A group of friends had plans to meet at Island Merchant to hear Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys. Several of us met at Fazio's for dinner. It is my first time at this spot. Overall, it was very good. The setting is very hip comfy. We had a middle booth. I have some boundary issues and would have preferred a wall but I had a direct view of the NCAA game so was happy. Our server was enthusiastic and helpful. Early on she was unavailable to make connect despite calling several times. We wanted to get our order in to hit the show and when we saw a group of 12 arrive we tried to expedite it..not so lucky but later her waitress support ramped up.
She recommended an amazing aerated wine that was a blend between a cabernet and a chianti...very good. The bread is outstanding and the EVOO was ok. We split a large nothing special Caesar Salad. It lacked garlic and ooph and anchovies. My friend chose a Fusili pasta with Pancetta and Rabe. She loved it. My other friend and I both ordered the calamari in linquini. The sauce was savory but slightly bitter for my taste. Still, I really enjoyed the tender and plentiful calamari. My 1/3 of the bill was 35.00. I'd for sure go back in fact scoped out the bar for future games. It's a nice spot with plenty street parking. I saw the chef milling around chatting with his guests. I think that's important and appreciate that even though he did not make it to our table.