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03/08 How To Exorcize Ubuntu: Eat at Zuzu; Tasty Tapas in Downtown Napa

opinionatedchef | Apr 10, 200812:22 PM

"Finally. Real food, interesting robust flavors, generous portions." That's what we said as we tasted our first small plates at Zuzu, the day after our Ubuntu fiasco.Of course, we were still hungry from the night before, so we ordered quite a few things.( FYI they're not great about updating their web menus so don't count on web menu items being available.) They change their menu 3x month.

Favs were not the beef chimichurri or moroccan lamb plates, both of which were just somehow lacking. Our highlights were the:

Rancho Gordo Red Lima Beans(forget those dreadful green ones from your childhood; these are another bean entirely)with chorizo, saffron, pimenton

shaved artichoke portobello salad w/ lemon truffle vngtte.

quinoa salad of smoked duck breast, dried figs, walnut vngtte.

chilaquiles of corn tortillas dipped in a in a light red mole and layered with goat's eye beans and chicken, and topped w/ poached egg

shrimp with garlic and pimenton (La Vera, for you chefs, as it's sweeter than La Chinata)


The talented chef, Angela, opened the restaurant 6 years ago, went away awhile and returned to the helm 4 years ago. hoorah! The new 'Riverwalk' , part of the regeneration of downtown Napa, has just taken down its construction fences, so the public can begin to enjoy it. The amphitheater part of it is directly across from Zuzu and the second floor dining room's large arched windows look out onto this new park.

We'll be back ,for sure, next year -on our annual Cal. foodie vaca.And I know we'll be excited to see Napa becoming a more interesting town as projects proceed, like the Riverwalk and nearby planned buildings and hotels, Copia, and The Oxbow Market etc.

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