Mi Scusi!

This new year’s eve, we waited until 4 pm to make a dinner reservation. Normally, this would be a problem for anyone wanting to eat at a regular dinner time. City people like their date-night restaurants. Available tables, much to our procrastinating reservation-making phone calls, were few and far between.

But, we’ve discovered the secret to life. And to getting a table, even on the busiest date night of the year: eat EARLY.

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I’ve wanted to go to Scusi since we have moved here. Then, when we checked out their menu online, what sealed the deal was on their appetizer list: burrata!  We had JUST watched an episode on the Cooking Channel whilst home over the holidays that showed how to make this specialty buttery, creamy, mozzarella-like cheese from the Puglia region of Italy. We could not have been more sold.

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What a perfect opportunity – New Year’s Eve date night!  As long as we were out by 7 pm, we had the restaurant to ourselves (and a few families of four and five)!  We took the deal, and never have I been more pleasantly surprised with not only the burrata, but all that Scusi offered to us on our date night out.  I dressed in a sparkly little black dress and heels, and my husband wore a suit and tie. JT would have been impressed.

For starters, we had the world’s friendliest, not-too-attentive-just-attentive-enough server. Her charm sparkled like the flickering candle on our table.  We ordered some local Summit beers (shhhh, I know we were supposed to have wine – Scusi is famous for their wine list, but… SALUTE!).  Then came the burrata, in all its creamy glory, on a bed of basil pesto, with olive oil almonds, olive tapenade, sweet cherry tomatoes, and crostini to serve as our shovels. Though we tried to savor it as much as possible, the plate was clean in less than five minutes. I kid you not.

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Pasta plates on the dinner menu come in two sizes; and we, being Italian at heart, opted for the larger of both the Carbonara and Veal Bolognese Gnocchi.  My dad taught me to order gnocchi whenever I have the chance. And of course, in doing so, pronounce it with an “I am not really Italian but here is my best guess as to this delicious pasta’s pronunciation” accent. With hand gestures. So I did.

Side note: check out a short history from the New York Times on Italians and their use of hand gestures during conversation here 🙂 :

Both pastas were creamy, hearty, rich, and authentically Italian.  We most definitely had leftovers; the flavors were equally as robustly satisfying on day two.

At our checkerboard-tableclothed-bistro table, we lingered over amaretto lattes with ‘zucchero in zolette’ (lumps of natural, Italian sugar), reliving the garlic, herby, homemade pasta, toasted, roasted, creamy flavors of our ‘cena,’ talking about our plans for 2014, and planning the rest of our New Year’s Eve (finishing Season one of House of Cards, Skype-ing with some near and dear college friends, and champagne and cookies at midnight – yes, we made it to the stroke of twelve – we’re not THAT old!).

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Scusi gave us the homemade, authentic Italian experience we craved.  I recently heard as well that they have a great wine and wood-fired-pizza happy hour at 9pm nightly.  We will most definitely be back to try our hand at pronouncing in our best Italian, any of the other items on the extensive {wine list and} dinner menu.

Also, we sang this the entire car ride home:

Bellisima ristorante!

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