Lazy Susan Adds Class to Bay View

Opened by former Cafe Centro chef, it offers homey, international fare.

By - Apr 23rd, 2014 03:01 pm
Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan.

Lazy Susan (2378 S. Howell Ave.) is the most recent addition to Bay View’s burgeoning restaurant scene. A.J. Dixon, who’s been associated with Country Clare, Café Lulu, Pastiche and most recently as head chef at Café Centro, finally opened a place of her own a couple of weeks ago. It’s a storefront with a cool minimal look, subdued pastels and earth tones, clean wooden furniture and a rippled glass pane by the front door. There’s a hip soundtrack, fairly high octane but not too loud, which to my delight featured a fair amount of Lou Reed. The bar, made by Dixon’s husband, is comfortable and stylish, with an acrylic coated wood top (made from barn boards) and a nice selection of unusual liquors (I’d never heard of Uncle Val’s gin, but it makes an excellent martini).

The menu is eclectic and seasonal, consisting of smaller and larger plates, without a sharp division into starters and entrees. Of the dishes I’ve tried, my favorites have been the ones I began with, though they’ve all been very good. Grilled romaine ($8) is a nice variation on Caesar salad, a delicious combination of grilled romaine hearts with buttermilk dressing, crisp prosciutto and blue cheese, and a soup of the day, cream of garlic ($5) had an intense roast garlic flavor. Corned buffalo hash ($15) is one of the most popular dishes, combining shredded buffalo meat, brussel sprouts, yukon gold potatoes, horseradish applesauce and a fried egg. It’s very good, though it’s not the crisp kind of hash you might expect, but more like a warm potato salad, a bit heavier on the potatoes than on the buffalo. Venison navarin ($18) is a stew made with small cubes of venison, stout and spring vegetables. A traditional French navarin is usually made with lamb and the flavors of the meat and the spring vegetables are clear and distinct, the vegetables often being cooked separately from the lamb. In this venison version the flavors are melded together, making it more of a fall or winter dish, though still very satisfying.

The food at Lazy Susan.

The food at Lazy Susan.

There are a lot of other enticing items on the menu, which changes regularly, including (when I went there) a pheasant confit b’stilla (a Moroccan flaky pastry dish), trout patties with creamed leeks, and chicken fried drummers with pepper gravy and mashed potatoes. There are only a few desserts, though the chocolate ancho pot de crème ($5) I tried, a chocolate mousse with a slight chili ancho flavor, was dense and delicious.

Lazy Susan is a welcome addition to the Bay View restaurant world.  The ambience is tasteful and relaxed, and unlike some other popular Bay View restaurants, the noise level isn’t overwhelming (at least the times I’ve been there).  I’ve mentioned the interesting selection of cocktails and liquors; the wine list is also reasonable and well chosen.  Like any new restaurant there was a bit of confusion about some of the dishes and their availability, but I’m sure that’s under control by now. You’ll find more about the restaurant here.


Previous Reviews by John Koethe: 

Cafe Vocar’s European Charm 

Where to Get a Great Burger and Martini



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