Zinnia any reports?
Trying to decide where to go with friends coming in from out of town. I am tossing between Salt House have not been there for dinner yet or Universal Cafe one of my favorite places. Zinnia menu looks about right for this group of friends.
Any suggestions or reports. Thanks
Had dinner there last week on a weeknight. It got pretty filled as the night went on, and a party reserved the chef's table adjacent to the kitchen.
I liked how the pasta and seafood dishes come in small or large portions. Everything sounded really interesting to try. But definitely everyone should try the crispy sweetbreads. They were done so perfectly! Crispy on the outside but tender inside, not at all chewy like other places I've had them.
The gnocchi, at least on this night, was a bit disappointing. It was gummy and they make it large, kind of like tubular pasta.
The Alaskan black cod in a dashi broth is really refreshing and light. I felt some other things we had were just OK, like the seared scallops. The quail was nicely cooked but no revelations in flavor.
I don't know if anyone else experienced this but we had a long wait in between courses. It didn't really bothered me because I was chatting with my friend, but it was noticeable and it really stretched out the dinner.
There are tons of suited people, and I guess if you look at all the partners, you can see why. But they really looked like they had nothing to do.
Overall, I thought it was a nice experience and an enjoyable meal, but lacking in a few places. I'd go back though to try the other items on the menu.
Myth was one of my favorite restaurants so I wanted to like Zinnia. I didn't.
First, I wanted a 7 PM res and opentable could only give me 6:30. I took it, but noted on the res that I wanted later if it became available. They called me at noon today to confirm and I wish I had asked again (my bad) but when I arrived at 6:30 there were only a handful of tables filled, and that was true when we left at 8:30.
Despite the empty restaurant (Tuesday night), they were inattentive. I had to wave a busboy down to get a waitress to take our drink order. Lots of staff, milling around, walking purposefully through the restaurant, but not making eye contact with the (few) actual guests.
We both had the mushroom soup -- very, very good. I had the short ribs and they were good. My friend had the black cod and didn't report on it. In short, good but not great food.
Good winelist and reasonably priced. But not enough to overcome poor service and inept reservation management.
Full report to follow, but bobpantzer hits it on the nose. Excellent service, lovely space, and many of the best items from Myth.
I found wine overpriced, but otherwise, it was a great value. They also appear to be doing well, having hit their stride despite only being open a few weeks.
Here's the plate of cookies, http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3140/3...
I didn't like my drink, Secret Garden, $10. Not enough cucumber flavor, too bitter, too sweet, lacking acidity.
BUT, it is a lovely space, and I was impressed with the service especially considering we were sitting in the bar. The plate of gnocchi next to me smelled fantastic.
As at Myth, many pastas and mains at Zinna are available as half portions. They also have half glasses of wine.
We shared the above mentioned gnocchi (seared on the edges--heavenly and I'm not much for gnocchi). A half portion of arctic char with roasted carrots (exemplary), a burger and (too salty) fries, the sweetbreads with bacon appetizer which I remembered from Myth, a pumpkin mousse, and the plate of cookies. Also several half glasses of wine, two modestly priced glasses of dessert wine, and two cocktails. This came to $160 for two including tax and tip.
Service was attentive, friendly, enthusiastic, and extremely professional. They split several orders for us without asking, brought replacement plates and silverware without us needing to ask, and didn't mind that we spent 3+ hours in the bar. I'd warned our server that several friends would drop in, and she split the checks for us without needing an additional reminder.
My only complaint is the bar tables are really too small for the oversized plates and heavy silverware. (Or maybe they should use smaller dishes--the plates made more of a statement than necessary with such good food.) Dining at the bar would be a better alternative. Also the full wine list had hardly anything older than 2005.
In a city where so many trendy restaurants have amateurish service and inconsistent execution, Zinnia shines as a highly competent, well-run operation. I hope they've finally broken the curse of that gorgeous location, and look forward to returning for another delicious meal that manages to both refined and hearty.
We had dinner at Zinnia last Saturday and it was fantastic. We loved Myth and the Zinnia menu includes many of my favorites from Myth. I always ordered the rigatoni with foie gras cream as an appetizer but resisted that this time and ordered the truly fantastic gnocchi. My wife had a wonderful salad with pears and gorgonzola and a bunch of other things that I've forgotten. She loved it. My pork chop with cranberry beans was fantastic and her scallops were wonderful, as well. We shared a chocolate dessert which was also great. Service was impeccable. We had cocktails at the bar and enjoyed talking with Jackie Patterson who has won cocktail competitions. We enjoyed a bottle of her boyfriend's grenache--Broc, I think is the label. We loved the space at Myth with all the exposed brick and comfortable seating. Zinnia's space is not quite as nice but the overall experience was fantastic and we can't wait to return.