One our favorite restaurants on The Boardwalk was Spoodles, which closed in 2009 and then re-opened as Kouzzina by (Iron Chef) Kat Cora. When we were planning our Dec. 2009 trip, we decided to try Kouzzina in our quest to mix each trip with something old/ something new when putting together our ADR's.
Due to a family illness, we canceled that trip so when putting together our ADR's for this trip, Mary still wanted to give Kouzzina's a try. I looked at the menu at AllEars.net and wasn't 100% sure if something I'd like but was willing to give it a try. Finding I'm a little more adventurous than I thought.
We met up with my Twitter friend Traci and her husband Kevin the day before at Aloha Isle in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom and had a Dole Float while there. How could you not? :)
Traci & Kevin ate there the night before and had an awesome meal (the Traditional Whole Fish) and told us we wouldn't be disappointed. Even with a trusting testimony, still had apprehensions up until the moment we sat down and began looking at the menu.
Interior wise, the restaurant looked no different than when it was Spoodles. If not for the name change on the exterior building, wouldn't have realized I was in a different restaurant. We're always quite fortunate in who are server is and once again, had another excellent server. Bobby was very helpful in explaining items on the menu and shared his own personal experiences meeting Kat Cora when she visits the restaurant. I still couldn't help wondering, 'was this the right choice for me?'
To take the edge off some, I decided to start the meal with a Wine Flight, three 2-ounce pours for tasting, which are designed to make the Kouzzina dining experience very special discovering the pairing of food and wine through these wine flights. I opted for the California Fruit Bombs which consisted of the following:
- Graff Family, Grenache, Monterey County -Juicy ripe red fruit and spice dominates the nose with wild strawberry jam and peppery spice, warm, rich and softly textured.
- Edna Valley Vineyards, Syrah, Edna Valley - Distinctive spiciness and peppery perfume with blackberry and black cherry flavors, leather and smoky oak with soft and ripe tannins.
- Zen of Zin, Zinfandel, Old Vines, California - The nose is full of vanilla, plum, and spice, ripe on the palate with spicy blackberry jam, chocolate and toffee flavors.
Have never had calamari served with breaded lemon but whoa! what a great combination. They were served with spicy yogurt and garlic yogurt. Could have easily made a meal out of this :) Other appetizers ordered were Vongole (Manila clams, Calabrese sausage, wine broth, and garlic croutons) and Spanakopita (Traditional phyllo pie of spinach, feta, leeks and dill).
As we finished our appetizers, our main entrees were served. This was a tough choice for me as I'm not much of a red meat person, preferring chicken and/or fish. Decided on the Pastitsio, a Greek-style lasagna with Bucatini pasta, cinnamon-stewed meat sauce and bechamel. The way in which Bobby described the meat sauce, intrigued the majority of us to make this our entree (piato) option.
Mary and Toni opted for the same choice and Bob went with the Oak-Fired Pork T-Bone, served with farmhouse greens and citrus-fennel marmalade . We were all quite pleased with our choices and think they were all relieved I ended up liking Kouzzina's and even said, 'I would consider again.' :)
It didn't end there, no meal is complete without dessert and made another great choice in the Baklava, a traditional walnut and cinnamon pastry with pistachio gelato and a French Press.
Other choices at our table were Chocolate Budino Cake, Greek Cookies and Loukoumades (freshly made Greek doughnuts drizzled with warm honey). We all decided to choose something different to have a little variety in what ended up being a good choice and another great, memorable evening.
In spite of all my apprehension and reservations, would definitely do Kouzzina's again.