Has anyone heard of or gone to Zot? Heard about it and was curious. I was told it was around Front & 2nd. Thanks.
WE were there not long after it opened. It's on Lombard between 2nd and Front (closer to 2nd). They have mussels prepared in about 30 different ways and in 3 or 4 different portion size selections. They also have steak prepared with a choice of about 10 or 12 different sauces. Also have Belgian specialties like carbonnade a la flamande, which I ordered, in addition to a large portion of mussels. I thought the mussels were very good. My husband, who is not a mussel fan, enjoyed the steak. They also have lots of different kinds of Belgian beer. We liked it, but it's not really our kind of place since my husband doesn't like mussels.
I've been twice. I had the mussels and fries and they were fine. They also had a great beer list. The clear advantage that they have over the other prominent Philly Belgian spots (i.e. Eulogy and Monks) is space. It is comparitively speaking a large space versus these two. It is a joy to enjoy Belgian cuisine and great beer in a roomy and comfortable atmosphere.
We are big fans of Bernard Dehaene, since we live near Olney, MD where he had Mannequin Pis before he moved to Philadelphia and opened ZoT. My son and I used to eat at MP almost every Tuesday when Bernard owned it.
ZoT is larger than Mannequin Pis, with brick walls, a long bar in front, and a bar upstairs. I was somewhat amused to see that several of the very distinctive pictures that were in the old restaurant are on the walls at Zot now.
The menu is expanded. Of course there are still the mussels that he is famous for. There are 30 different preparations. You can buy them by the half kilo, kilo, or two kilo. In addition he allows you to have your choice of meat (ranging from strip steak to duck to kangaroo), fowl, or seafood, and choose for 19 different sauces to go with it along with a side of your choice. He also has nightly specials as well as several very good Belgian dishes that are well worth trying.
My wife started with an excellent artichoke stuffed with whitefish. My son and I split an order of escargot and an order of wild mushrooms and both had a bowl of the peppery safron mussel soup. For our entrees my son had a kilo of mussels Snob (made with lobster bisque, cream and cognac). I ordered the Duck Magret with a caper sauce, and my wife had the sea bass with a goat cheese sauce. She and I both had red cabbage as the side, with a side order of frites to split (my son got frites with his mussels). I was tempted to try the lion stew, but didn't. Maybe next time.
I took a 2005 Kosta Browne PN RRV and a 1999 Louis Bernard CndP with me to drink with dinner. About halfway thru dinner Bernard came to sit with us and help finish the wine. (I don't know how many bottles of wine we shared when he was down here, but he never passes up a chance to have some and I'm always glad to share.) Only my son had any room for dessert and ordered an outragiously rich dark chocolate concoction that was killer.
After about an hour catching up with Bernard we finally tooled out but not before Bernard had the bartender pour us all shots of vodka that had been aging with smoked bacon for 6 months. (Interesting, but would probably have been better in a bloody Mary.)