On Sunday, November 8, Spoon visited Tarry Lodge, a lively Italian restaurant with a spiritual reverence for pizza and strong tributes to New Haven culture.

Thanks to the unusually warm weather, we were able to take advantage of Tarry Lodge’s beautiful outdoor seating, enjoying our dinner while surrounded by luminescent lightbulbs suspended from a canopy and beautiful orange flowers evocative of autumn. Heat lamps enveloped us in warmth and illuminated the space, creating an experience that rivaled dining along the Tiber River in the fading days of summer.


Janie Wu

Bulldog Breeze —

The Bulldog Breeze engages many senses in a single sip, starting with the wafting citrusy scent of the orange peel and continuing with the strong orange flavor and fizziness of the Aperol. The cocktail was remarkable for both its taste and texture, with the bubbles adding a note of playfulness to the floral aroma of gin.

Mistica Martini —

The Mistica Martini is aptly named for its aura of mystique — beginning with a deep purple at the bottom of the glass, the cocktail fades to a pale translucent gray, topped with a floating lemon slice and a sprig of rosemary. The drink was a refreshing tropical touch in autumn, with fragrant flavors and subtle lavender undertones. The blend of white rum and violet liquor is perfectly complemented by the acidic highlights of lemon and a sweetness that lingers as an afterthought of summer on the tongue.

Fruit-Anona —

The last drink we sampled was Tarry Lodge’s seasonal sangria. For fall, the fruit-anona added cinnamon to the refreshing, fruity taste of classic sangria. The flavors paired extremely well, with the cinnamon creating a burst of warmth that highlighted the sweetness of fresh apples and oranges.


Burrata —

Janie Wu

Tarry Lodge’s burrata is beautifully presented and was an incredible way to start our meal. Surrounded by a circle of balsamic and pesto and supported by layers of butternut squash, roasted radicchio, and honey crisp apples, the dish was a masterpiece of flavors. The creaminess of the burrata was perfectly complemented by the sweetness and crunch of the honey crisp and mellowness of the radicchio and butternut squash, which grounded the dish with their acidity and mild flavor.


Cavatelli — 

Janie Wu

The cavatelli is one of Tarry Lodge’s most popular dishes, with al dente cavatelli paired with hot sausage, rapini, and roasted tomatoes. The sausage works extremely well with the slightly acidic tomato sauce and the chewy pasta, creating an almost sweet aftertaste. The rapini adds a subtle bitterness to the dish that highlights the other flavors, and the elements tie together beautifully to create a creative and delicious dish.


Goat Cheese Pizza —

Janie Wu

It’s no surprise that Tarry Lodge prides itself on its tribute to and exciting take on New Haven’s reputation for crispy, thin-crust pizza. The goat cheese pizza has been a long-time patron favorite — Starting with the airy yet thin dough and working up through a layer of pistachio and pesto, and topped off with goat cheese, red onion, and a drizzle of truffle honey, the pizza is a sensation and an absolute must-have. It masterfully balances flavor palettes and textures, starting with the sweet taste of honey and a crisp bite of onion, then the savory, creamy goat cheese and satisfying crunch of pistachios.


Tiramisu —

Janie Wu

To complete our visit, we sampled the tiramisu, a rich yet subtle dessert that ended our dinner with a note of sweetness that lingered beyond our meal. Tarry Lodge’s tiramisu follows the traditional Italian recipe — layers of ladyfingers dipped in coffee and light, fluffy whipped cream and sugar, topped off with fine cocoa powder, creating a dessert with a delicate coffee flavor accentuated by the density of lady fingers and cream.