Friday, February 10, 2012

Weekend Italiano: Mozza Mia

I'd like to think that I don't eat out a lot, but recent habit seems to be proving otherwise. Last weekend I went out to eat three times. That's right, three times in three days. Two of these three outings were at twin cities Italian restaurants: Mozza Mia and Scuzi. Both were good in their own right. A few impressions about Mozza Mia: 

Mozza Mia
Image via Yelp

A few college friends wanted to get together for dinner Friday night, and one suggested the relatively new Mozza Mia at 50th and France. None of the eight of us in our party had been there, but I had read mixed reviews some time ago and was still intrigued by their house-made mozzarella. We learned, delightedly, that they take reservations. Anyone who has tried to go out to eat in the twin cities on a weekend night and had to wait some length can appreciate a reservation! We got right in and decided to see what all this homemade mozzarella fuss is all about. My husband and I ordered the cheese sampler to start and were excited to get a generous plate of homemade mozzarella, ricotta, rolled mozzarella (with procuitto), smoked mozzarella, and burrata - not to mention the exceptionally tasty pear-mustard chutney, chick peas, grilled baguette slices and quartered tomatoes that accompanied the cheese. I'd never had burrata before, and it was one of my favorites. The smoked mozz was also a treat. 

My unwitting friends decided to start with the Scilian salad, advertised as "fresh fennel, orange, arugula, pine nut, citrus vinaigrette". They were not pleased, as it were, to receive  a giant plate of frisee along with all of the above. I can appreciate a small sprig of frisee in a mixed-greens salad, certainly, but as Adam Roberts suggests, a whole plateful is a "blight on our culinary landscape." My friends, who assert they never send food back, sent their salad back and opted for the panzanella instead. It was much better.

As for my husband and I, we moved on to the Fig and Proscuitto wood-fired pizza. It was great! A good size for two, particularly after devouring our cheese sampler, and with just the right amount of fig, onion, and thin, salty proscuitto. Other pizzas enjoyed at our table included one with squash and chicken and one with ham and sausage. All in all, it was a pleasant dining experience, convenient for our group, and with good food. 

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