Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scoozi

Location: 410 W Huron
Cost: About $25 per person

My friend Mary Jo wanted to meet up to grab a bite to eat. She recently started writing the blog Carb Before the Storm and wanted to chat about the Chicago food scene and blogging in general. She lives in River North, and since there was such poor weather that night, I didn't want to make her go far. We ended up at one of the seemingly few LEYE restaurants left on my "to eat" list, Scoozi.

Logistics
Scoozi is a pretty large room that was rather empty on a Monday night (reasonably so). I could imagine that you might need to make a reservation on the weekend, but otherwise you're probably fine just walking in. We plopped down right near the pizza oven which was nice because it was warmer over there and we got to see all of the pizzas coming out.

Our service was good although he kept pushing the daily wine and pizza special even after we showed no interest. The cost is pretty average for an Italian restaurant, and for River north it's a pretty economical option. Most pasta dishes and entrees were from $14-17, with $6 salads and most appetizers.

The Food
For starters we ordered the Mushroom and Truffle pizza and the Caprese Salad. They make the mozzarella for the salad in house, and it had a pretty nice texture. The pizza had a crispy crust and plenty of arugula, but the truffle flavor didn't necessarily come through that strongly.

The Caprese Salad

 The Mushroom and Truffle Pizza

For our main dishes MJ got the Fazzoletti with a Short Rib Ragu, and I got the Liguini Frutti di Mare. The ragu was savory and flavorful, but whatever bites you got without any ragu were bland. The dish in general was kind of plain. The noodles had a nice bite to them, but the flavor might have been lacking a bit. I thought the linguini was the better of the two dishes. The tomato sauce was rich and intriguing. It was filled with the standard seafood selections. Really though the "zesty tomato broth" made the dish.

The Fazzoletti with Short Rib Ragu

 The Linguini Frutti di Mare

Overall
There's no shortage of great Italian restaurants throughout Chicago. Scoozi fits in there alright, but it doesn't come close to Rose Angelis, Piccolo Sogno, or Volare which are all within a short trip of Scoozi and are way better. It serves a nice purpose though and a reasonably priced dinner option in River North (which there is a clear shortage of). I'm giving them 2.5 Pearls.


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