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Sep 6, 2006 11:09 PM

PHX: Zest (my findings)

We had the opportunity to visit Zest last week for dinner. We've tried two other times on a whim but it was too popular to get in at a decent hour. We wise up and called in a few hours ahead this time.

The place looks great inside. It's so unassuming from the outside. But once inside it's got nice dim lighting, yet enough light to read the menu, and some great art on the walls by revolving artists. The kitchen is open, but very unassuming. There aren't great flames shooting up from the kitchen as if that is supposed to keep us in awe - I wish some places would get the hint already.

It was one of those nights for me. I wasn't feeling like an entree, so I wanted to pick a couple of apps for my dinner. I ordered the shrimp and goat cheese melt, a house salad, and the grilled scallops app. Husband got the green mussels app, the house salad, and the salmon.

The apps arrive. Ok, these are some of the biggest portions in town. Our jaws dropped. Husband estimates there were about 20 mussels on his plate, and my shrimp dish was as big as some entree portions I've been served around town. Both were $9 and very tasty. I could tell you how the sweetness of the shrimp worked in direct harmony with the sharpness of the goat cheese blah blah blah, but let's just say it was good. All reports indicate that the mussels were stellar.

The house salad is prepared tableside. It mixed field greens with blood oranges(I think? or it may be mandarin), gorgonzola, and bacon. The dressing is a house vinegrette. Good stuff!

My scallop app was three nicely sized scallops. When I ordered this our server explained that I could add as many scallops to the dish as I wanted. I stuck with three, and I was glad I did. Any more and it would've been a bit much in the way of food. Husband's salmon had a nice citrus blend on top and was served with asparagus. It was all very good.

One of the owners, Don, came by to check on us and explained that they have an art reception every three months when the art on the wall changes. I really liked one of the paintings, but I have bills to pay. I appreciate owners who are involved in making sure their guests are happy. Support local!!!

It's good mix in terms of the crowd - old, young, tatooed, gay, straight, but all seemed to be having a good time. They do offer a full bar and a nice wine list. I'm drinking iced tea these days {sigh}.

On our way out, Husband said in passing, "I think I have a new neighborhood favorite...we'll definitely be back."

16th St & Indian School

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  1. Yes, but how was the gelato? :o)

    Great review! Zest gets really good reviews from the management types at work, so I need to get over there soon.

    And you are correct about the unassuming outside. That used to be a place called Tang's Mexican Food many moons ago and the exterior was exactly the same (sans the signage).

    1. I was wrong in my original post - Husband had the swordfish. I had "s" fish on my mind.

      The outside is terrible. I guess there's only so much you can do with a brick box of a building. The pictures on their website are pretty accurate as far as the interior goes.

      I need to try the eggplant cheesecake on my next visit.

      I forgot to mention - not one pair of shorts were worn by anyone I set my eyes on!! This makes me happy, because Phoenix can be too casual sometimes. I like feeling that everyone in attendance put some effort in getting ready for dinner out.


      1. oh i am SO glad you liked it!!!! i've been back twice and finally had the eggplant. seriously... ohmygod it was SO good. I think I had the osso bucco too, and again. SO good.

        Don is actually an artist (i know him through my school) and he is SO SO nice. I just love the place!!!