The scene: Mezzodi’s has been in a south-side fixture for years, with management taken over by Orchestrate (Centro, Django), about two years ago. The restaurant’s name means “mid-day,” so an early afternoon stop for some appetizers and drinks made a lot of sense. It’s also close to the Fleur Cinema, for when a premovie bite is in order.
Mezzodi’s has an eclectic look, with lots of colored glass and wood to draw your eye. The crowd was equally eclectic, ranging from older women out for lunch to (judging by the tattoos) half a metal band sitting next to us. Everyone seemed comfortable.
The menu: The menu is heavy on pizza, pastas and Italian sandwiches — reflective of the south side itself. Mezzodi’s isn’t too pricy, with few dishes going over $20.
Shrimp scampi, chicken Florentine and prime rib are listed alongside dishes like wild mushroom risotto, raspberry chicken salad and mahi mahi.
A big plus on Mezzodi’s menu is that each dish comes with a pairing option for wine, taking the guesswork out of your order if you decide to follow it.
What we ate: Mezzodi’s appetizer menu isn’t extensive, but there are some great options. Our first selection was the cheese bread, $6.99, which might sound like a boring option at first, but the fact that it’s made from South Union focaccia made it stand out more than one made from your typical Italian loaf. The mix of Parmesan, mozzarella and garlic with the bread’s seasonings was heavenly.
Next up was an order of stuffed banana peppers, $8.99, which was amazing. The dish consists of beef and pork sausage stuffed into peppers, then topped with marinara and mozzarella. It was a filling dish, with some wonderful heat to it. If you’re having drinks, make sure you get some water so you’re not guzzling a martini to put out the fire.
What we drank: Mezzodi’s has a huge martini menu, and each costs $5, all the time. I went with the Grazie, made with Absolut pear, Smirnoff orange and limoncello. My co-worker ordered the Hot Blooded, made with Smirnoff, bloody mary mix, Tabasco sauce and olives. The Grazie was very cooling, while the Hot Blooded only amped up the heat of the peppers. Take that into account if you’re ordering the drinks and the appetizer together.
Find it: 4519 Fleur Drive
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Specials: Half priced appetizers and pizzas, and $1 off drinks 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday I
nfo: mezzodis.com or 287-3333