My wife (Sandy), daughters (Mags 19 & Mo 11), and I ate dinner at Kouzzina on 6/19/2011 (Father’s Day). This was our first visit. We were on Tables in Wonderland.
My wife and I had Kouzzina Ritas as a cocktail. They were okay.
For Appetizers we shared Kouzzina Spreads (according to allears.net it included Harissa Yogurt, Chickpea Hummus, Eggplant Spread, Skordalia, Whipped Feta with Peppers, and Tzatziki). It ended up working out because it seemed like everyone enjoyed half of them… but a different half. This is something that I noticed with all of the “spread” appetizers… they give you more spread than bread (or crackers or whatever). We often ended up using the bread on the table, and I have to admit that spoons were used if there was no bread…
For entree, I made a very poor decision… I ordered the whole fish based on the server’s recommendation. It was a mediterranean fish that I could have sworn he said was a Dorad. It was exactly the kind of flaky white fish that I don’t like, and it was huge. I am not good at fileting fish (Mags normally laughs when I try to do it and will do it for me), so I had the person that brought the food (not our server) filet it tableside for me. She admitted that she wasn’t very good either. :blink: Anyway, I thought it was very bland, and there must have been a billion small bones (no matter how careful, I had at least one with every bite). I paired it with the Coranation Sauvignon Blanc which was a very good pairing but seemed pricey at $13.00 a glass.
I wish I would have ordered the Fisherman’s Stew like Sandy did (Scallops, seasonal Fish, Shellfish, Fennel, Grilled Bread, and Ouzo Butter). She liked it, but it wasn’t her thing. I thought it was excellent.
Mags ordered the Strip Steak which was an odd choice for her; she must have really struggled with the menu. She enjoyed it.
Mo ordered the server’s vegetarian recommendation which was not on the menu. She absolutely loved it, and I think felt special ordering something not on the menu. I thought it was okay, but, hey, I’m not a vegetarian. :laugh:
For dessert, Mo had the Chocolate Budino (Warm Molten Chocolate with Whipped Sweet Cream), Mags had the Loukoumades (Freshly Made Greek Doughnuts drizzled with Warm Honey), and Sandy and I split the Baklava. The Baklava was dry; I think it had been sitting around for a bit. Everyone liked the Budino and the Loukoumades, but to be picky I thought the Loukoumades were too soggy.
A big plus at Kouzzina was the coffee… Sandy and I shared a Press Pot coffee and Mags had a Frappe.
Our Server was Dale. I’m still not sure what I think about him. Dale was more salesman than server. He started - and I took this as a bad sign - by explaining that the menu is not authentic Greek (a complaint that I’ve read more than a few times but doesn’t matter to me). His knowledge of the menu was excellent. He steered us away from the Ouzo-tini after his description (strong licorice taste) which was good, but then pushed the reserved wine list and suggested ordering full bottles of wine multiple times.
I have to give him a big thumbs up for how he handled Mo. Really, 11-year old vegetarians are kind of a pain. :laugh: She struggled with the menu, but when he suggested that he puts together his own “off the menu” vegetarian meal at the same price at the Spiced Briani she was very happy.
He disappeared at the end of our meal though. Kouzzina was dead for our first hour there, but they were 80% full when we left.
I liked all of the wood in the restaurant, but then again I love the Wilderness Lodge. It didn’t feel dark due to the windows facing the boardwalk and it was also very open.
In some ways, it straddles the line between casual and fine dining. I think it falls just on the casual side of things, but there were some parties dressed a bit nicer and you can put together a big bill here. Next to Le Cellier, this was our second largest bill of the trip.
Overall Ratings and Conclusion
Okay… so my rating is unfair. Had I ordered the Fisherman’s Stew, I probably would have been a 3.5… maybe even a 4. Mo was obviously influenced by the special attention she received, and I was absolutely thrilled that someone enjoyed their meal that much. :happy: