Dining at Dizzy's | Rock Candy

The Tuxedo pasta at Dizzys

Dizzy's isn't far from the old Fortress of Employment, and I've never had a bad experience there. Usually I can't get behind big, boxy restaurants, but Dizzy does a great job of summoning atmosphere...or maybe it's just that, growing up a mere skip from New Orleans, I'm a sucker for that purple, green and gold Mardi Gras color-scheme. I love the wine bottle bar chandeliers almost as much as I love the over-sized baubles dangling from the dining room ceiling, and it's always fun to see which of the (actually painted) masterwork replicas we can identify by name and artist. I also really appreciate that some pastas are available as half-orders.

So a friend and I stopped in for lunch yesterday, and as usual, nothing disappointed. First off, Dizzy makes everything to order, so bring your friends with nontraditional diets! Every pasta dish can go vegetarian and some can go vegan. (A gluten-free coworker also eats there frequently, although I doubt she's ordering pasta...)

We had the Grilled Buffalo Mozzarella sandwich and a half-order of The Tuxedo pasta, both of which come with an appetizer salad. I recommend the house-made Black Truffle dressing, a tangy, sweet vinaigrette with only a slight hint of earthy truffle. Try it if you like vinaigrette. If not, go with the creamy Peppery Parmesan.

The Tuxedo has farfalle (bowtie) pasta tossed with succulent chunks of grilled chicken, salty black olives, juicy artichoke hearts and a mixture of marinara and alfredo sauce. Talk about comfort food! The Tuxedo is a nice, somewhat subtle blend of flavors and textures. The most accessible, evenly distributed flavor is garlic, and both my friend and I dug the mix of marina and alfredo. It made the whole event lighter than an alfredo pasta has any right to be (major plus in our book), and it was the perfect blend of savory and sweet, creamy but not congealed. The chicken was incredibly tender and moist, cooked so soft that it disintegrates on your fork.

The Buffalo Mozzarella is nicely seared — warm, but not steaming, which means the marbled rye remains crispy and the tomato remains plump. The sandwich is super light — just the right lunch size — but the protein punch of the mozzarella meant I was well-sustained throughout the afternoon. For such a dainty affair, there's loads of flavor — whole fresh basil, chopped spinach and onions and a nutty pesto mayo. The mild, very fresh buffalo mozzarella was a nice carrier for the more powerful accents (sharp garlic, clean, sweet basil), although one of my favorite things about buffalo mozzarella is how deceptive it is. There's more flavor there than you think, it just takes a moment for the fullness to reveal itself. A sprinkle of parmesan tops the sandwich, adding a sharp, savory kick.

So yeah, really, I have no criticisms or suggestions to offer. Dizzy's, keep up the good work!

Grilled Buffalo Mozzarella from Dizzys

Dizzys side salad with Black Truffle dressing

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