Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Nights: Stuzzi [CLOSED]

Towards the end of the last year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Stuzzi

I've been to Stuzzi before. It used to be called Bar Stuzzichini. I wonder why they changed the name. Anyway, I liked it before and thought my friends would enjoy it as well.
I started off the night with a glass of Moretti beer. This simple Italian beer is very easy to drink. It's nothing special but just goes down easy.

As usual, we wanted to order some food as well. Most of the group didn't want to share appetizers. So instead, they picked out entrees for themselves. No biggie. The menu is pretty big. After we ordered, we snacked on the bread basket with the accompanying olive oil. I appreciated the variety that they gave us. Some were really crusty while others were softer like focaccia.

Ms. Poutine Esq had the Scialatelli ai Frutti di Mare (long, thick spaghetti with seafood - $25). The serving size was quite large and there were lots of seafood to enjoy including shrimp, clams, and calamari. The light tomato sauce with lemon zest kept things light.

Mr. Peanut Head had Penne ala Caprese ($8). This simple pasta dish with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil was pretty good. With such few and simple ingredients, quality and execution is key.

Ms. Lollipop had her signature dish: Spaghetti alle Vongole (spaghetti with clams $21). The taste was definitely garlicky with a nice touch of wine. I think she enjoyed this very much. I liked that they used whole clams indicating that they were fresh. Ms. Lollipop would rather had shucked clams for easy eating.
Mr. Matzo Ball Soup had the Halibut ($27) which was pan seared with potatoes and olives. This dish was perfect for the warmer weather with the vegetables and light protein. The potatoes added the slight heft that it needed. The balsamic finishing sauce added a nice tang and balanced everything out.
Mr. M&P and I decided to get 3 appetizers each ($25). He picked Granchio Crostini (crab meat and parmigiano, Calamari (squid), and Arancini (rice balls). The serving sizes were very generous here. These 3 dishes could have fed 2 adults leaving both sated. The best dish of the 3 was the crostini. They didn't skimp with the crab meat and the cheese added a slight richness. I don't care if people say you shouldn't mix seafood and cheese in Italian food. This tasted good and that's it. The calamari was fried well making it nice and crispy. A squeeze of that lemon is all it needs but skip the marinara sauce. Lastly, the arancini. It was super crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These rice balls tasted creamy and were well seasoned.
For my 3 appetizers, I had the Scamorza alla Griglia (grilled smoked mozzarella), Crocchette di Melanzane (eggplant croquettes), and Ricotta e Miele Crostini. The scamorza cheese was divine. Smoky yet soft. The light grilling added a nice crust on the outside only to give way to soft cheese inside. The briny olive tapenade added a nice break to the richness of this dish. The eggplant crocchette was just okay. I didn't taste much of the burrata cheese that was supposed to be inside. Lastly, the ricotta was soft and sweet. The drizzle of saffron honey on top added another level of sweetness. It was nice.
Stuzzi offers solid Italian fare. However, some of the entrees can be pricey. Next time, when dining with a group, the appetizers are the way to go. They're either 3 for $25 of 5 for $40. Considering the portion sizes and variety, this is a very good deal.

Stuzzi
928 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 780-5100
stuzziristorante.com

2 comments:

  1. I walked by yesterday and wondered the same about the name. Well I thought it just didn't fit on the sign bc there was scaffolding

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  2. Is hard for people to say Stuzzichini so Stuzzi is a way to go better .

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