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Aug 19, 2001 11:47 PM

Zuzu, Santa Rosa?

  • m

Last weekend I noticed new signage on the building that housed the late, great Willowside Cafe in Santa Rosa. I'd heard it had been sold and stopped to see what's up. No one was around but there was a small sign posted that ZuZu's grand opening would be August 15.

Anyone have any more info or news to share?

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  1. a
    Alexandra Eisler


    Have you tried Manzanita in Healdsburg? Bruce Frieseke (ex-Willowside)is in front of the stove. My brother has been and raved, but I haven't been up for dinner in a while...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Alexandra Eisler

      Hi, I'm not Melanie, but I have been to Manzanita. I went a couple of weeks ago on a Friday night and found it nice, not thrilling but nice. Gourmet raved about their pizzas and I probably should have had that but a friend and I tried: a goat cheese tart with a lavender crust, house salad, wood fired fish stew, smoked squab. The goat cheese tart was a lovely starter, not too rich nor was the lavender over-powering. The house salad was lightly dressed so that you could actually taste the different greens. The smoked squab was both meaty and smoky but didn't taste so much of squab as smoke (I may be prejudiced b/c I am used to squab in Asia which has a pronounced gamy taste). The real disappointment was the fish stew. A bouillabaise-style, the fish lacked flavor as did the broth; the fish and shellfish were overdone. I'd say that I would go back just to give it another try but I'm not in any hurry.

      1. re: Lise

        Thanks for the update.

        I'm a fan of fish stews/soups and have ordered them at Santi in Geyserville and Luther's in Cloverdale. Luther's was particularly delicious and obvious care had been taken so that each seafood element was cooked to exactly the right doneness.

        1. re: Lise
          Alexandra Eisler

          Hi Lise,

          I'll order the tart and avoid the stew!


        2. re: Alexandra Eisler

          No, haven't been to Manzanita yet. Currently obsessed with the various taco trucks on Sebastopol Rd. (g)

          And, I'm asking for news about what Zuzu is all about.

        3. m
          Melanie Wong

          I'll answer my own question based on info from local friends who ate there two weeks ago. The place had only been open for 4 days but they said the staff were great. Two large parties, both for birthdays, and things did get rowdy at times. However the servers took it into stride and were happy that people were having a great time. They said the food was very good, and by the end of the evening, all the customers in the house were good friends, having joined in several choruses of "Happy Birthday" and shsaring bottles of wine all around.

          1. zuzu's great. small and sweet and serves a lovely menu. Especially recommend the bread salad with homemade mozzarella. And the vin santo ice cream with biscotti is fabulous and unique.