on again, he’s convinced his Sous Chef McNulty to join the team of volunteers.
Be sure to check out the new menu soon at Brodo Kitchen. I’m sure you’ll be ecstatic like me to find it “same same but better”.