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Thursday February 23, 2017
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Cafe Zola

 

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Other delicious (though potentially overindulgent) crowd-pleasers we tried were the chimichurri steak with roasted potatoes (chimichurri of the green variety, that is--flat leaf parsley made into a thick, tangy sauce) and the Tuscan steak with fries. The Tuscan preparation was lovely, a rub of mint, rosemary, oregano, and garlic. The heaping pile of fries coated with rosemary and Parmesan was pure decadence.

We savored the pan-roasted mero in miso, a filet of creamy white fish that fell apart under the fork, served with jasmine rice (a bit too heavily seasoned with sesame oil) and broccolini that balanced the sweet miso. Although this was certainly a special dish with a beautiful presentation, we learned later that mero is a kind of Hawaiian grouper that can be sustainable or not depending on where it's caught, according to Seafood Watch. Zakalik's distributors tell him theirs passes this test.

Because almost any big party will order either the chicken or the salmon, we tried each. The brick-roasted chicken was a dish made for its sauce, a good lemon sauce on a relatively dry and spiritless bird. The salmon with leeks was better, rich with its butter-braised leeks and topped with both creme fraiche and beurre blanc. We didn't agree about this dish--one of us wanted something more exciting, the other thought it was fine--but it's a nice choice for tamer diners.

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