The Schoolhouse

34 Cannon Rd. Wilton, CT 06897 • (203) 529-7751 • schoolhouseatcannondale.com

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I love New York City. I love it times infinity. For providing a virtually limitless array of culinary experiences ranging from dives to the exquisite and every nationality or cultural niche you could possibly think of. But the one thing New York can’t do is be a quaint, refurbished schoolhouse like something pulled right out of the show, Little House on the Prairie.

But as unique and charming as the Schoolhouse is, it’s definitely not what I would call dressy, per the classification on Yelp. Unless you consider a fleece and chinos dapper. That said, the place is still a class act from the service to the seasonal menu, which not only rotates based on the harvest, but by party. And what I mean by that is that the menu itself actually has the name of your party printed right on it! Nice touch.

Starting class off with a lesson in awesomeness, the parsnip and apple soup was superb- well, initially it was served a touch tepid, so we asked them to heat it up, but after that, it was sheer perfection. As were the mussels with cauliflower. Such a simple twist on a classic dish that not only made it unique, but brilliant to taste, as the cauliflower served as a blank canvas to soak up the delicious broth.

The only slacker in first period was the salad with squash, goat cheese and pecans. It was bit over-dressed and comparatively, a bit underwhelming.

For the main event, we covered three different options on the menu with the branzini going to the head of the class. Best entrée of the three by far, served over a creamy celery root puree, along with roasted beets that made this dish an A++.

The NY Strip was cooked perfectly, served over mashed potatoes, with caramelized onions and broccolini, but having just had the transcendent beef tenderloin only days before at The Inn at Pound Ridge, I couldn’t help but find myself wanting more from the Schoolhouse strip. I also felt similarly about the duck, not that I had just eaten that at Pound Ridge too, but I did find myself craving more oomph, especially in light of such previous highs such as the soup, mussels and the fish.

Before class was dismissed, we stayed for extra credit, ordering the chocolate soufflé for dessert. And while very good, it is served with a completely unnecessary chocolate dipping sauce, because the soufflé itself is plenty ooey-gooey and chocolaty all by its lonesome. Also, I found the homemade vanilla ice cream served with it just okay.

All in, when you take into account the novel experience, culinary craft and the fact that even the misses were still pretty solid, it’s hard to give The Schoolhouse anything less than four knives, but to be fair, I am grading on a curve.

4 teeth

Mezzaluna

Palmarina Yalıkavak, TK, 48990 +90 252 385 4292 • mezzaluna.com.tr
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I know it seems absolutely dreadful that I went all the way to Turkey to eat at a place I could have also dined at back home in New York, but we were in the Marina craving Italian and we weren’t about to throw down our life savings to eat at Cipriani (which I could also have in NY- just sayin’) , nor was it an option to sit anywhere near those obnoxious squawking parrots and macaws. So, that left us with Mezzaluna, which isn’t exactly the coolest place in the Marina, but that didn’t seem to be hurting their business any, because the place was packed. I recommend going on the earlier side if you want to sit on the roof and have the better view.

But the fact that they were so packed only made it that much more surprising how good the service was. Our waiter was friendly, calm, attentive and accommodating. I know this sounds rather basic, but to draw more attention as to just how accommodating, he moved our table to an area were there were no tables, just to shield us from all of the kids at nearby tables, since it was just wifey and I. Then, when the mosquitoes started to attack, he fetched us bug spray. And when my wife got cold, he cuddled with her. KIDDING. I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

As for the food, the panzanela salad was a bit of a miss. Pretty basic and not all that flavorful. Whereas both the pizza and the rigatoni proved to be pretty damn skippy for Turktalian. Perhaps that’s the upside of having roots back in good ole NYC.

The rigatoni is Sicilian style with beef tenderloin and eggplant in a nice red sauce that is only made nicer by the addition of chili oil- so be sure to ask for some. And the pizza was the Salsiccia. Part veal sausage, part green peppers and caramelized onion, and 100% all right, all right (to be read like Matthew McConaughey).

So nothing epic, to be fair, but it held its own against the likes of Vespa, which is the only other pizza place I trust in the Bodrum area. And our server really did go above and beyond, pulling in one extra knife for Mezzaluna all by his big, bad self.

3 teeth