Recently was visiting New Haven with others on a Wed.and stayed at La Quinta Suites and Inn on Sargent Drive, just off I-95. After the drive, was not looking for another drive for dinner and after checking some reviews and asking the hotel desk clerk, decided to give Brazi's a try - a short walk away. Have to admit to some concern since Brazi's , although the facade is actually quite attractive, is located at the long end of an active trucking terminal building in an industrial park across from harbor.Overcoming my initial apprehension, I walked through the doors.
Was immediately greeted and asked if a booth or a table was preferred, and was escorted to a rear booth. Once inside, thoughts of the external setting faded as the inside was large, open, attractively decorated and appeared well maintained. There was a full bar to one side, a central oval shaped eating area of tables defined by a balustrade, surrounded by an outer ring of tables, a raised area of additional tables and a rear wall of booths including our own.
We were greeted within minutes by our server for the evening and provided a wine list which although limited, had a sufficient assortment of reasonably priced reds and white mostly from Italy and California. Settled on a Araldica Castelvero Cortese , a white piedmontese. The bottle arrived with an ice bucket without having to request one which is always a good sign. One of our party preferred a red and ordered a glass, and the pour was less than generous so a bottle is a much better value. After ordering, the food arrived promptly and was served hot. Of the three appetizers, the Artichokes and Shrimp Francese - a special - was the best. The Mozzarella en Carrozza tasted alright but would have been better in not over-fried, while the Fried Calamari disappointed as it was bland, with the squid rings tough and rubbery. Would have otherwise rated Brazi's a 4.
Fortunately, the entrees compensated for the poor start. A Penne ala Vodka for $13.95 was flavorable, tender, not over-sauced and generously portioned - it could easily be shared by two. Of the three personal sized pizzas, the Meatball Pizza was good at $8.95 but would have benefited from more of the tasty meatball toppings, the Pesto was very good as it was not swimming in olive oil, and the Casino was outstanding with clams, garlic, bacon, red roasted peppers and mozzarella - the latter were fairly priced at $9.95 given their size. All three pizzas shared an excellent thin crust baked to perfections in a combination gas / wood burning oven - I know because I asked.
No room for dessert, but finished with two excellent - frothy crema, not bitter - espressos and a cappuccino for about $135. I noticed some reviews taking Brazi to task for their pricing but in my opinion, the criticism is a consequence of their location. In the downtown area of most travel cities, the prices would be about average. I would return.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.