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Meet The Team

Enzo Scognamiglio

Enzo Scognamiglio



Through his service to the community as both an entrepreneur and philanthropist, restaurateur Enzo Scognamiglio has become a well-known and highly regarded member of the Dana Point business community.

He explains, “In seeking election to the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, my more than 25 years in the South Orange County area, as a resident and a businessman, will prove a valuable asset to the organization.” He adds, “I am a straight shooter. I say what I mean and, if I promise to do something, it will get done. I will bring common sense to the Chamber, as an active member and not just another name on the list.”

His experience from owning four national Subway restaurant franchises and founding several other eateries to managing a number of Southern California apartment complexes has made the name Enzo Scognamiglio synonymous with quality customer care, while earning him an esteemed reputation in the hospitality industry.

Since 1993, Enzo has been the proud owner of Brio Tuscany Grille, a sought-after restaurant, martini bar and nightclub, while also the current owner operator of two Subway restaurants in Dana Point. His restaurant ventures have, moreover, included Brio Mare in Laguna Beach, as well as Brio Tuscany Grille in Corona del Mar.

Prior to opening Dana Point’s local hotspot, Enzo owned the Madison Steakhouse in Long Beach – the largest steakhouse in the U.S. He has held the Director of Food and Beverage position at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach and acted as the General Manager of the Arriba Restaurant Group in Los Angeles. He also held the role of Director of Food and Beverage at the Mayfair Hotel during the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984 and spent over five years in the cruise ship industry.

With philanthropic endeavors holding a high priority in his life, Enzo has served on the Board of Directors of the CARE Foundation (Contributing Academic Resources to Education), a foundation established in 1992 to support all Capistrano Unified School District students. He also held the post of Foundation President in 2009-10.

Since 1996, Enzo has been a member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, earning recognition as its fundraising champion over the last five years. He’s further served on the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Advisory Council, and is a lifetime member of the California Highway Patrol Foundation.

Born and raised in Napoli, Italy, Enzo grew-up in a large family, where he learned the value of relationships and the importance of building strong businesses through the empowerment of people.

He and his wife, Jill, raised their two children in Laguna Hills, where they also team on several business ventures. He holds a degree in Restaurant & Hotel Management from Avellino College in Napoli, Italy.

Peppe Rivera

Peppe Rivera

General Manager/Proprietor


Growing up in a family that, while eating breakfast, enthusiastically discussed what they would be enjoying for lunch and dinner, Peppe’s first love is cooking.

Upon graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Mexico, he gained international experience as a Sous-Chef and restaurant manager in Puerto Vallarta, Tijuana, Costa Rica and the United States. Over 25 years, Peppe has worked in several local restaurants throughout Southern California.

The year 1998 was a milestone. Peppe and Enzo met, and decided to reinvent Brio as Dana Point’s premier dining destination, combining culinary sophistication with exciting nightlife.

The two men transformed Brio into an Italian steakhouse, grounded in the regional cuisine of Tuscany, while also adding a few culinary wildcards.

Peppe’s role soon changed from chef to general manager/Proprietor to leverage his skills in business and management. However, he continues to enjoy giving feedback on the creation of new dishes.

Born and raised in Morelos Mexico, Rivera moved to California in 1993. In Seeking for the American Dream which he achieves with his dedication and hard work, he currently serves as of Board of Director of one of the Best Chamber of Commerce in Orange County California

He and his wife Maritza raise their two children Enzo & Peppe in Laguna Hills California, Rivera is most proud of his Children & Wife

Rivera’s biggest achievement is his Family “ Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.

Marco Scognamiglio

Marco Scognamiglio



Having been exampled work ethic and savvy in the stewardship of family business, entrepreneurship and service were in his blood. In his most formative years, the home had a home-away-from-home as he grew up in the back of the family-owned and operated restaurants.

Both of these locations proved to be catalytic in the intrigue and direction Marco’s life was to take. In a subway restaurant in Laguna Beach, behind the counter was an eager, attentive and opportunistic young boy. Stocking shelves of chips and packing kids-meal bags sparked ideas that resulted in middle school hustling: “snack shack in a backpack”. With an assortment of quick eats and the convenient accommodations of short-term loans (if and as necessary), Marco bloomed his first independent taste of entrepreneurial pride.

Today he owns and operates six subways restaurants and though not out of a backpack, is still serving local schools with breakfast sandwich options.

At the age most kids are learning to peddle and watched on by the adoring audience of Brio’s early staff family, he learned to ride his first motorcycle in the back alley of Brio. Over many years of shared moments such as that, his own long hours as part of the team, and even the most intimate of holidays spent together with the Brio staff family, Marco was honing his skills, a love for working with people and in the service industry.

However, the mounting enthusiasm for motorcycles could hardly be squelched. While at Arizona State University securing a business degree, Marco was a founding member of a motorcycle club that celebrated the shared passions of riding. Thinking there was potential to make a career of his greatest interest, he pursued a corporate role with a reputable motorcycle brand and found that he missed the family and thrived where he first planted the roots of business and experience

Today, Marco continues the Brio legacy with his father Enzo, is still an avid motorcycle rider and is keen to adventure, of the business type or otherwise.

Brio Tuscany Grill is reinvented as an Italian Steakhouse – With Mouth Watering Results

Remaking a restaurant is generally a sign of hubris

volved when they decided to over- haul a place that to a casual observer would have seemed to be doing fine. Actually, it wasn’t. When Enzo Scognamiglio and Nino Chirico bought Brio in the summer of 1999, the swank Dana Point restaurant was best known for its cocktail scene and late-night entertainment. The menu had grown inconsistent. and with new high- end competitors such as Scott’s Seafood set to move to the area, Scognamiglio and Chirico decided to reinvent Brio as a high-quality place to dine without losing the sophistication and night-life ap- peal. “We wanted people to come for the food and stay for the entertainment,” Scognamiglio said. “Not the other way around.”

So they turned Brio into an Italian steakhouse, grounded in the regional cuisine of Tuscany with a few wild cards thrown in The Brio duo have ample ex- perience in the high-end beef game. Previously they ran The Madison, the steak manse on Long Beach’s hopping Pine Avenue. After a couple of visits, I’d say Chirico, who serves as head chef. hasn’t lost his touch with the prime filets. Brio’s signature steak is its Porterhouse fiorentina. It’s a fine piece of aged Black Angus beef to begin with, but the marinade- garlic, parsley, basil, rosemary and pepper-_adds a wonderfully aromatic flavor. This is a flavorful steak. thought technically mis-named; in Tuscany fiorentina is not marinated. It’s priced at $26.95, which is not out of line with comparable steaks at other top-line steakhouses. ‘And it is a big steak: 24 ounces. It’s a good item to share, and I can report that the leftovers are just as good with scrambled eggs the next morning. Aside from a rib eye, the remaining steak choices feature the two sides of a Porterhouse, the filet and New York strip. The 12-ounce strip comes three ways: marinated, with roasted garlic herb butter or topped with Gorgonzola cheese The first two are excellent, but the third suffers from the overwhelmingly pungency of the bleu cheese. The two sizes of filet mignon (8- and 12-ounce) are covered with a sweet reduction of scallions, garlic and Barolo wine. With these top-quality choices, Brio would rate highly just as a steakhouse. But there’s much more on the menu, most of it Northern Italian. The antipasti didn’t really excite me. They’re the standard stuff; bruschetta, carpaccio, buffalo mozzarella with tomato, breaded calamari, sauteed mussels and clams, none of which is prepared with any distinction. I did enjoy the light, crisp Maryland crab cakes, $11.95 for two 4-inch cakes. Instead of antipasto, you might order the house salad of baby greens with toasted almonds, strawberries, feta cheese and balsamic dressing. Chirico also shows a fine way with soup on a rich crab and lobster bisque with a hint of sherry. Another good way of starting a meal is with half orders of pastas. As an entree, the ravioli al salmone is seven ravioli, but if you ask, the kitchen will scale it back to four as an appetizer. The homemade rravioli are packed with fileted salmon with a touch of dill and covered with a dill cream sauce. Another pasta worth trying is farfalle granchio, bow-tie pasta mixed with crab meat and a flavor- ful lobster sauce (a combination Chirico seems to love). There are 11 other pasta dishes on the menu, many of them complex creations of meats, seafood, vegetable, herbs and creamy sauces. The risottos, however, don’t share this trait. The vegetable ri sotto, in particular, is heavy and bland and will leave you longing for something more interesting, That is easily found among the entrees. Apart from the steaks, IT there’s a wide selection of veal, lamb, pork, fish and chicken dishes. The chop choices include a thick 16-ounce veal chop, a dou- S ble-thick pork chop and three Colorado lamb chops. In the last, { the lightly gamy flavor of the lamb goes nicely with the mustard and rosemary crust and the sauce, a balsamic reduction. The lump of bland mashed potatoes that comes with them 18 disappointing. though T hese same mashed potatoes come with all the seafood dishes, sorry to say, but otherwise S ?. you will find some interesting se- lections on this part of the menu. The thick swordfish salmoriglio features a tangy vinaigrette e touched with parsley and citrus juices. The Chilean sea bass comes S in a pistachio crust with a citrus S beurre blanc sauce. As you finish dinner and move t on to dessert–and don’t pass on

Click the image below, to read the editorial by Jody Robinson

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