Restaurants & Bars 3

Zeph's on Mother's Day

foodiemom10583 | May 8, 2011 09:04 PM

We made it to Zeph's for a leisurely, non-chaotic Mother's Day dinner.

The first thing that made us happy was seeing all of the herbs they grow outside in the restaurant's pretty gardens. That was a good sign.

The menu was small, but we all found something interesting. The herbed focaccia and sweet butter were fantastic together. The focaccia was warm and redolent of yeast and rosemary. It was a lovely way to start the meal. My son loved the crusty country bread that was also in the basket.

I had the lamb kofte appetizer, which consisted of two carefully but intensely spiced lamb patties with stewed tomatoes and sauteed chard. The aroma was so enticing. My husband and son had the smothered onion and potato soup. Not my son's favorite, but my husband ate one and a half helpings of the thick, chowder-style soup made with what looked like Yukon gold potatoes, slowly sauteed sweet onions, and beef stock. He loved it.

We were all served salad. The pomegranate-walnut dressing on mine was sublime. If I had to guess, it was a combination of pomegranate vinegar, walnut oil, and small bits of walnut over romaine and julienned mango. My son set a salad-eating record tonight. My husband seemed happy with his bleu cheese dressing.

I had the Trinidadian Chicken, a boneless half-chicken with Caribbean spices and giant spaetzle (the real reason I ordered the dish). You could smell the ginger and really taste the cumin, lovage, and black pepper. The chicken was juicy (the skin was not crispy) and the spicy jus with it was amazing. The spaetzle, though, were really special. They were giant, about the size of full-grown string beans, and had been perfectly pan-fried. They were resilient but toothsome and were a lovely vehicle for the jus.

My son had the leg of lamb with black peppermint sauce, ramps, and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. Again, he set another speed-eating record. The lamb was medium-rare (he hadn't been asked, but was happy with the result). I found the mint sauce a little too "minty," but for my son who spent the first 10 years of his life gagging at mint, I found it shocking how much he was enjoying it. He was also really intrigued by the ramps. He made sure he found every leaf and bulb on his plate and devoured them all.

My husband had the pork shank with dried fruit and roasted sweet potatoes. He does not go for sweet entrees, so I was afraid he wouldn't like it. The taste was meaty and fruity without being dessert-y. It reminded me of a good brisket with tzimmes (except for, you know, the pork).

All entrees were served with well-trimmed and flavorful asparagus spears.

We were offered a dessert menu, but just couldn't handle it. We were stuffed, but if I had any room left, I would've had the rhubarb and strawberry crumble with dulce de leche ice cream. My son would've tried the Creamsicle creme brulee. My husband would've stolen mine..

Service was fabulous; From the moment we called to say we'd be a few minutes late to every encounter we had with a server or owner, we were treated kindly, respectfully, and cheerfully. Our water glasses were never empty for long, our plates disappeared as soon as all the forks were put down, and when there was a glitch with a salad order, it was replaced in less than 30 seconds.

I brought home what I couldn't finish and had it a few minutes ago. The spicing was at once delicate and complex. One bite felt more East Indian and yet another felt more Bahamian. It was a working vacation for my palate. I loved it.

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Zephs' Restaurant
638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

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