“The name says it all,” said General Manager Chase Swalwell, who recently took the helm in Brentwood. “We’re a universal bistro. We’ve got a little bit of everything, from sandwiches to pizza and pasta. We’ve got steaks and some Asian-inspired dishes, and we’ve got a nice selection of vegetarian options as well. There’s something here for everybody.”
Earlier in the year, Fuzio offered weekly specials to test out new entrees and appetizers, and after consulting customer feedback, a new and improved menu was introduced in August to offer an even more diverse selection. The new menu includes fire-grilled pizzas, flat iron steak, classic shrimp scampi and fusilli primavera.
Despite the additions, Swalwell said Fuzio’s signature dish, the firecracker pork fusilli, remains the favorite. “People love the firecracker pork,” he said. “It’s addictive. Once people try it, they never seem to want to try anything else because it raises the bar for what they expect of their Fuzio experience.”
While the firecracker pork is the most popular, it’s not the best selection for diners with sensitive palates. The ginger-braised pork is dressed in a spicy habañero pesto sauce and topped with sour cream to take some of the edge off the intense flavor. Swalwell says on a spicy scale of one to 10, the firecracker pork ranks about a 7.5.
There are other firecracker specialties on Fuzio’s menu, and although Swalwell said the pork is the spiciest, the fire in the other firecracker dishes is ignited by a unique sweetness rather than a peppery explosion.
Fuzio, one of six in the small Bay Area chain, also offers an array of pastas. There are so many to choose from that Fuzio offers a dinner special on Wednesday nights in which all pasta dishes are half off. Swalwell said an offer like that brings in a lot of families during the week. Fuzio also offers a kid’s menu, which features macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, cheesy fettuccine alfredo and cheese and tomato pizza. All kid’s menu items, which cost $4.99, are served with a side of fresh fruit.
On Monday through Friday, Fuzio hosts a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., when draft beers are $3 and Fuzio’s signature cocktail, the fuziotini – a martini with Seagram’s Citrus vodka, triple sec and fresh lime juice floating on a layer of Chambord – is $8. Appetizers, such as crab cakes, lettuce wraps and calamari, are also on special for $3 each. Fuzio’s happy hour is so popular that Brentwood Press readers honored it with the 2009 Best of Brentwood bronze award.
The restaurant also features a plethora of local wines from Northern California. Each Thursday, featured bottles of wine are available for half off so that customers can sample some of the best wines in the area.
Fuzio, which opened at the Streets in February, experienced its busiest week during the Christmas holiday. Swalwell said that’s an encouraging sign during the economic recession, and that diners should expect more deals and specials in the new year.
Fuzio Universal Bistro, located at 2505 Sand Creek Road next to Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call 925-513-4184 or visit www.fuzio.com.