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A month ago, chef Benny Kaplan opened Shazz Cafe and Bar at West 44th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. The focus: local, seasonal, and farm-to-table–all in a cozy setting.

Shazz is certainly not the first area restaurant to draw inspiration from the Slow Food movement, but clean and seasonally appropriate ingredients–look for persimmons, pomegranates, blood oranges, root veggies, and winter squash on the menu–indicate that the restaurant could eventually join the ranks of neighborhood favorites like Duo.

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While the muscovy duck breast entrée and the red oak salad could use a bit more finesse, I can’t stop thinking about the pan-fried haloumi cheese appetizer garnished with gorgeous caperberries, a zing of fresh lemon, and a scattering of herbs. I hear the pistachio kulfi (a dense Indian-style ice cream) is not to be missed, and I’ll be sure to return for the treat–not to mention the thoughtful service and the interesting, locally inspired menu. 4262 Lowell Blvd., 303-477-1407

Amanda M. Faison, 5280 Contributor

Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.

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