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Scossa Reviews

*NEW - Zagat Restaurant Guide - 2011
Scossa Restaurant and Lounge
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Zagat 2011 Washington DC, Baltimore Restaurants rated Scossa...
Extraordinary to Perfection under the Top Italian Cuisine category.
Food 27, Decor 27, Service 25, Cost E.

Review Highlights - An “unexpected find in a small town”, this “elegant” Easton eatery entrances “out-of-town guests” with its “sleek, sophisticated” decor, “big-city” service and “extensive menu” of “outstanding” Northern Italian fare (including “delicious homemade pasta”) complemented by a “huge” wine list; insiders insist it’s “worth the drive across the Bay Bridge”; P.S. sidewalk dining is “available weather permitting.”

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Zagat Restaurant Guide - 2010
Scossa Restaurant and Lounge
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Zagat 2010 Washington DC, Baltimore Restaurants rated Scossa Extraordinary to Perfection. Food 26, Decor 28, Service 24, Cost $45.

From its "beautiful" dining room to its outdoor patio (with "a lovely view" of Easton's old courthouse'), this "spacious", "sophisticated" spot seems "more Manhattan than Manhattan" it's rated No.1 for Décor in the Baltimore area and offers "inventive" Northern Italian "food to match", including "homemade pastas" that are "cooked to perfection"; factor in "earnest", "professional" service and it's no wonder surveyors say it "gets better every year."

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Zagat Restaurant Guide - Summer, 2009
Scossa Restaurant and Lounge
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Zagat 2009 Washington DC, Baltimore Restaurants rated  Scossa Extraordinary to Perfection.

From its "beautiful" dining room to its outdoor patio (with "a lovely view" of Easton's old courthouse'), this "spacious", "sophisticated" spot seems "more Manhattan than Manhattan" it's rated No.1 for Décor in the Baltimore area and offers "inventive" Northern Italian "food to match", including "homemade pastas" that are "cooked to perfection"; factor in "earnest", "professional" service and it's no wonder surveyors say it "gets better every year."

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Coastal Style Magazine - March, 2008
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Written By: Jon Westman
Photographer: Stephen Cherry







Owners with decades of combined luxury hotel and culinary experience in Manhattan have brought their to talents to Easton.

Elegance and sophistication are chicly combined with a backdrop of warm, rich colors, tones and décor - instantly setting the mood for a most enjoyable and intimate evening.

Add sensational flavors seemingly served straight from the heart of Northern Italy and warm, professional, yet unobtrusive service, and you have the ingredients for a truly memorable occasion.

Welcome to fine dining at its best. Welcome to Scossa.

For owners Grant Friedman and Giancarlo Tondin, whose resumés boast decades of luxury hotel and culinary experience in Manhattan, Scossa, centrally located on historic Easton’s Washington Avenue, is a culmination of their vast expertise.

Cozy, oversized banquette seating, a granite bar top, extensive use of wood and the restaurant’s trademark headless statue are stylish appointments that combine to set a refined, welcoming environment reminiscent of The Big Apple’s finest establishments. Friedman’s own photographs of Italian landscapes tastefully grace Scossa’s walls throughout and provide the finishing touch for an all-world experience.

Tall, flowing curtains cleverly disguise the entrance to the kitchen and the adjacent Scossa Lounge - a chic, metropolitan-feeling environment complete with sofas, club chairs, artwork and a bar. This trendy space serves a multitude of purposes, including hosting weddings and receptions, rehearsal dinners, corporate presentations and parties, as well for the enjoyment of a cocktail, dessert or dinner accompanied by live entertainment on select evenings.

Grant and Giancarlo personally managed every detail of the design and layout and not a single element has been overlooked. Using their vast experiences in some of the most famous hospitality venues, the pair, in association with Bountiful Design of Easton, has created a refined, welcoming environment rivaled only by the finest restaurants they left behind in Manhattan.

“People are very comfortable dining in this space, even by themselves during an early or late seating,” Friedman said. “There are points of interest in all directions.”

While coat and tie are not required, attractive attire fits perfectly with the cosmopolitan style at Scossa.

With an impressive list of top-shelf wines and spirits to choose from, along with the assistance of experienced servers, Scossa’s Bar and Lounge has become the locals’ favorite stop - whether after work during happy hour, or on the weekends for any social engagement.

Unique to the Scossa experience is its outdoor café. When weather permits, seating is limited for the opportunity to dine al fresco on the patio and adjacent sidewalk, which directly incorporates the picturesque charm of Easton’s historic town center. The full menu is available in the café and reservations are recommended.

When it comes to the menu, Giancarlo’s philosophy is simple - let the food speak for itself. Entrees such as veal Osso Bucco gremolada style, roast duck with merlot wine sauce, seared lamb chops with fine herbs, sautéed Atlantic salmon with vermouth sauce and filet mignon medallions with morel mushroom sauce, among other menu staples and daily specials, always impress. With an emphasis on quality, only the freshest ingredients are selected to create cuisine that reinvigorates traditional Italian recipes.

In continuing their elite customer service practices, the Scossa staff is more than happy to modify the menu to suit the desires of their clientele.

“Because the complementary sauces are prepared ala minute, they may be changed to accommodate the customer’s wishes for the evening,” Friedman said. “If we’re serving a veal dish, and the special calls for it to be served with gourmet capers but a customer would prefer a vincoto or mushroom sauce instead, those are accommodations we like to provide. We are very flexible with our menu. If you’d like to split a pasta dish normally served as an entrée, or conversely, upsize an appetizer to an entrée portion, we’ll say, ‘enjoy.’”

Tondin scrutinizes the restaurant’s reservation list daily as a tool to learn the favorite dishes of his regular customers - just one more distinguishing Scossa touch.

“I believe in a complete experience for our customers - from the moment they walk in the door until they moment they leave us for the evening,” Tondin said. “There are so many elements to the experience and we strive to provide them - from a warm, courteous welcome to their drinks to the meal until they leave us for the evening.”

“The most important element of customer satisfaction is the need to exceed the standard of excellence expected by the customer. That is our goal each and every day,” Friedman said. “Whether it is a first-time or returning customer, we are building a relationship with them. We strive to create relationships that will last for years and years - not just during the time a customer is inside the restaurant.”

“A restaurant is a daily operation. When you open the doors every morning, you must be at your best. Everyday is a new day and the professionalism and consistency must be matched from the day before,” Giancarlo said.

Scossa’s message is well received across the shore and beyond, thanks to features published in the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as testimonials from satisfied customers shared with family, friends and coworkers. It is quite common for patrons from New York, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Annapolis to dine at the restaurant - particularly during the warmer seasons of the year. Scossa’s reputation in these areas, as well as across the Peninsula, has very much made it “the see and be seen” restaurant of the Eastern Shore. World leaders and nationally recognized politicians, sports stars, Hollywood celebrities and Fortune 500 CEOs have dined at Scossa since it opened two years ago. Catering to high profile guests is Friedman’s forte, having done so for as many as 300 VIP guests simultaneously at some of the world’s most exclusive hotels. Those experiences have created the model for exceptional service at Scossa that extends from a celebrity dining privately to a local resident enjoying a cocktail at the bar.

“I want our customers to have great experiences to the point where they want to convey it to their friends the next day,” Grant said. “For me, that is the best compliment. For them to pick up the phone the next day or to see associates at work or socially and tell them that they have to try Scossa, that is the ultimate compliment.”

Friedman has more than 20 years of management experience in the luxury hospitality industry working for world-prominent Five Star & Five Diamond hotels. He began his career in 1989 with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts at the legendary Hotel Pierre in New York. In 1991, he was recruited for the grand re-opening of the world-renowned St. Regis Hotel, New York, which was ranked as the “Number One Hotel in the World” by the Institutional Investor. After 11 years at The St. Regis, he returned to Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Grant recently held an executive position at the Ritz-Carlton, Central Park, New York; named by Travel & Leisure as one of the "World's Best Hotels," and considered the flagship property of all Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts.

Tondin was born in Trento, near the Alps of Northern Italy. He began his career in 1982 at the legendary Harry’s Bar Restaurant in Venice, which has been owned and operated by the prominent Cipriani family for three generations. Today, Harry's Bar is ranked as one of the 10 best restaurants in the world.

In 1985, Giancarlo was reassigned to assist with the opening of Cipriani’s first restaurant in New York City and subsequently contributed to the expansion of eight additional locations including the renowned Rainbow Room. Tondin also consulted with Arrigo Cipriani in writing The Harry’s Bar Cookbook, which won the James Beard Foundation Award in 1992, and he has been a guest chef on several occasions for the prestigious foundation.

“There is a great chemistry between us,” Giancarlo said. “Our ability to work together and make decisions for the benefit of our business and our customers is something we are very good at. We share a tremendous vision and my confidence in Grant allows me to focus my energy and talents in the kitchen.”

“Giancarlo and I have a great respect for the talents and experience we bring to the business,” Friedman said. “For us, satisfaction comes from having an established restaurant that is solid in reputation and complete in its consistency for every customer visit after visit.”

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Zagat Restaurant Guide - Summer, 2008
Scossa Restaurant and Lounge
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2008 Zagat Restaurant Guide

This "impressive" spot in tiny, tony Easton is living up to its name (meaning 'surprise') with a "well-presented" Northern Italian menu from chef/co-owner Giancarlo Tondin (ex NYC's Cipriani empire); the "beautiful" storefront space has a "very New York feel", from its "elegantly decorated" dining room with leather seating and a granite-topped bar to a "posh" "lounge in back", leading some to say this establishment "could be tops."

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What's Up? Magazine Eastern Shore - May, 2007
Scossa Restaurant and Lounge
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This month, as we launch the premier issue of What’s Up? Eastern Shore, we also celebrate the 10 year anniversary of its sister magazine (and inspiration), What’s Up? Annapolis. For 9 of those years, many of our readers have faithfully followed the monthly restaurant reviews by culinary experts Giles and Kathy Syglowski. Having been asked to do monthly review for this magazine, my fiancé, Michael (a trained chef) and I (with many years of experience in the industry) decided that there would be no better way to begin our journey than by dining with the pair of seasoned experts that have gained the trust and respect of so many. Our first restaurant review took place at Scossa Restaurant & Lounge in Easton, with Giles and Kathy as our dinner companions.

In the heart of historic downtown Easton, in a picturesque location on Washington Street, Mike and I found Scossa. As we strolled through the restaurant’s glass doors, we could see patrons buzzing around the bar area, sipping cocktails and chatting with friends. We glanced around at our elegant surroundings and took a seat at the stunning granite-topped bar, to wait for the rest of our party. Moments later, I overheard a nearby couple discussing the bottles of Italian grappa on display. Could it be, I wondered? I approached the couple and asked if they might be waiting for us. “I am Gilles,” said the man. And so began our culinary journey…

Mike and Gilles, both chefs, started the conversation with a few tales of culinary adventures, and Kathy and I chimed in with stories of our own. Soon, our chatty bunch got down to business, focusing on the décor. Mike noted that the atmosphere was “chic, with a casual elegance,” while Gilles pointed out the “natural wood accepts and contemporary style.” Kathy and I were impressed with the soft lighting (given off by groups of strategically placed candles) and the warm, rich tones of the color palette, which range from soothing creams to dark chocolaty browns – all impeccably suited to the beautiful Mediterranean décor. At our table, I slid onto the luxurious faux ostrich skin bench that lined the banquette, with Kathy at my side. Across from us, the men pulled up their high-back Italian-styled chairs.

Ready to dive into Scossa’s Northern Italian cuisine, we each chose an antipasto. Mike felt that the soft polenta with beef ribs and montasio cheese was a must. The polenta was perfectly seasoned (it can easily be bland) and arrived piping hot, with tender braised bite-sized pieces of beef rib, and thinly sliced cheese melted nicely by the heat of the dish. Gilles ordered the fried calamari al’arabiata. The men concurred that is was perfectly fried with a light breading and very tender, with a traditional cocktail sauce. Kathy chose the prosciutto di parma (cured Italian ham), which came thinly sliced and was served traditionally with melon. She decided that this was the best ham she had tasted since she last visited Italy in 1998.

Although Scossa’s wine list was full of Italian selections (over 50 by the bottle, and many Northern varieties), Kathy and I agreed that a 2005 Groth.

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Exclusively Magazine - May, 2007
Scossa Restaurant and Lounge
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Nestled in the heart of quaint, historic downtown Easton is a restaurant that has earned its reputation as the place to see or be seen. From the picturesque front piazza, perfect for dining alfresco, to the alluring restaurant and lounge, Scossa provides everything one desires in an upscale dining experience.

A refreshing escape from today’s get-it-yourself world, Scossa’s welcoming, attentive staff treats customers like royalty, anticipating every need. Classically elegant, yet decidedly original, Scossa’s unique décor, warm glow of candlelight and background of sultry jazz create a suave, sophisticated ambiance conducive to social interaction.

Discriminating tastes shall not be disappointed by Scossa’s fine Northern Italian cuisine. Perfectly prepared generous portions impart exquisite freshness and rich flavor with each mouthful; and just as much attention goes into the lavish presentation. Compliment your meal with a selection from Scossa’s exceptional wine list or select from a variety of specialty cocktails. When it comes to dessert at Scossa, you won’t want to deny yourself. A work of art, the Chocolate Soufflé, literally bursts with warm, sumptuous flavor.

The dynamics of Scossa’s inviting lounge, while perfect for intimate parties can easily accommodate a soirée of nearly any size. With room for live music and a separate bar, it is perfect for any elegant affair.

Open since November of 2005, Scossa’s rapid success is neither accident nor surprise. Restaurateurs Gran Friedman and Giancarlo Tondin bring world-class hospitality experience in the creation of Scossa.

Coming from a background that accepts nothing less than perfect, Friedman’s distinctive taste and keen eye for detail are evident in every aspect of Scossa Restaurant, right down to the sparkling stemware and granite bar. Working for world-class Five Star & Five Diamond hotels including New York’s Ritz-Carlton in Central Park, the legendary Hotel Pierre and the St. Regis Hotel, ranked as the best luxury hotel in the world by Institutional Investor magazine, Friedman has nearly two decades of management and executive experience in the luxury hospitality industry.

Tondin brings global culinary talents into the equation. Born in Trento, Italy near the Northern Italian Alps, he began his career at the legendary Harry’s Bar Restaurant in Venice-one of the ten best restaurants in the world! Tondin, entrusted with the opening of the first Harry’s in New York City, has assisted with the expansion of eight additional locations, including the renowned Rainbow, (The Rainbow Room). Tondin consulted with Arrigo Cipriani in writing The Harry’s Bar Cookbook, which won the James Beard Foundation Award in 1992. He has also been a guest chef several times for the James Beard Foundation.

Friedman’s and Tondin’s passion for excellence and persistent desire to improve the Scossa experience prompted their latest innovation: The Scossa Club. Exclusive members will enjoy an array of educational and recreational events designed to satisfy cultural craving of an elite and sophisticated clientele. “The Epicurean,” for instance, offers Chef’s cooking classes, and gourmet food, wine and liqueur tastings, while “The Metropolitan” presents live entertainment and themed parties such as Havana Nights. “The Sport Enthusiast” will enjoy major sports events shown on the lounge’s large screen TV with menu, buffet and bar service.

While Scossa Restaurant and Lounge offers the epitome of luxury, it is neither overly formal nor pretentious, making it perfect whether you crave a cultured atmosphere, five-star service or an epicurean delight.

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Washington Times - April, 26 2007
Delizioso dining at Scossa worth Bay Bridge trip.
by Scott Haring
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Scossa Restaurant & Lounge deserves the praise it has been receiving for its cosmopolitan style and Northern Italian cuisine. Scossa is in Easton on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The small menu is joined each day by numerous specials, be they appetizers, main courses or desserts.

The restaurant opened in November 2005 and is proud of the menu created by executive chef and co-owner Giancarlo Tondin.

Co-owner Grant Friedman has been quoted as saying he wanted the restaurant to have a chic "New York comes to Talbot County" look and feel, and that it has. Mr. Friedman has more than 18 years' experience in the luxury hospitality industry; Mr. Tondin has worked in many fine restaurants from Venice, Italy, to New York City.

Scossa is in a redesigned storefront space across the street from the Talbot County Courthouse. The dining room impresses as soon as you enter the building. To the left, a large granite-topped bar runs the length of the room; to the right is the dining area, with leather seating; in the back, a chic private lounge.

Weather permitting, diners also can be seated on an intimate front patio. Large glass doors can be opened to make the dining room and patio all one.

Waiters thoroughly explain the menu, and in no time, grilled slices of crusty Italian bread partnered with thin breadsticks arrive. Olive butter provides an extra burst of flavor. Bread lovers will ask for more.

A traditional starter of prosciutto with melon ($13.50) set the bar high for the rest of the meal. Paper-thin shaves of the ham contrasted perfectly with juicy-sweet honeydew melon.

Other tempting appetizers included a fish soup; tomato and buffalo mozzarella; carpaccio with arugula and Parmigiano; cauliflower and red beets with chive goat cheese; and sauteed scallops and mushroom salad.

Pasta and risotto plates offered were risotto with squid ink; maltagliati Bolognese; tortellini or ravioli of the day; veal cannelloni with zucchini; taglierini with fresh peas; gnocchi of the day, or pasta of the day.

Sirloin tagliata ($27.50) with green peppercorn sauce was cooked perfectly medium and plated with the vegetable of the day. The sauce had a very nice bite but wasn't overpowering. The "vegetable medley" was one of the freshest and tastiest combinations of diced potatoes, carrots, snap peas, zucchini and herbs I have ever been served. The kitchen took something very simple and turned it into a unique creation.

The fresh fish of the day was a red snapper ($25.50). The preparation proved that a perfect sauce -- in this case a light red sauce rich with olives -- can enhance rather than hide the main ingredient. The fish was light and flaky, and its flavor stood out rather than being smothered. Roast rabbit campagnola ($32) is much more than a simple stew in the "country style," which its name indicates. The rabbit was tender and succulent, and the mushrooms and pearl onions helped balance the flavors, all pulled together with a sauce that offered layers of flavor.

Other main plates are the veal loin scaloppine of the day; sauteed Atlantic salmon with artichoke sauce; bay shrimp with cherry tomatoes and capers; baked Mediterranean dorata with rosemary; free-range organic chicken of the day or calf's liver alla Veneziana.

A small but impressive wine list is heavy on Italy's finest reds and whites by the bottle or glass. There are labels from other regions of the world as well.

Tiramisu is, of course, on the dessert menu, along with chocolate souffle and chocolate torta, but we went for something a little different. The mille foglie ($9.50) is the Italian version of a napoleon: the flaky pastry is layered with rich pastry cream, strawberries and whipped cream to make a luscious but light end to the meal. Crepes alla crema ($10.50) also offered a creamy filling, with just enough sweetness to top off the evening.

Scossa is open every day except Monday. The restaurant is about 30 miles from the Bay Bridge. It is well worth the drive.

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Trip Advisor - April, 2007 Read this review

Welcome to the World of Dining!
This upscale Italian,Euro-decor restaurant excels in serving innovative, chef-made pasta dishes. The wait staff is courteous, friendly, and enthusiastic. This is authentic Italian--not your usual spaghetti and meatballs menu! The oft-found overpowering garlic-ization of food is NOT what this chef's creations are all about! We had the pasta special which consisted of veal cooked just like (I wish) mama used to fix it...simmered all day in just the right it melted in your mouth. Then, the chef added wonderful homemade pasta tubes to finish the dish...a comforting, delicious, exquisitely tasty meal. My only wish is that we lived closer! Don't miss this WONDERFUL newcomer. Make your reservations now before the lines form past the Inn at Easton!
Pam, Ormond Beach, Florida
- Apr 13, 2007

Stellar Meal and Service!
We ate at Scossa today and I can't say enough. This was our second visit. I am teary thinking about the fruit tart. We are "foodies" and eat out a lot! I would rank this meal in my all time personal top three. The osso bucco was fantanstic. Even the carrots and zucchini served with were special. The bread is perfect, the olive oil was so good I asked for the brand, the ravioli was great, the beet and cauliflower salad made two not very favorite things absolutely delicious. I told the waiter that I would have liked smaller portions so that I could try more things. He recommended half portions for our next visit. We stumbled on this restaurant last fall on the way home from the beach. This time as well as last we were under-dressed and under-groomed. Both times the service was very attentive and friendly. Our visits were in the late afternoon so they were not very busy but if this were a "snobby" place we were the perfect candidates for a "shun" - it never happened. Not to be missed if in Easton and I would recommend as a destination!
Kim, Maryland
- Apr 8, 2007

Manhattan standards of eating come to Easton
This new restaurant is leading the way in the Chesapeake Bay area. The owner/manager is from Four Seasons Hotel & Ritz Carlton stock, the owner/chef is ex-Harry's Bar/Cipriani; consequently the excellent service is equally matched by the quality of the sophisticated Italian menu. My partner & I dined here in August in a dining room with modern decor, outside front patio area & separate bar area. A pleasant & relaxing ambience with attentive staff. The Italian dessert pancakes are to die for!
- Aug 15, 2006

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Maryland Life Magazine - January/February 2007
High Style Meets Home Style At Scossa
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When we heard about Scossa, the new restaurant in Easton, we were eager to check it out. To many, the thought of an Italian restaurant evokes visions of red-checked tablecloths surrounded by laughing guests passing platters of spaghetti and straw-clad Chianti bottles.

So much for the clichés. That Olive Garden image, the whole “When you’re here, you’re family” thing, couldn’t have been more off-base at Scossa. Owners Grant Friedman and Giancarlo Tondin (who is also the chef) set out to fling all red sauce and chewy breadsticks to the wind, and invited us to experience their vision of Scossa.

Yes, we did feel a certain familiarity in the setting, surrounded by friendly faces.  But the resemblance was more to places I’ve been to on Central Park South or Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. And our dining companions were a personable group of Scossa’s regulars who pulled up in their Porsches and Alphas, worldly people who are thrilled to call Easton home – at least for a few months of the year. People who think nothing of dropping in at Scossa for a plate of pasta when cooking at home isn’t an option (as I suspect, it rarely is).

For the rest of us, Scossa is a place for fine dining. Though sophisticated, neither the room nor the menu is too fussy. And this may serve to relieve us of that “special event” pressure of its neighbors in both Easton and St. Michaels, that handful of destination restaurants with well-known chefs that has put this stretch of the Eastern Shore on the culinary map.

Don’t get me wrong, renowned establishments like Sherwood’s Landing and the Inn at Easton are exactly why a place like Scossa will thrive. Our expectations about restaurant food – and prices – have been raised considerably, and we’re delighted to pay for food that is several sweeping staircases above steamed crabs and burgers, even when we aren’t celebrating a significant anniversary.

Much has been made of Scossa’s resemblance to a New York restaurant. The floor-to-ceiling sidewalk-facing windows with their burnt orange awnings that open the place up to al fresco dining; the expansive granite bar as you enter; and the comfy club chairs in the cigar-friendly lounge tucked in the back. But this kind of real estate in New York comes at a price: These days, that would be the ubiquitous 40$ entrée, no sides.  Sitting on North Washington Street across from the town courthouse, Scossa tops out at around $27 doe a velvety sirloin. Dream all you want about the Big Apple. I’m here to tell you this is a dining experience unique to Easton.

Friedman’s presence in Scossa’s austere dining room is so familiar, it’s hard to picture him anywhere. He’s the perfect restaurant host, standing off to the side in his bespoke suit to observe the magic and make sure everything is just so.

Chef Tondin is omnipresent as well: in the hint of curry in the lobster taglierini, the perfect crust on the salmon, the texture of the veal. And, of course, in the pasta itself, every sublime, chewy bite of it.  I doubt a guy who seems to thrive on perfection would sling around baskets of wan breadsticks, and he doesn’t. Instead, the breadsticks at Scossa are crisp and flavorful, and arrive at the table along with crusty bread and olive-laced butter – the perfect complements to a lush Italian aperitif or wine by the glass.

Friedman wanted us to meet some of Scossa’s friends and invited a few regulars – a commercial real estate developer, the owner of a manufacturing company, a lawyer, and a fundraiser – to join us for dinner. We ate more or less family-style, sharing starters of delicately fried calamari and prosciutto di Parma, sampling the pastas – taglierini with lobster and peas, fagottino with spinach and ricotta. Someone at the table ordered a bottle of Road’s End, a Pinot Noir from Oregon, to pour around, and then another and another (it wasn’t until later that we learned the stuff, situated somewhere near the center of a wine list comprising prices from $30-$500, was $120 per bottle).

Our group abandoned the family-style approach for the main course, though I was invited to sample the others’ choices.  The Dover sole with lemon and capers was simple and delicious, the osso bucco rich and hearty. One of the regulars ordered a veal parmigiana, a special order that did not appear on the regular menu.

There was an impending birthday at the table, and the kitchen indulged us by sending out a flambéed crepe drenched with Cointreau and accompanied by a candle-topped scoop of vanilla ice cream and a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
After another round of drinks, one of our companions asked Friedman if we could dance a bit in the lounge. We retired to the back of the restaurant to a pleasant beige room with a small bar reserved for cigars and private parties. A CD was found, and the next thing we knew, we were swaying to Frank Sinatra, pausing occasionally for a sip of cognac.

We couldn’t have felt more at home.

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Star Democrat - Ocotober 6, 2006
Scossa décor receives highest ranking in 2007 Zagat survey
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Easton - Scossa Restaurant in Easton garnered high marks from the Zagat guide reviewers.

Highest praise was reserved for the "New York feel" of the restaurant's décor, which earned 27 out of a possible 30 points, putting it squarely in the guide's "extraordinary to perfection" category.

Since only about 5 percent of the 1,051 restaurants included in the guide earned similar scores, co-owner Grant Friedman and designer Jamie Merida have much to smile about.

"Grant wanted the restaurant to have a chic, slightly edgy 'New York comes to Talbot County' look that would appear effortless," Merida said.  "My challenge was to create a comfortable environment for fine dining that would be both striking and classic enough to stand the test of time."

His solution was to use high quality natural materials, a soft, neutral color palette and furnishings with fine textures and strong clean lines.

Banquettes covered in faux ostrich skin invite diners to settle in and enjoy the restaurant's innovative Northern Italian cuisine.  Private parties are accommodated  in a stylish room behind a striking lounge that features a long granite bar lit by onyx pennants.

"Scossa reflects what those of us who love Talbot County have known all along," said Merida, who owns Bountiful, a local home furnishings shop.  "Easton is a sophisticated small town filled with people who appreciate fine quality."

Scossa is located at 8 N. Washington Street in Easton.  Reservations can be made by calling 410-822-2202.  Jamie Merida can be reached by calling 410-819-8666.

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Washington Post - September 3, 2006
Eastern Shore Allure
By Tom Sietsema

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The seductive restaurant tempts diners with fresh Italian fare in a chic setting.

The first of several sensual surprises at Scossa in Easton: a burnt-orange awning out front that provides welcome shade for diners who have gathered on the inviting patio. The restaurant's visual allure only gets better when you walk through the doors. A "Sex and the City" -style hostess looks as if she breezed in from Manhattan to take care of you, and the dining room could easily pass for something you'd find in the Big Apple, too, all subtle lighting, warm colors and fine textures (the banquettes are swathed in faux ostrich skin and practically swallow you in comfort). A stroll down a hallway leads to an equally appealing lounge set with tables for the inevitable -- and inevitably swell-looking -- crowds on the weekend. The intimate space, which includes a small bar, is dressed with relaxation in mind. A game of chess on the couch, anyone?

"We wanted something we wouldn't grow tired of," explains co-owner and general manager Grant Friedman, who launched Scossa with chef Giancarlo Tondin last November. "Something classic that we could live with for 20 years." Friedman, who went to high school in Easton, came to the project from hotels, specifically the Ritz-Carlton in New York, where he was an executive in charge of room operations. Tondin has worked for the Cipriani restaurant family -- think Harry's Bar in Venice and Downtown Cipriani and the Rainbow Room in New York -- since 1983. Their combined experience suggests that all your senses will be taken into consideration.

Sure enough, the fresh breadsticks are a treat. Slender and crisp, they're house-made and taste so. Seldom do flour, water, yeast, olive oil and salt reveal so much savor, and the accompanying olive-tinted butter adds a nice kick to the snack. (The chef hails from Northern Italy, where dairy products reign supreme.)

What makes me warm up to a lot of the food here is the quality of the ingredients and the way the kitchen handles them: with respect. Consider the tomato salad. The tomatoes themselves are fine, not great, but the clouds of cheese -- genuine mozzarella di bufala -- are terrific, and so is the basil-fragrant olive oil that streaks the plate. If all you know of mozzarella is the bland puck served on too many restaurant tables, this soft, slightly sweet cheese will be a revelation. Scossa's fried calamari is better than a lot of the competition's, too. Tondin soaks the seafood in milk and dredges it in a mixture of flour, semolina (for color) and bread crumbs (for more crunch). The result is a pale golden heap of tender-crunchy pleasure. Another substantial first course is yolk-yellow soft polenta topped with baccala -- milk-cooked cod mashed with garlic and parsley -- each component worthy of praise on its own but best enjoyed together.

The risotto rewards its recipient with stock-swollen grains of rice enriched with Parmesan and butter. Throw in some sweet clams and tomatoes, and you've got a soothing second course that will please those who like their risotto on the soupy, rather than firm, side.

Will it be fish or meat for your entree? Either path yields winners. A slab of local rockfish is topped with a forest of garlicky broccoli rabe, two fine ingredients sharing some white space, the fresh sweetness of one playing off the slight bitterness of the other. Equally good is thinly pounded veal, its mild flavor ratcheted up with a splash of marsala, as well as demi-glace. Colorful little vegetables dress up the center-piece.

The sleeper among the main dishes is liver and onions, and before you skip my plug for the organ meat, keep in mind that the naysayers at my table helped put a substantial dent in the plate as it was passed around. Using fresh calf's liver, Tondin slices the meat into nearly paper-thin sheets, which he sautes in a hot pan with extra-virgin olive oil, just so the meat gets crispy. He then adds onion, parsley, white wine and butter. On the plate, the stack looks like a gyro without its pita bread. On the palate, it tastes pretty wonderful.

Several desserts are made on-site, and those are the endings you want to investigate. Scossa's elegant tiramisu honors that classic marriage of spongecake, mascarpone and chocolate with its restrained sweetness and a blast of espresso. Intensely flavored blueberries and raspberries brighten a custard-filled pastry shell. The gelati, which is purchased by the restaurant, is merely satisfying. Crepes flambeed with Cointreau are better.

In Italian, Scossa is akin to "surprise," which sums up the way I felt after every meal at this destination restaurant: unexpectedly pleased to find such agreeable food in such a seductive setting.

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Salisbury Daily News - Thursday, August 10, 2006
Fine Dining Lives in Easton
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Scossa offers a simple, elegant dining experience for customers

Ask a barber who cuts his hair, a pediatrician who she would choose to take care of her own children, an attorney who would handle his divorce, and chances are you get the best of the best. Ask the Mystery Reviewer where he or she would eat on his or her own dime, and the answer, lately, is Scossa.

Italian for "jolt" or "shock," Scossa has mastered the art of simple, elegant food in a simple, elegant setting. "Quanto Basto" is the Italian ideal; "just enough" of everything. "We've been here twice in two days," confided the woman sitting at the next table. By the end of the meal, we could see why.

Scossa's classic décor begins at the sidewalk where owners Giancarlo Tondin and Grant Friedman have designed a European-inspired café for dining al fresco. Wrought-iron tables set with white napkins and water glasses sit among fountains and urns of greenery. A long red awning protects outdoor diners from the elements, and offers shade for indoor diners seated near the large front windows. Red is the accent here; the rest of Scossa's dining room is a palette of creamy white, crisp taupe and deep brown. Luxurious fabrics used throughout the dining room balance Scossa's heavy emphasis on dark wood and polished marble. Strategically placed candles flicker from high shelves and dim corners. The banquet area, usually an afterthought in most restaurants, is nothing short of spectacular.

We were lucky we got to Scossa when we did. Without a reservation on a weekend evening, we were offered a table behind the bar at 5:30 p.m. By 6 p.m., the restaurant was full. Even more telling that a few diners chose to bear the oppressive heat and sit in Scossa's café, rather than try another restaurant in town. (Reservations are a good idea on weekends; weeknights aren't as busy, according to our hostess.)

We were pleasantly surprised when the bartender, also our server, turned out to have the graciousness of a Southern plantation owner and the ability to do a dozen tasks at once. "I can make anything you want," he offered. He did, starting with a strawberry mojito, in between refilling our water glasses, translating the menu and offering suggestions to three other nearby tables. Scossa runs like clockwork.

The food here is northern Italian, influenced by border countries Austria and France. There is less olive oil, tomato sauce and dried pasta, more dairy, pork and polenta. Garlic is used liberally in both regions.

Paper-thin prosciutto piled over achingly sweet melon is a refreshing, traditional opening course. Polenta and baccala (dried, salted cod), braseola (dried, cured slices of beef) over lettuce, drizzled with olive oil and a slice of parmesan cheese each make a light antipasto dish. We watch as our dining neighbors savor scallop and shiitake salad, and chuckle as the very same self-proclaimed carb counter devours a plate of taglierini pasta with shrimp and mushrooms.

Semolina gnocchi, lighter than their potato cousins, are baked in a light tomato and truffle sauce. Veal piccata in Marsala sauce is heavenly, served with lightly sautéed summer vegetables. As much as we appreciated the dinner menu, a light lunch from Scossa sounds even more intriguing: endive and avocado salad, carpaccio and parmesan cheese, red beet asparagus with goat cheese. Scossa offers a soup of the day and fish soup every day, and a dessert menu that goes well beyond the ubiquitous tiramisu. We sampled chocolate gelato in a tall dish, and freshly-made crepes with summer fruit.

Not surprisingly, Scossa features a long list of Italian wine, which diners can browse on the restaurant's Web site.

Scossa's only irritant may be that it takes itself a little too seriously, promoting the dining experience as one equal to "the finest restaurants in Manhattan." "While jackets are not required," drones the video, "attractive attire will fit perfectly with the cosmopolitan style at Scossa." Elegant? Yes, we need no convincing. The downside to Scossa is that it's not closer to home.

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ZAGAT Survey - June 2006
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The name means 'surprise', and this "impressive" newcomer in tiny, tony Easton has done just that with "well-presented" Northern Italian fare featuring "great homemade pasta"; the "beautiful" storefront space has a "very New York feel", from its "elegantly decorated" dining room with leather seating and granite-topped bar to a "posh" "lounge in back.


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The Capital Newspaper, Annapolis, MD- June 2006
Dining out: Charming Scossa well worth trip to Easton
By Tom & Julie Mallonee
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From time to time, lured by the siren song of good eats, we venture abroad to restaurants recommended by discriminating friends. Such a place is Scossa, a new arrival among the several excellent establishments already gracing the uniquely sophisticated Eastern Shore town of Easton.

This charming restaurant, which faces courthouse square, offers not only a stylish dining room dominated by huge photos of Venetian scenes, but a separate bar-dining area (presumably for smokers) and graceful front patio for dining outdoors. It's swanky enough to welcome the dressiest of dressers, contemporary enough to welcome casual wear (tank tops and flip-flops would be pushing it, however).

As the decor suggests Venice, so does the menu lean toward Northern Italian cuisine. It is not long ... a couple of soups, eight appetizers, a half dozen pastas and risottos and eight entrees. But each item is made with only the freshest and best of ingredients, each is prepared to order. So if you want risotto, plan ahead - it's almost a 20-minute wait.

The bread basket is noteworthy. Grilled Italian bread, pencil-thin bread sticks and soft seasoned butter kept us nibbling right up to our first course.

For openers, we decided on Venetian style pasta fagiola ($8.50) but were told it was off the menu for this evening. Instead, we were offered a celery and potato soup ($5 cup, $8.50 bowl). Talk about serendipity! This substitute was major league, incredibly rich with good stock, silken texture and tons of flavor. Just hope it's on the menu when you go.

Parma ham with buffalo mozzarella ($12) made an excellent appetizer. The imported, smokey-sweet ham was shaved thin enough to see through, the cheese couldn't be fresher. And there was more than enough for two to share.

From the pasta section, we ordered semolina gnocchi with ham and tomato ($15.50). Now, we eaten a lot of these little potato dumplings in our time, some excellent, some not so. We've eaten them with marinara sauce, butter sauce, even Alfredo sauce. But we've never eaten any like this.

Instead of the expected little bite-sized pillows, these were about the size and shape of sea scallops. And light ... the lightest and airiest we've ever tasted (we're told the semolina flour is the secret). There were eight or nine of them, again enough for sharing, topped with minced prosciutto, a very light tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. They had been passed under the broiler to melt the cheese and served piping hot. Worth the trip alone!

Risotto may be had with sausage ($16) or shrimp and zucchini ($18). We opted for the latter and found the wait for preparation time well spent. Short grain abborio rice had been steadily stirred in what we think was a golden chicken stock until it was smooth and creamy, but left with just enough crunch for al dente satisfaction. Hiding within, an abundance of tiny, tender shrimp and colorful bits of chopped zucchini. Another to die for!

As noted, servings are ample, so adding an entree took some dedication. Curried bay shrimp ($24.50) tempted us, as did veal piccata ($24.50). But we are fond of organ meats and two styles of liver were on the menu this evening, calves liver in a port wine sauce ($27.50) and liver Venetian style ($24.50). We chose the latter, our only misstep of the evening.

The wine list is determinedly Italian. Of the 16 whites ($22-$91), 13 are from the mother country. The same applies to reds ($22-$305), with five of 26 from California, the rest Italy's finest. To our taste, the best Italian white is Gavi and Scossa offers the best there is, Gavi di Gavi from the La Scolca estate. We would have loved to try a bottle, but its $91 price tag would have destroyed our budget.

Instead, we settled for a glass of very pleasant Syrah ($9). House wines are also available by the carafe ($20) and half carafe ($12).

Desserts are four, plus a selection of fruit sorbets and gelatos. Crepes alla crema ($9.50) brought us three made-to-order crepes in a wonderful cream sauce laced with Cointreau. Imported lemon sorbet ($8.50) was not only piquant with fresh fruit flavors, but prettily served in a hollowed out frozen lemon.

There's a goodly list of after-dinner coffees, brandies and liquors. Years ago, when we first experienced grappa, it was a cheap, fiery liquor made from the seeds and skins left over in the winemaker's press. Now, it's still made from the same stuff, but has been reinvented as a restrained and refined eau de vie, with over a half dozen brands on the list. But frankly, we still didn't have the courage to try it.

Unless you're in the income bracket benefitting from the recently extended tax "reform," Scossa may not become your everyday restaurant. But put it high on your list for those special occasions when you want to impress someone, show how much you care, or just have to have a brilliant dining experience. We're saving our pennies.

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Chesapeake Life Magazine - April, 2006
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John and Jane Doe go Italian at Easton’s newest trattoria. Will our dining duo find the tiramisu of their dreams?

Jane: Nice cozy table for two, smack dab in the middle of the room. I just love being the center of attention. Crisp white linens, white plates…Hey, did you happen to notice our waitress is a dead ringer for Cate Blanchett, minus the Oscar? Where’s the bread?

John: Here it is. Great, toasted ciabatta. And a few breadsticks too – your favorite. I notice they’re going with a little pat of butter instead of olive oil. How old school. It’s certainly not an old school Italian restaurant though. It definitely seems “designed.” Big glowing candles everywhere, lots of brown and beiges.

Jane: My champagne is [gulp] – was – cooold, buubly, and plenty tasty. Let’s see. I think I’ll have the fish soup and calamari to start and then go for the pasta puttanesca.

John: Let’s see…I think the scallop and shiitake mushroom salad sounds like a delicious way to start. And for my entrée, the sea bass with lemon and caper sauce is tempting as well. But the osso bucco special with risotto Milanese sounds like a treat, too.

John: I gotta say there is an interesting crowd in here. I see a local real estate tycoon, several members of Easton’s Old Guard, even a few couples with kids in tow. I hear the bar and back lounge get pretty lively on weekend nights with twenty and thirtysomethings. Ah, our appetizers have arrived.

Jane: Wow…just look at my bowl of calamari. Yum city! It’s so delicately tender and crunchy. Not rubbery or greasy in the least bit. And the tartar sauce is very mild. Definitely nothing like the recipe they use to craft the crab cake topper. This calamari takes the prize for the best I’ve ever had. I like the ones that look like little fried spiders the best. Hey, get your fork out of my bowl. How’s the salad?

John: Another winner. The warm shiitake mushrooms go wonderfully with the sea scallops and what tasted like a balsamic reductions sauce. Really good.

Jane: Looks like you’ve got a little reduction on your tie…I can hardly wait for the main course. Did you take a look at the back bar room? It’s cozy enough enough to be the waiting area in a spa, where you lie around in a big robe waiting for your masseuse to come get you. I’m always glad that the other women look just as fat in their robes as I do. Do you know if real Italians run this place?

John: I hear the chef [Giancarlo Tondin] is from Italy and that he started his career at Harry’s Bar in Venice, before opening the Cipriani restaurants in New Yorl. Certainly an impressive pedigree for an Italian chef. I wonder how he ended up in Easton.

Jane: Wow. Homemade pasta, cooked to al dente perfection. What a treat. The puttanesca sauce is a bit mild, though. Seems like the power of the olives and capers take a back seat to the tomato base. And do I detect a touch of white wine? Definitely not at all like the potent recipe I use from the Silver Palate cookbook. But it’s a practical portion, which I appreciate. How’s the ‘bucco?

John: Excellent. Flavorful, succulent. Falls right off the bone.

Jane: Did you leave room for dessert and a glass of port?

John: Dessert? Of course. I notice they offer six desserts, and seven different kinds of grappa. Interesting…the vanilla meringue sounds good but so does the crepes all crema. Actually, I think I’ll go with the old Italian restaurant standby, tiramisu. I really think you should try the crepes, though.

Jane: Crepes it is. Haven’t had them in ages. I used to order them all the time when we used to go to Café Normandie in Annapolis. This would be a great place to try again in the summer. There’s a patio out those French doors, just like a European café. Did you see those cute little wall-mounted fountains out there?

Jane: This dessert is incredible. It’s filled with pastry cream and flamed in orange Cointreau. Goes great with the scoop of vanilla ice cream. And no, you may not have a bite.

John: I think the place holds a lot of promise. It’s already a hot spot on the weekend nights, and judging by the crowd in here on a Thursday, it looks like Easton is hungry for a place like this. I thought our waitress was phenomenol, and the service in general was as close to perfect as we could expect – not an easy task for a new restataurant.

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Internet Review - 1/05/06
Let me Digress

Roger Burt
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Here's another restaurant review for those who are inclined to eat around here in Easton, MD. Yes, I'm a busy little beaver today with three posts. Could it be there are some other things I am putting off? When we are in New York we have a favorite Italian restaurant called Il Grifone which is at 244 E. 46th. It is absolutely outstanding but not the subject of this review. Il Grifone comes to mind because last night we happened to go to a new Italian restaurant here in Easton (MD) with a decor which is New York sophisticated. It is Scossa and is on Washington St. opposite the courthouse in downtown Easton. The decor is softly neutral, very elegant and sparked with well placed lighting and luscious candlelight. I felt immediately at home and very, very comfortable. Such a pleasant feeling. Now, when I enter such a setting I am often afraid that I will be disappointed somehow. There were absolutely no disappointments. I chose a scallop and shitake mushroom starter which couldn't have been more lovely. I followed it with a light pasta dish. Roma circa 1962 was when I had a cenneloni like this. Heavenly shell with a meltaway stuffing of veal and cheese. My wife had a veal dish which was wonderful and it included perfectly prepared mash potatoes and vegetables which were neither too raw nor too done. We had chosen a carafe of the house pino grigio which proved to be the perfect compliment. We took a deep breath almost not daring to hope that dessert would be as good. The fruit tart flamed with Cointreau was beyond our hopes. Oh yes, I forgot the service. It was not to be faulted.

If you are ever in Easton, don't miss Scossa.

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Internet Review - 1/20/06
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Sitting in Manhattan, with every type of Italian food available (hell we even have places that specialize in Sardinian vittles) it is easy to smugly discuss the rest of America and how sorry we are that they will never know the joys of authenticity. We lament that there are people who believe The Olive Garden is even a version of Italian food, and we contemplate the misery it must be to consider Papa John's pizza, all while gleefully plucking rich, salty, peppery, house-cured coppa from raw wooden boards.

When the topic comes up of what would happen if someone opened a real place, we rather sanctimoniously accept with resignation that even if you could get the right products and only stressed that most Italian of edicts, the best possible fresh produce, no matter what you did people would come in and say, "I want spaghetti and meatballs." Your explanation that there are no spaghetti and meatballs in Italy would fall on deaf ears, they would bring up things like "Italian heritage" and get irate. Sadly, among the people I discuss this with, the consensus is that, no matter what your objective, the customers of America would make you morph into a ziti shop.

In spite of all this condescending conjecture, I have always believed that if a true talent went out there, set up shop, made authentic food, and stood by his/her integrity long enough, Americans would definitely come around and actually demand better food out of all of their restaurants. Italian food has always seemed the way in; well-made Italian food just tastes good, this is why no one is surprised when Mario beats people on Iron Chef. Mario makes food that tastes good, and that's why it wins, in spite of his not serving out of coconuts or using the circle mold.
Easton, is a small, well-heeled town on the eastern shore of Maryland, about 5 hours from New York by car. Easton is a fantastic place to go for crabs on a craft-paper-covered picnic table in the summer. And, as of December, it is a place to experience an Italian chef making serious Italian food with the Italian ethos.

If you drink, and I do, you are aware of Harry's Bar in Venice because they invented the bellini. If you eat, and I do, you are aware of Harry's because they created carpaccio. If you live in New York, and I do, you are aware of Harry's Bar because it begat the group of Cipriani Restaurants scattered about town. So when Thursday told me Giancarlo Tondin, the executive chef of the group, had left to open a restaurant with his partner, Grant Friedman (Thursday's brother), in Grant's hometown of Easton, I decided we should visit and eat.

Scossa is located at 8 North Washington St., in a storefront on a street of quaint, low, brick buildings. There is al fresco seating out front. Once you are through the doors you are at the head of a large marble bar listening to Italian language music. A quick tour reveals a lounge with couches, club chairs and its own bar about half way through the place, and a private dining area in the back. Next to the bar is the main dining area with ostrich banquettes and very comfortable brown leather chairs.

There are cues that you are in an Italian place all around (with quite a collection of grappa behind the bar, and an armless statue in the foyer) but if decorations made a place authentic TGIFridays would really be everybody's sports bar. A look at the wine list is the first clue that these guys seriously consider themselves Italian, and northern Italian at that. There are some great northern Italian wines -- Soave Classico, Teraldego, and Mullër Thurgau among others -- all well chosen and all indicative of the wines Italian people have with food. There is also a nod to the current respected wines of Italy in the form of a Sassicaia, and a Tigninello.

Lets face it, what matters in Italy is food, not ambiance, so all this work would be wasted if the food wasn't great. The good news is Grant and Giancarlo deliver on both.

I think my favorite dish was a shrimp risotto; it was rich and toothsome with the most Venetian of touches -- a little bit of curry. Venice is how eastern spices got to the rest of Europe, and the real cuisine of the Veneto is rife with touches like this.

I also had a sirloin steak with peppers. The steak itself was simply grilled and the pepporanata that accompanied it was slightly sour and slightly sweet and a perfect foil to the richness of the sirloin.

Nothing is more Italian than an understanding that the reason the name of the noodle comes first in the names of pasta dishes is because it is the main ingredient. If you respect the noodle and prepare it properly, a small amount of sauce acting as a condiment is all the dish wants. The three pastas I tried represented this perfectly.

First was the Gnocci, seven light-as-air spinach gnocchi topped with a touch of simple tomato sauce and grated grana, baked in an oven-proof dish, this was the perfect way to show a mastery of the little dumplings.

I also had a Carbonara, which was genuine. For some reason, many Americans view carbonara as an alfredo sauce with bacon in it. In reality, it is egg, bacon, cheese, and black pepper goodness. Carbonara means something like "the guy that sells coal" and I have been told this is because of the look of the pepper on top of the finished dish. A great carbonara, one comprised of a properly cooked noodle with sweated bacon, a raw egg and a fistful of grated Parmesan all tossed with copious amounts of black pepper, is amazing. The dilemma is many people fear serious doses of pepper, even in a dish with the cheese and egg yolks to temper it, so no chef can go as nuts on it as it deserves. When you find a good one like this, ask for more pepper, and go as far as you dare, it gets better with every twist of the grinder.

Maltagliati Bolognese was the third pasta and it stood out for the finesse with which the noodle was made; think tagliatelli rolled to a thin gauge and cut into three-inch rectangles. The bolognese was rich and had the depth of a slow-cooked ingredient, but the mastery of this dish was exemplified in the bite of the noodle, resistant and resilient.

As far as antipasti go, the carpaccio is as good as it better be from a guy with 25 years in the upper ranks of the Cipriani group. The calamari has a crust with the light crunch of soft flour rather than the denseness of the harder flours of the southern Italy. The polenta with mushrooms is exactly what you would want after a day of autumn hunting. There are prosciutto and bresoala dishes as well, Proscuitto di Parma with real buffalo Mozzerella, these things are sometimes hard to find, even here in NYC. The high point was a special of tuna loin rolled in black pepper and served with lentils. Something in the combination brought out an amazing umami flavor I have seldom experienced in Italian cuisine.

Both nights we were at Scossa it was full. That bodes well for it's future and of course I like that because, ultimately, maybe this is the place that proves that, given an opportunity, people will appreciate better food, and I would love being right.

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CityBizList Baltimore - 1/24/06
Rediscovering the Eastern Shore
Lynn Warfiel
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EASTON – A chic and stylish new venue where one can sip prosecco at the expansive granite bar, this sophisticated restaurant could just as easily be in New York City. “Scossa” means “surprise” and what a surprise, indeed, in Easton, MD. Chef Giancarlo Tondin comes from Cipriani in Manhattan and co-partners with his brother-in-law, Grant Friedman, to create the most fashionable new restaurant on the Eastern shore. The wine list is constructed with knowledge and forethought, and less expensive house wines are offered by the glass and carafe. All of the pastas are homemade (we had the Carbonara and the Gnocchi), the meats and seafoods fresh and subtle. We were impressed with the presentation and quality of our meal and the competent service we found here.The décor is opulent but the dress is casual/chic. Reservations are a must because everyone wants to be here. Bar tables are not reserved, but are most likely filled by 7pm.

For more information, call 410-822-2202.

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