Monday, August 31, 2009

Restaurant Week Review: Zola Restaurant

We tried out Zola Restaurant on Friday night during DC Restaurant Week. I've been to Zola before but only to the bar, so I was looking forward to eating in the dining room. They offer the entire regular menu for RW, which I really liked. Sometimes you feel like you're not getting a real sense of a restaurant during RW because they offer a separate menu during that time with limited choices, so getting to choose from the entire menu was a nice plus.

The dining room was comfortably crowded, and we got a booth with high-back cushion seats which helped to mute out some of the other conversations around us. Everyone loved the butter that came with the bread, probably moreso than the bread itself, haha.

Seared Raw Tuna: avocado, mango, chilis, grilled frisee, taro strands

I got the tuna appetizer to start, seen in the photo above. Great flavors, didn't really taste much of the mango though, now that I think about it. The taro strands added a nice crunchy texture to the otherwise "soft" components.

Corn "Fed" Beef: Valentine Miller Farms beef loin and rib with corn puree, caramelized kernels and spoonbread.

For my entree I got the corn "fed" beef, medium rare. The beef was very tender, cooked a little too long to about a medium but that's ok. The spoonbread and corn kernels were really delicious- I love fresh corn in the summer!

"Pink Lemonade": strawberry mousse, lemon curd and candied lemon peel.

For dessert I got the Pink Lemonade. It was light, smooth, and true to the fruit flavors. The lemon especially was tart and the whole dessert wasn't overly sweet, in a good way.

Mud Pie: espresso-kahlua freddo, oreo brownie bourbon-pecan butterscotch.

Not a great photo, but here is T's Mud Pie, looked more like a chocolate bomb but it was tasty, with a strong espresso taste.

Overall, a great night of eats at Zola. I think we all agreed that the appetizers and desserts were their strong suits- more adventurous choices with the components, and a lot stronger flavors overall with all of our choices, compared to the entrees. It also makes sense that it's a very lounge-y type place to begin with- maybe more people order the small plates in general, so they are more stronger with those? Either way, a strong showing by Zola, showing us how good trying out a new place during Restaurant Week can be.

800 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Reservations: 202.654.0999 or through OpenTable.

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