Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two For The Road: Snow and Co. and Garozzo's, Too

As last week wore on, I hit up a couple of local joints I hadn't hit as of yet.  One was a new kid on the block; the other a well-known tried and true favorite.  First up was Snow and Co in the Crossroads District and the second was local Italian favorite Garozzo's in the River Market area.

First up is young upstart Snow and Co in the Crossroads.  K and I, along with several of our coworkers, hit Snow up for a Thursday happy hour.  In fact, my coworker Jenai won a Snow happy hour, so it was an excellent time to try them out. The interior of Snow is all sleek and modern and ultraloungey with rows of comfy chairs and sofas perfect for get-togethers like these.  Snow & Co partners with many local tastemakers like Christopher Elbow Chocolates, Roasterie Coffee, 360 Vodka, Soda Vie and Boulevard Beer, so the selections of "artful frozen cocktails" and libations are impressively creative (and creatively monikered).  Jenai chose the Limey Bastard; a tangy concoction the drink menu says "gets your UK on" that consists of  Hendrick's Gin, Thatcher's Cucumber Vodka, house-made limeade and lemonade and fresh milk. Keith tried the provocatively-named Elbow's Sexual Chocolate featuring Christopher Elbow signature spiced chocolate, Cointreau, St. Germain and milk.  My own drink was my favorite among them all: The Flying Snow Squirrel; a "hot-tail" crafted with Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut Liqueur, 360 Double Chocolate Vodka and white hot cocoa with fresh whipped cream.  It was like a warm white-chocolate macadamia-nut cookie as cocktail.  YUH-hum.  I also love that they have a drink called A Kick To The Peaches that is named for the KC Improv Theater and their Kick Comedy Theater: housemade lavender simple syrup with Prosecco and peach liqueur.  The food was quite tasty as well.  We all split one of their pizzas or"'zas'' as they are listed on the menu.  We went with the Tuscan with fresh-diced portabella mushroom caps, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and mozzarella on lavash crust.  We also sampled the   K and I then split the Four-Cheese Panini with Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Provolone and Parmesan on two slices of seasoned sourdough bread.  Snow & Co's was a bit slow that Thursday night and that was unsurprising really as it was a frigid February night.  While my warm drink was perfect for this night, the specialties are, of course, those frozen cocktails made with fresh ingredients and I could see where this place would be hoppin' in warmer weather.  The front of the business has big garage doors and I could envision a summer night when this living room-as-lounge would be very lively indeed.

Next up is local Italian powerhouse Garozzo's, tucked away in the Columbus Park neighborhood.  Before arriving at Garoozo's though, we had spent the afternoon at the Home and Garden show at the American Royal.  These shows are where Keith gets to properly geek out as he revels in the presentations, display gardens and various gardening gadgetry.  For Kiko and I who accompanied, but were decidedly less nerded out over the show, we hung on the Home side, where we tasted items like dark chocolate balsamic vinegar and sampled wines with PRP Wine International (where my raves were centered on the dark, smoky South African Cape Root cabernet).  We were certainly ready for some hearty Italian fare when we made our way to Garozzo's. Garozzo's is 23 years old and was started by Michael Garozzo. I wrote of Cascone's in my last post and Garozzos is often spoke of in the same breath....something along the vein of which one is better than the other.  Both certainly have their rabid fans and this Saturday night at Garozzos was certainly proof of that.  Very grateful that I had made my Open Table reservation when I saw the boisterous crowd, we were quickly shown to our seats.  I was soon also grateful to have been sat in a booth as one of the dining rooms looked with the other diners to say the least.  Settled in, K and Kiko both kicked off with Italian margaritas and I sipped on the Rat Pack, a wicked stir of Grey Goose Vodka, Bomaby Sapphire Gin and a  pepperoncini. The drink seemed apropo with the Sinatra music playing in the background.  We enjoyed our starter was a stuffed artichoke that was stuffed with Italian breadcrumbs and topped with garlic butter.  The anticipation for Keith and I were for our main courses which were variations of the house signature dish: Checken Spiedini; marinated chicken breasts rolled in Itailain breadcrumbs, grilled and skewered.  Mine was the signature Spiedini called the Garozzo and was topped with a mouth-watering Amogio sauce of olive oil and fresh lemon, garlic, and herbs.  Keith ordered the Spiedini Samantha; served on artichoke hearts with alfredo sauce. Oh, how fabulous that Amogio on my Spiedini was despite the fact that some of it splashed into Keith's lap during its delivery to me. The server was mortified by her accident and made up for it in somewhat unexpectedly spectaular fashion.  She brought us not only complimentary Cafe Garozzos, hot after-dinner coffee drinks with unrevealed components (we guessed Franjelico -hazelnut, white creme de menthe - mint and white creme de cacao -chocolate) as well as delectable mini-cannolis that were made in-house.  There were also small packets of Shout wipes the server also brought.  We apparently were inspired by the server's spill as we found ourselves spilling and dropping everything in sight and ended up with a plethora of Shout wipes.  They worked like a charm and every restaurant should stock up on these babies.

Our two for the road were two we certainly enjoyed...can't wait to revisit both!


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