Have a reservation for later tonight and would greatly appreciate recommendations in the following categories:
2) meat dishes (not poultry or fish)
3) dessert at the restaurant or nearby
The menu changes daily so it's impossible to say.
There's always a fritto misto and it's always great, but sometimes includes fish.
Desserts are first-rate, don't go elsewhere.
The Caesar salad, of course, any of the oysters...can't really comment on the entrees as they change every day...the espresso granita with whipped cream for dessert. Mostly I love Zuni for the vibe--the food is good, not life-changing, but even after being open for many years, Zuni still has that "place to be" vibe. And the Acme bread's fantastic, put right down on the paper tablecloth in a huge chunk.
It's too bad you said no poultry, because (you know this, right?) Zuni is famous for chicken. But there's usually some kind of meat slow cooked overnight in the wood oven, so that's a good bet.
Desserts really are stellar. I especially loved the espresso granita and chocolate cake, though neither take advantage of seasonal fruit.
The photos are from a dinner with a large group, so it's indicative of the type of variety they'll have on the menu. You can see for yourself whether the polenta looks too gloppy. Our table loved it, and though I liked it I like the polenta at Oliveto even more.
Omigosh, seeing those pics of our dinner is making me want to go there again soon! Personally, I really enjoyed the polenta and liked the fact that it was so simple and homey among the other stimulants. Not gloppy at all...
To the OP: I say go w/ whatever moves you on the menu and you're more likely to be happy. Since you don't want chicken or fish, then I've had lamb there before that was very, very good. We had a thick-cut pork chop at that dinner w/ Pei that was very tasty shared, but I think many of us wouldn't want that for our own entree.
My idea of a Zuni "classics" meal:
Roast Chicken & Bread Salad
Fruit Tart of the day w/ housemade ice cream
Agree that their desserts are first-rate! Have fun and please let us know which Zuni camp you belong to once you've dined.