Scoozi – 410 W Huron Street, Chicago, IL
Having lived in the NW corner of River North for the past 10 years, I’ve learned to appreciate Scoozi as a fantastic takeout Italian joint – solid food, not extraordinarily priced, and they’ll have your food ready 15-20 minutes after you call. They give you a solid sized portion, not too little, but not like the massive portion that’ll give you leftovers for four days straight (like at sister restaurant Maggiano’s). I’ve now only actually eaten at the restaurant once, and I’m wishing I had more often. Unfortunately, now Scoozi is closing at the end of next month, likely to be turned from neighborhood Italian restaurant to the new hot LEYE restaurant – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s something to be said about the neighborhood charm that Scoozi brings – big enough that it can feel lively on a weekend night, but that you can walk in on a weeknight without a rezzie and grab a bite to eat.
The ambience is great – lighting is not overly dim, the staff very friendly. Our table gave us a great vantage point into the kitchen through the wine cellar / archway – I happened to be lucky enough to have the perfect angle, and may have taken the best pic with my iphone that I’ll ever take….
We started with the brussel sprouts salad, nicely tossed with pancetta and currants to add a bit of sweetness, well spiced with salt and black pepper and shaved parmesan. The vinaigrette was subtle and allowed the flavors in the ingredients to really shine here.
For an entree, I got the taglietelle bolognese, a pretty basic pasta dish, solidly executed . Nothing fancy, but the sauce had good flavor, the noodles not the freshest, but soaked up the sauce pretty well.
The pizza we had this night was a bit disappointing. The crust here is thin and cooked at a high temp, so it looks like it has that super thin crust char to it, but for some reason, our pizza was more chewy than crisp. The sausage was pretty flavorful but just a bit sparse. The addition of some fresh basil and the red peppers helped the dish though.
The meal was pretty standard for Scoozi – solid, nothing mind blowing. It’s a friendly environment and a great vibe – a nice contrast to a lot of other River North joints that seem to have a bit more attitude. The menu has a nice variety, and is very affordable. Unfortunately, it’s closing at the end of April, but I hope to try and get there before the closing.