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Dinner at Zealous

Jonah | Aug 5, 2002 01:32 PM

My wife and I had dinner at Zealous this past Saturday night. The place is not wildly popular as it was barely full, and I can't figure out why. The whole staff was immensely friendly (including Chef Taus, who visited most of the tables) and the food was superb. For the curious, here are the dishes from our 5 course tasting menus (my wife's was the seafood menu):

1st (same for both)
Sea Bass with oyster mushrooms and lobster ravioli. The mushroom broth was just a bit sweet and sensational.

2nd
Me: Squab with taro and other veggies. The sauce (as the Chef told me) was ginger, lemon grass, garlic (his trinity), black vinegar and some other stuff. It was just amazing. He said he'd been working on taro (or poi as he called it) because in the Hawaiin version its a bit goopy and he had the texture like a pureed root vegetable.
Wife: Tagine of Israeli cous cous with scallops. They normally have the cous cous as a vegetarian dish but just starting adding the scallops. Fabulous.

3d
Me: Tenderloin of beef over mushroom and veal cheeks with a wine reduction. This dish was great, although no matter how great, tenderloin is a boring cut of meat. The veal cheeks, however, were great.
Wife: Seared tuna with veggies and a sauce very similar to my Squab sauce. The dish melted in your mouth.

4th (same for both)
A very creative sorbet course. A scoop of coconut and apricot sorbet over poached pear slices, with a soup of pureed mango and kafir lime poured around it. The best sorbet course, bar none, I've ever had.

5th (same for both)

Two small deserts. One, an excellent chocolate and cherry cake, and the other one was one of the best deserts I've ever had. A cylinder of tiramesu coated with toasted macadamia nuts and topped with caramelized bananas and caramel sauce.

After all this, a few small and truly excellent cookies were provided.

Oh yes, I had the tasting menu with paired wines. A luxury but a real treat. I'm don't know enough to comment on this except I enjoyed every glass.

As I said, this place is just hanging on, and I can't tell why. It should be packed. Catch it while you can.

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