Zoe in Soho
Just came from dinner with family at Zoe on Prince btw Broadway and Mercer. I hadn't seen anything new about it before going, although I do remember reading the lamb was good...and it was. I had a spinach salad to start which was quite good, not too overdressed nor too much cheese (Idiazabal, similar to Manchego, thinly sliced). For the main course I had venison chops which were simply prepared but delicious. The others I was with had duck, lamb and steak, all of which were very good. We also had a great bottle of Maramonte Syrage. Just wanted to compare notes with anyone who had been. What did you think? Seems to me food was solidly prepared with high quality ingredients, the wine wasn't too expensive and the atmosphere/service was great (although I'll admit we ate on the early side so the waiters were standing around, easily available to us). Any thoughts would be interesting.
I have been many times to Zoe over the years but I stopped going when Chef Steven Levine moved to California. This guy created the finest menus with interesting ingredients and great presentations and HE was ZOE to me. The place was way underrated in those days but like anything good, it had to come to an end when the talent left. I tried Zoe just once more because of nostalgic feelings but that was about it.
For seven years, until 2003, I ate once or twice a week at Zoe's. Then I moved office and Zoe's became history for me.
But in those days, I always felt it to be under-rated and overlooked by the cognoscenti. The food is invariably good, and they have an excellent, American-led, wine list. The owners are incredibly hard-working and diligent and deserve success. And, truth be told, it's always busy, so they don't suffer from being off the radar.
My only quibble is aesthetic. The room is not warm and cosy, in spite of a couple of corporate re-designs over the years. But the wait-staff are pros, and on-the-ball, and the welcome at the door matches the quality of the food.
re: Sean Dell
I also have worked nearby for the past 5 years and often have business lunches there. Maybe because of that, I never think of it as a place to go for non-business occasions.
It's also one of those places that are hard to categorize. It's too big to feel intimate or romantic. But not creative/innovative enough to put it with the Hearth/Blue Hill/etc sorta restaurants.
To me its more of a burger/salad sort of place. The lamb special is really nice though.