Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hiatus Ended, And Eating Resumes At Scoozzi Restaurant

The foodie blogosphere has been pretty quiet lately, huh? Guess we've all been doing what we do best - cook and eat. For those of us who were lucky enough to have family around during the holiday season, I'm sure things got a little crazy. They're bound to, especially if you happen to live in a dinky little apartment with ONE bathroom, and are blessed with eight people to share it with! Yes, that's what my place was like this past week or so - and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. It's funny, but we actually managed pretty well. Even Ozzy didn't appear to be too traumatized by it all. The best part was having Mom around to do most of the cooking. I did take over desserts, because I love making them for my Dad - he has an incorrigible sweet tooth (and now you know where I get it from). It was fun ganging up on DH with my sis-in-law, and even being the butt (literally) of my kid brother's many "fat" jokes. And through it all was the constant pampering I got from everyone - a pregnancy perk that I'm going to sorely miss!

Now that everyone has left - just this morning, in fact - I'm starting to settle down and gather my scattered thoughts. Over the next few days I'm sure I'll be thinking about all the fun we had, the laughs and giggles, especially at the dinner table. Have more than a few mouthwatering recipes to share with you all, but in the meantime, I thought about putting up this restaurant review while the taste of the food was still fresh in my memory. My pregnancy brain being what it is - unfocused and forgetful - I need to get this down on paper, pronto!

Although I have my favorite New Haven restaurants that I regularly visit, it's usually on a whim and so I never have my camera with me. On this occasion though, I went prepared. Recently DH and I decided to try out the popular jazz brunch at Scoozzi in the middle of Yale's campus in New Haven. It's actually smack in between the Yale Center For British Art and the Yale Repertory Theater. And the name itself reveals that the menu leans towards Northern Italian goodies. The space is cozy and bright, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, neutral colors with bursts of scarlet and comfortable seating (something I'm very particular about these days, since I'm carrying around a little person inside me who likes to give mommy horrible backaches!).

I really enjoy listening to live jazz, and although I like some vocal crooning with my Sunday morning jazz, the duo over at Scoozzi played some fun tunes which had my feet tapping throughout the meal. Speaking of which, let's get right down to it ...

DH and I shared this vegetarian entree as an appetizer, of Patata Americana, which were sweet potato and walnut ravioli, topped with butternut squash, organic mustard greens, dried cherries, red onions, sage butter sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish. Sublime. I don't know what I was thinking when I thought about sharing this with DH - it was so good that I could easily have polished it all off by myself. Rest assured, this lapse in judgment will not happen again.

Next, I had the Anatra, boneless duck breast, ricotta-crusted sweet potato & chestnut polenta, with sauteed swiss chard and a port wine demi-glace. This type of polenta was totally new to me, and I wasn't crazy about the texture - too pasty. I'll give points to the chef for an interesting concept. But the duck, with the greens and sauce was definitely good.

DH went for the grilled Scottish Salmon over fettuccine with spaghetti squash, spinach, plum tomatoes and hollandaise sauce. I warned him it would be bland. And it was. So although this dish was pretty enough to photograph from all angles, I could see my man was not thrilled about it. Lack of seasoning is what it all boils down to.

Luckily, the meal ended on a high note for me, with this adorable slice of a Tres Leches Cake, which was a special for the day. I did wonder what the heck it was doing on an Italian menu, but that didn't bother me for long. Particularly since it was soft, moist, light and pretty delicious. It actually got me thinking about making this cake at home - which I plan to, soon. So overall, I had a lovely brunch at Scoozzi, and I hope to go there again, since it was reasonably priced (huge difference from similar Manhattan restaurant prices!).

*Sigh* ...

Now look what I've done. It's only 4pm and I've already made myself hungry looking at these pics again. I'm definitely not one of those lucky pregnant women who only look pregnant from the front or the side, because all their weight gain is on their belly. My carb cravings have ensured that I expand to a rather unsightly, lumpy spherical shape. But will that stop me from scampering off to the kitchen at this very moment to grab a slice of my home-made Cardamom Pistachio Pound Cake (yes yes, recipe coming soon)?! Not. At. All. So on that note ...

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, dear readers! I hope 2010 is memorable in every wonderful, happy, joyful way for us all.