Solo Dinner at Mamma Zu or Edo Squid?
After years of hearing the name Mamma Zu, I finally got to try it. I was especially intrigued that it appeared in the Saveur Magazine Top 100 a couple of years ago. This is not a list of top 100 in the US, but a worldwide top 100 food 'things:' the list includes markets, techniques, ingredients, chefs, authors, new kitchen utensils, and of course, restaurants. From Hong Kong, to Europe to, apparently, Richmond, VA.
I got there tonight (wednesday) at 5:40pm and took a seat at the bar. By the time I left at 6:45pm, the place was packed and there was a line.
As you all know by now, MZ has the kind of vibe any Chowhound or romantic will instantly fall in love with. I am not sure that is true of all the food, but if I lived here I would slowly make my way through their offerings and I'd make sure to figure out my favorites and return often for them.
No SS crabs offered, I went with two starters and a whole fish. The two starters were mixed. The egg in tuna sauce had too much salt in the sauce. Ok for a light swipe, but I was uninterested in dipping the bread in the sauce. The stuffed tomato came out gorgeously baked in their pizza deck and is a simple, homey dish with a peppery kick to the rice stuffing. Nothing great, but nice.
I ordered the whole branzino, also baked in their pizza deck, and it came out spectacular. Maybe a touch too much coarse salt on top, but the fish was fantastic all the way through.
The one mistake I made was to get some unnamed white wine in a small juice glass. Only a $4 mistake, but I had no idea anyone made wine this bad.
Edo's also offers bar seating if you like that. They also have some nice tables next to windows, which I prefer. They switch from their lunch to dinner menu around 3:30 or so. I've never had a problem with mid-week early dinner seating. Parking, on the other hand, can sometimes be difficult. Love the place - truly unique with a daily chalkboard menu that is varied and consistently well executed. If you haven't been there, don't expect much from the exterior or the walk upstairs. The dining room is charming and the food excellent.