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PHX report: Roaring Fork and Zinc Bistro

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Two totally different experiences: big servings of mediocre food at RF; tiny portions of rich, exquisite things at ZB.

RF: we liked the fried avocado app and the rack of lamb, but the Dr. Pepper short ribs were surprisingly flavorless, the queso dip was okay but paired with stale chips, and the famous green chile pork was brown/gray, dry, and bland. We left enough food on the table to be hungry enough for dessert, but the sad little berry pie didn’t quite cut it.

Everything at Zinc Bistro was outstanding: service, atmosphere, food (great mussels, fantastic poultry dishes, crab-and-mushroom crepes, soufflés, etc.)

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  1. Yeah, that's about right. I don't recommend RF to anyone anymore, since Robert McGrath left. Its just not as good. ZB is solid and the food is consistently excellent.

    7 Replies
    1. re: danieli10

      what a shame. RF used to be one of my favorites - both for myself when we had out of town visitors and for recommending. Anyone know if the story about McGrath being with Christie's Caberet (yes, the strip joint chain) is accurate?

      http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

      1. re: jkgourmet

        I don't know about that, but we were there about a month ago and ate in the bar. As reported above, the food is definitely not what it used to be, even though some of the same menu items are still available. I asked the bartender about McGrath, and he said he is opening a new, grandly decorated place in Memphis, and that all previous Phoenix-area projects are kaput.

        1. re: kittyfood

          When did he leave? Why didn't someone call me? What do I pay you people for?

          1. re: blair_houghton

            Pay who, for what, blair?

            1. re: firecracker

              You guys, to keep me apprised of major world events. Isn't that how this works?

            2. re: blair_houghton

              It's not new information - It's been at least two years, maybe three. His new restaurant REM had been planned to open in 2007.

              1. re: Rubee

                Jeebus. I need to get a new staff.

      2. Disappointed to hear the food at RF has deteriorated. We used to love it. It's now owned by the group that owns Eddie V's and Wildfish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Poerz

          'It's now owned by the group that owns Eddie V's and Wildfish."

          Then it should come as no surprise that the food has deteriorated.