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Lunch At Scoozi Ristorante in Clevedon

Published On Sunday 17 Mar 2024 by Sticky Beak
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Every now and then life presents an opportunity to combine business and pleasure, and when it does, The Man and I jump on that train PDQ! I had booked a cheeky night away for us a few weeks before, when His Nibs’ day job required him to go down to Bristol for a meeting; as luck would have it, it was only about an hour’s drive out of our way, so I decided to tag along and go and explore the coastal town of Clevedon whilst he did his actual job.

Although there’s a beach at Clevedon, I didn’t brave it as it was a tad chilly to say the least; instead, I wandered round the many independent shops and took in the friendly vibe of the town. Don’t ask me how, but I managed to resist the intoxicating aromas drifting from an artisan bakery! Thankfully, lunch had already been planned at a chi-chi Italian restaurant called Scoozi – love the play on words, very clever.

Scoozi’s interior is very modern and chic, but equally welcoming and relaxed and a lovely lady showed us to our window-view table. Water for the table was offered without being asked for, and our attention was drawn to the two-course lunch special that Scoozi offers: £18.95 pp, with a choice of any two courses and an ‘ombre’ glass of Frizzante. Turns out that an ombre glass is a dinky vessel not dissimilar to a sherry/liqueur glass; it might seem a bit small but, at lunch time, it was the perfect size to be sociable AND still be able to drive straight after eating, if needs be.

The Man Birds’ colleague had invited his partner over, so the four of us were chatting away, discussing life and - more importantly – what we were going to choose to eat! We all agreed that the best strategy was to go with starters and mains, figuring that we could always add on dessert if we had space. His Nibs kicked off with the Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato and Oregano Flatbread, I opted for the Grilled Vegetable Antipasti with Sherry marinade and Focaccia, and the ‘Bris’ol Two’ had the Melting Mozzarella Batons with Marinara Sauce.

Whilst we waited for the starters to arrive, I took in wonderful view we had of the open kitchen, smiling as Chef and his team scurried around to assemble their customers’ requirements. Scoozi is clearly a popular place; even at early lunchtime, midweek, it was 70% full – not bad, by anyone’s standards in this economic climate. Veering off the beaten track a bit, and going into girl mode, I have to mention the absolutely stunning floral arrangements that adorn several positions throughout Scoozi. Including the stylish vases they’re housed in, these magnificent, fragrant installations that included Orchids easily stand 3-feet high, and add a hefty dose of zhuzh and class.

When our starters arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the portions, and each one was colourful and visually appealing. My vegetables included grilled Peppers, Courgette, Aubergine and Tomato; all softened and tasty, their natural flavours intensified by the Sherry marinade. I used the three pieces of herb-topped Focaccia to mop up any residual juices on my platter, eager not to miss a single tasty morsel! Each Mozzarella Baton on the Bris’ol duo’s dishes were coated with a crispy crumb outer that highlighted its melting centre’s softness, and the zippy Marinara sauce partnered the creamy, mellow flavour of the Mozzarella beautifully. The Man was certainly happy with the clean, bright flavours on his Flatbread; the Oregano accentuated the sweetness of the Cherry Tomatoes nicely, and the Mozzarella brought a wonderful roundedness on the palate. Needless to say, a quartet of clean plates faced our server when she came to take them back to the kitchen.

The female half of the Bris’ol Two had the Margherita Pizza for her main (adding Parma Ham), the other half had Rigatone Salsiccia with Sausage and Roast Tomato - which His Nibs also chose – and I had Olive-crumbed Cod Loin on a Thyme and Tomato Risotto, though I had been tempted by the Gnocchi in Butter and Sage Sauce with Edamame Beans and Broccoli Spears. As before, it wasn’t long before our food was being placed carefully in front of us and we were offered freshly grated Parmesan to go with them.

Scoozi certainly don’t down-grade the proportions of their dishes at lunch, and definitely not when it comes to the pizzas! A thin, crisp base was loaded with vibrant Passata, mellow Mozzarella and salty, crisp Parma Ham: delicioso. This minx dispels the myth that Margherita is mediocre…in fact, it blows it out of the water, and then some! The chaps were happily scoffing their way through the al-dente Rigatone tubes, whose ridges provided the perfect surface for the unctuous sauce to cling to.

Thick slices of Sausage released their meaty flavour into the ragu, making this a very pleasing dish in the mouth. I appreciated the tangy notes of the Olives that coated my sweet loin of Cod; the balance of these two tastes was excellent, enhanced by the fragrant Thyme within the creamy Risotto and the sweet Tomato hint.

Although we’d had two courses and were satiated, we weren’t feeling sluggish or in a food-coma – ideal for those who still had a full afternoons’ work to do! Knowing that we had an evening meal included in our overnight stay, I declined dessert (as did Qube Dan), leaving The Man and the Foxy Female (FF, you know who you are) to complete the triumvirate of food. FF had the Scoozi Mess - a concoction inspired by the classic Eton Mess – and His Nibs went for Cannoli.

Even the ‘mess’ was stylish and pretty at Scoozi! Ripples of fruit compote adopted a pastel tone when drizzled through the sumptuous cream and pieces of Meringue, and whole fresh Raspberries and Strawberries provided more decoration. This easily contributes towards your 5-a-day target, so be justified to feel zero guilt when you indulge in the cream and meringue; FF certainly embraced the charms of this morsel.

It’s no exaggeration when I say that it’s been nearly 7 years since Cannoli passed the lips of The Man Bird! To be precise, it was when we were in New York City’s ‘Little Italy’ district that His Nibs last indulged in this iconic Italian sweet treat. Sweet pastry tubes were stuffed with creamy Vanilla Ricotta that melted in the mouths’ warmth, and Chocolate Sauce added a nudge of decadence to this lunchtime indulgence. Well if you’re going to have dessert, you might as well wallow in the naughtiness, eh?

From start to finish, the service had been spot-on: whenever we needed anything, a member of the team came straight over, check-backs were done at each course, and it was all done with a smile. If we lived closer, we’d definitely be paying Scoozi a visit in the evening, as well as numerous lunch visits – as it is, I have a sneaky feeling that business lunches could well be held here from now on, if The Man has any say in the matter! Clevedon, you’ve got a real pearler here – please support it and ensure it remains a fixture in your town. 

Hot Wings happily given here. To book a table, ring 01275 877516 or visit the website www.scooziclevedon.co.uk and hit the ‘book a table’ button. The website is easily navigable and you can browse the lunch, evening, and Sunday Roast menu’s as well as see opening times.

No incentive was provided to visit this venue read more

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