Zocco’s Italian Restaurant in Windsor

My very pretty, but pretty bland, eggplant parm

Friday night, as the snow started to come down, The Boyfriend and I headed to Windsor to check out Zocco’s Italian Restaurant on Day Hill Road. The Boyfriend had read a couple reviews about the place, and is well aware of my unhealthy love for eggplant parm, so he suggested it.

Zocco’s is in a strip mall, and looks like your average Italian family restaurant making an effort to be a little more upscale. The set-up was simple and the decor included large mass-produced “paintings” of vegetables, including an artichoke that amused me greatly, and a couple of large flat screen TVs so you don’t actually have to talk to each other.

The staff was friendly enough, despite some online reviews disparaging the service. However, I will say that the hostess looked like Little Girl Lost and Inefficient — it took her quite a long time and many unnecessary trips to clear off a booth for us. While the staff was friendly, they weren’t exactly coordinated — three different people came to take our drink order!

The menu is pretty confusing (and the website is a mess) — their entrees apparently change with the season, but they don’t explain that, so you’re left turning over menus trying to figure it out. The design of it also makes it nearly impossible to read — I have no idea how old folks manage! They had some interesting dishes, including their own take on lasagna roll-ups.

I, of course, ordered the eggplant parm and The Boyfriend decided on the chicken Marsala. The meals were reasonably priced — both well under $20, and they came with a salad. (The wine selection, while low end, is also incredibly inexpensive.) I think I was most impressed with the salad — it had a hefty amount of shredded mozzarella, as well as a nice selection of toppings on fresh lettuce. No iceberg and yellow tomatoes here. The best part was the addition of diced, cooked sweet potato which blended really nicely.

My eggplant was okay — a generous portion of the main dish and pasta, but it was lacking flavor in some parts. I wanted more sauce, more cheese, more flavor…more oomph. The Boyfriend’s Marsala was tasty but not mind-blowing, and the side of very lemony spinach was a little strong for my taste. Overall, it wasn’t a bad meal, per se, but it also wasn’t as stunning as I would hope a twenty minute drive would produce.

Overall, one-and-a-half salt shakers because a great salad can’t save the whole enchilada…or in this case, eggplant parm.

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