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Jun 17, 2007 06:41 PM

Great meal at Bar Stuzzichini

Last night four of us tried Bar Stuzzichini. We started with two mezze platters (5 tasters per platter). The octopus was extremely tender, and a definite stand out - fantastic. The fried artichokes were delicious too. The meat balls, sardine ceviche, buffalo mozzarela, sopressato and egg plant were all tasty.

We then followed this up with two pastas betwee the four of us. The fresh pea one was great, but the real winner of the evening was a pistachio and lemon tagliateli. It was unique, and it worked.

This was followed by two portions of their lamb chop special which we all loved. Our friends thought they were better than the lamb chops at Bella Vitae. I think the jury is out on this, but they were really good nonetheless.

Deserts (olive oil cake, home made ice creams, and capri cake) were high quality.

The meal, plus wine and tip was $130 per couple - very reasonable given the quality of the meal. We spent almost three hours enjoying the food and ambiance. Well worth trying out. My favorites remain A Voce and Bella Vitae, but this was a great meal in a relaxed, quiet setting, with service which was well paced and knowledgable.

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  1. How was the crowd? Was there a crowd at all? I really like this place - but it's always empty. I worry it's days are numbered.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BaconBits

      It was probably only 1/3 full. I hope more people listen to us, visit and appreciate it.

    2. I went there last Thursday, and found it mostly very good. My friend and I each ordered 5 small dishes. Artichokes, clams, ricotta with truffle honey, arancini, all excellent. Meatballs were dry and dull I thought. Prawn was good, but if I'd ordered it a la carte and gotten one little shrimp for $7, I would have been annoyed. The 5 dishes for $22 is a pretty good deal, but the portions are a little small for the a la carte prices.

      We then shared gnocchi with guanciale. Again excellent, and a generous portion even when split for two. Wines by quartino are well priced for a generous pour.

      The place was about 1/3 full when I went there too, but it's a cavernous place, would take a lot of people to fill it.

      1. i've posted a similar remark on another thread. i think the food here is terrific. sat at the bar with a friend and we started off with the stuzzichini ... wow! buttery tender octopus with crunchy thinly sliced celery, perfectly fried artichokes (i could have eaten a dozen), beautifully flavored chickepas on toast ... and for the main, who knew: the perfect chicken. i *never* order chicken but was tipped off about this one and came away a convert. couple all this with a well chosen and good value wine list and it's hard to fault. while the atmosphere isn't exactly my style, food conquers all.

        1 Reply
        1. re: psp

          went a couple weeks ago and thought it was really good - tried pretty much everything already mentioned and also loved the pasta with pistachios and lemon, the ocotopus, artichokes, chick pea bruschetta, sardine etc etc. don't love the decor and the wine list was not fantastic but more was going to be added soon. service was excellent and really - so was the food.

        2. Ate here on a Wednesday night--place was 1/3 full. Perhaps it's just too big.

          Mixed apps:
          Green olives--excellent, not too salty
          Sopressato--no problem there
          Fried meatballs--good
          Ricotta with honey--very good; went well w/ the olives of all things
          Some eggplant relish on toast--too heavy for me but my girlfriend liked it

          Swordfish with pesto--nice, but couldn't tell that it was actually swordfish and not some other whitefish

          Special: Spaghetti with octopus and cherry tomato sauce--awesome; seems like reading the other posts here they always do octopus well.

          The service was well-meaning but needs improvement. Perhaps our waiter was a new guy. The pacing of the dishes was fine but they need to have a few busy nights to work the kinks out of the front and back of house. (Maybe they are busy on the weekends but I've never seen it.)

          We asked for the driest prosecco on the list and it was fine, especially for $35 or whatever. Total was $115, inclusive. We'll be back.

          1. We were the friends along for this meal. It was seriously great! In addition to the comments, I just have to add something about the service - it was really good. Knowledgeable, humorous, present but not intrusive. (An English gentleman was our waiter).
            BTW my wife is still commenting about how unique and good the pistachio pasta was. Definitely give that a try.

            3 Replies
            1. re: gfrank

              I went there last night and had a very enjoyable meal. There were two of us and we ordered the chickpea crostini, eggplant, soppresata, the grilled prawn, and a special zucchini stuffed with cheese. All of them were great, and it's a fun way to enjoy many different things as appetizers. For an entree we split the pistachio pasta, which was very good and more than enough food for the two of us. The place is very big and seemed to be doing pretty well for a Wednesday with not so good weather outside.

              1. re: clashfan

                We just came back fom Bar Stuzzichini. The food was excellent and well priced. The bread and olive oil were so good. My husband adored the ragu bolognese and the mozzarella antipasti. I had an amazing eggplant caponata and an ok spaghetti with spicy squid (not bad, just not earth shattering either). The service could use work and the place seems like it should be smaller to be a neighborhood type of place. I will definitely go back and check out the 5 Antipastis for $22!

                1. re: sherrisparaga

                  I also wasn't impressed with the spaghetti with spicy squid, but overall really liked Bar Stuzzichini. The ricotta with saffron and honey is delicious, as was the grilled prawn. (We also had the buffalo mozzarella, caponata, and grilled octopus.) 5 small plates for $22 is a great deal! My wife was enthralled with the swordfish, which were two thin roulades stuffed with pine nuts and raisins and topped with a Sicilian pesto sauce. We'll definitely be back.