Out of the Bubble: In Downtown Ithaca

Having lived in collegetown for a year, my roommate and I are both tired of collegetown restaurants. At some places, we don’t even need to look at the menu because we already know exactly what’s on it. So on Friday, when we were trying to decide where to get dinner, we couldn’t decide on a place that didn’t sound sick and boring. We have also visited our commons favourites too often this semester. Just when we were worried that we had exhausted our options, we decided to go downtown. We took a bus down to the commons and then walked all the way to Zaza’s Cucina, an Italian fine dining restaurant. The weather was nice and the sun’s oblique evening rays made our walk across residential Ithaca seem magical.

The restaurant itself was far nicer than the best collegetown restaurants. My roommate was glad this meal would be a change from the usual tofu based dishes. The average age of customers at Zaza’s was probably twice my age, which was also a welcome change.
Zaza's Cucina, Ithaca

I tried the wild mushroom risotto and fell in love with it. It was surprisingly flavorful! I’m not a fan of cheese, but a certain cheese-and-tomato appetizer (whose name I don’t recall Edit: caprese) was also so flavorful that I didn’t mind the relatively large quantity of cheese. As we were eating, I had forgotten that I was in college, or in Ithaca. I had a great meal and good conversation with friends. Zaza’s ambience created a bubble outside the Cornell bubble.

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