Zinc - Charlottesville, VA
We've eaten at Zinc twice in the last few months and I didn't see anything on the boards so I wanted to do a quick write up about it.
Zinc hops on the small plates bandwagon, specializing in pretty classic French Bistro cuisine. The dining room is located in a renovated gas station and the room itself is modern and filled with natural light. Lots of hard surfaces, so it can get a little loud.
The menu itself is large and frequently changes, so what I post here may not be available if you go. The chefs try hard to source everything locally and are in the process of growing a small herb garden. On our most recent visit, we ate our way through the majority of the menu including:
Escargot in parsley sauce - we ended up ordering 3 plates, they were that good. Perfectly cooked, not overpoweringly garlicky. The only other place I've had escargot this good was at Citronelle, and you can be sure I didn't pay $8 for them there.
Goat Cheese Croquettes - I mean, it's breaded fried goat cheese - the ultimate fried cheese stick. What's not to love? The acidic accompaniments lightened it up and kept it from getting too heavy
Frites with aioli - Great fries, not much else to add here.
Frogs Legs - Frog is tough in general - even if you cook it right it's still a little greasy. The first time I went they were a little greasy, but on this latest trip they weren't.
Steak Tartare - A very nice rendition; the meat is flavorful, the quail egg makes it rich and the mustard gives it some bite
Tuna special - I honestly don't remember much about this other than the tuna was very, very overcooked.
Other things we have enjoyed were the mac and cheese, any time they have duck on the menu, pate, sardines....I could go on and on. The hits are so many and the misses are so few, it really encourages trying as much as possible. Most dishes range from $7-15, if you stuff yourself and get wine you'll top out around $60 per person.
On a side note, the wine list is short, fun and extremely reasonably priced.