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Piney Awards

Best Sit Down Restaurant in Arundel Mills

A shoppertainment mall isn't exactly the first place you would look for a decent dining experience. But Arundel Mills has brought us several places to sit, unwind and relax.  Too bad most of them are mediocre at best. 

But one shines above the rest in terms of service, food quality and overall experience.  Not to mention they have the best martini's and cosmopolitans within a 15 mile radius of the mall.  One of the problems with a mall out in the burbs, and living in the burbs in general, is that we don't have many things that remind us of the sophistication of downtown living and dining. Pretty much all we get are chains that have overtaken the smaller independent eateries by offering us comfort and consistency.  A new category of boutique chains have filled the middle ground with innovative concepts and limiting their locations to urban areas with a few suburban locations in very special areas. These chains put a premium on comfortable but not cloying service and that sets them apart from the other chains as well.

Fuzio's is just such a find.  Essentially a California chain, Fuzio's has branched east with locations in Dupont Circle and Dublin (California).  Fuzio's is post modern pasta house with combinations ranging from east to west on the globe.  Here you will find Asian inspired pork over noodles with a spicy, seemingly Mexican chili and sour cream sauce.  Tender, interesting, filling and something you're not going to find at other restaurants.  

Fuzio also gets points for bringing something to Piney Orchard Residents that we can't get anywhere else.  After all, we have the best Mexican in the world just up the street--who needs a Disney World Experience to eat a meal.  Brew Pubs are a dime a dozen these days and fake Italian is the name of the game around here with the exception of Ma Ma Lucia's.  The closest you'll find to Fuzio is Noodles Corner in Columbia which is a much more traditional Asian Noodle house...and one of the best restaurant values in the area.

Most of the other dishes have the same interesting combinations of ingredients and textures.  Sure, you'll find your basic chicken Caesar  salad, but you'll also find an Udon noodle bowl with chicken that is so satisfying on a cold day.  The fried squid is tasting too. You're likely to find traditional European pastas served right alog side Eastern fare.  Be daring, be interesting, forget you're in the burbs. 

Now there are some misses, The panninis are served on the best bread, but are don't always live up to expectations.  

Prices are moderate with lunch for two without drinking running about $23-$25 including tip.  Add and appetizer and you'll hit $30.  Dinners are a bit more but not prohibitive. The best thing to do though is drink, with or without booze.  Try the Mango Lemonade, it's totally fabulous.  Seating is comfortable and the staff is knowledgeable about all the dishes but they don't try to be your best friend either.  That's nice since I am there for the food, not make up tips.  The atmosphere is modern, without being trite.  It's a simple, pretty comfortable place to eat before or after the movies and isn't loud or full of sports enthusiasts.  It's just right if you're there to fill your stomach, but not pump your chest.

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Popular Poll Results:

Fuzio's:              27%
Chevy's:             36%
Du Claw Brew:    18%
Remomo:             9%