If you’re rich and have good taste, it’s your gastronomic duty to eat at Lazia
It’s a gorgeous summer night in the Crossroads. After a long, hot day, the sun has finally set and it’s beginning to cool off. Couples duck in and out of bars, laughing. Shoppers carry their purchases back to their cars. Groups of friends circle up, trying to figure out where to go to dinner.
If I were a wealthy young professional and not a broke college student, I would be nominating Lazia as my restaurant of choice.
The mark of a good restaurant is good bread. This is according to the College Bible, which states that you must fill up on appetizers so that you’re able to take some of your main course home as leftovers.
The house-made focaccia ($6) is very, very good bread. Pair it with the whipped ricotta ($9), made with local honey and pistachio butter, and you can’t do much better.
Luckily, I did get the opportunity to attend dinner at Lazia, the Italian restaurant in the Crossroads Hotel. At the media dinner Aug. 11,
I was able to sample some of the best offerings at their summer menu preview (for free!), courtesy of Chef Aaron Wells-Morgan and the excellent staff.
We started off with a round of cocktails. As someone who usually bases her drink order off of what everyone else is having (“Moscow Mule, please!”), I felt extra adventurous when drinking Roxanne’s Revenge—a gin concoction with lavender, ginger, and sage. I adore any drink that makes me feel like an affluent socialite.
I’m going to be honest—I am not an especially experienced alcohol drinker. If you’d like my opinion anyway, this was the best cocktail I’ve ever had.
The fonduta pizza ($17) is not like any pizza I’ve had before. Although it’s sweet, it’s not comparable to Pizza Hut’s Ultimate Hershey’s Chocolate Chip Cookie. Instead, it’s a subtle sweetness, brought on by the onions and potatoes. The pizza oven in the lobby is a beautiful, dome-shaped spaceship serving it up Napoletana style. My +1, my only Italian uncle, was in suitable awe of the oven—even more so after we tasted the pizza.
The part of the meal with the most presentation, however, had to be the hand-pulled mozzarella ($38). I had to restrain myself from clapping as the cook stretched it out in front of us. I love cheese, and I have the good fortune to not be lactose intolerant, so this was utterly mouthwatering.
The primi, or the beginning main course, included three types of pasta. As a self-respecting Italian, my uncle is serious about carbs. The standout for him was the saffron paccheri, which featured the most tender lamb either of us have ever eaten. He describes it as “perfectly al dente.” This dish is not yet on Lazia’s public menu, but keep an eye out.
I’m not a dedicated meat eater, though I haven’t made the leap to vegetarian. Pork has never been one of my favorite dishes, but I would reconsider everything for another bite of the milk-braised pork shoulder ($75 / $125).
I became indescribably jealous when I first learned that mantis shrimp can see colors that humans can’t even imagine. Now I’m glad that I’m not a mantis shrimp, because they will never be able to experience the pork shoulder’s braised fennel, carmelized peaches, and my first-ever taste of polenta.
The encore was a still-warm bowl of Italian wedding cookies with cherry centers. They earned my uncle’s seal of approval and my undying love. Anything with powdered sugar is typically a resounding yes in my book.
These cookies had me walking out the front door with a smattering of white dust across the front of my dress, and I couldn’t be happier.
If you have the money, please don’t be a boring rich person with horrible taste. Put on your pearls, or diamonds, or whatever rich people wear, and have dinner at Lazia.