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Sunday
Feb102008

CLOSED: Brunch at Stuzzi, 2/10/08

I hadn't seen Megan M. in months, and with my schedule these days, the best way for me to see friends is to plan something around a meal...We all have to eat, right? Megan and I made plans to meet for brunch on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Stuzzi, a newer Italian in the Flatiron nabe.

I was pleased to see that Megan had beaten me to the restaurant by about five minutes. After announcing my arrival, the hostess led me to our cozy corner booth. At 12:30 p.m., Stuzzi
was relatively empty, and the fact that the restaurant is quite large made this observation even more apparent. I was very impressed by the charming interior's exposed brick walls, open-bar made with dark mahogany wood and a crisp white marble top, modern chandeliers, dark cherry tones and perfect lighting. I don't recall any background music; meaning that it was either subtle or the overall acoustics of the space were precise.

After perusing both the brunch and lunch menus, Megan and I each decided to order a bowl of the tomato-bread soup. I chose to wash my meal down with a glass of Italian white wine, and Megan went with a hot chocolate. After placing our orders, we were served a small basket of thinly sliced fresh bread and a saucer filled with olive oil. I was glad to see that each table had a mini bowl containing both a mound of white sea salt and fiery red chili flakes.

My wine and Megan's hot cocoa arrived simultaneously. The dainty white saucer carried a tea cup filled with steaming milk chocolate that had been topped with a floating homemade marshmallow. I must say that I was a bit jealous that I hadn't gone with the cocoa, but for $11, I had a quartino of crisp and fragrant white wine. Pretty reasonable!

Our steaming tomato soups arrived in large bowls with a generous helping of savory liquid. The soup resembled thick and creamy tomato bisque that was lightly drizzled with olive oil. The broth had girth, but was not heavy or overwhelming. Bread was incorporated in to the stock to thicken the soup and make for a heartier execution. I tasted subtle tomato, garlic, basil, salty chicken broth, earthy olive oil and the texture of the delicate pureed bread.

Both Megan and I truly enjoyed our brunch/lunch at Stuzzi. The service, food, prices and atmosphere were fantastic and I can't wait to return for dinner in the near future. The space is the perfect setting for a date, get-together with friends, large-group dining, etc. Welcome to the neighborhood, Stuzzi!

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