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cc | Nov 1, 200312:19 AM     3

Back to Zuni for first time since the big renovation.
Overall, a disappointing experience.

Started with the Caesar - still delicious, tangy, but a tad overdressed. Croutons wonderful however. Then did the Papardelle with Sugo and Mushrooms. For me this was the highlight - the pasta cooked perfectly and the aroma coming off the plate was absurdly appetizing. Pork cooked just right. I could have eaten that all night.

Then out came the famous baked chicken with bread salad and greens. Presentation was neat, with all the chicken pieces piled up among a small forest of bitter greens. The chicken had good taste but I was shocked to find it wasn't juicy, for which there is really no excuse when they make you order this signature dish 50 minutes in advance. It was also woefully undersalted. The whole time I was eating this somewhat dry bird I kept thinking - perhaps a bit egotistically - that I could and have done baked chicken many times better. However, the bread salad, with currants and pine nuts, was wonderful. Other entree was a flank steak, had a bite of the meat, clean tasting with decent flavor but can't really render a fair opinion.

Desserts were really good - the Gateau was perfectly chocolately w/o being too sweet, whipped cream great counterpoint. The Butternut Squash pie/tart was like a more savory pumpkin pie and may have bested the former as the better dessert.

Service was just not very good as has been reported on this board many times and I have to say I am a bit shocked that a restaurant of Zuni's reknown doesn't have better servers. Our server, while pleasant, was rushed, distracted, and overall we felt neglected.

Zuni, while still a good restaurant, is a victim of its own success. It just felt very *ordinary* which a restaurant of its heritage should not. I saw so many of the chicken dishes flying out of the kitchen it was out of hand. It just had the feel of a restaurant that is resting on its laurels and welcoming all the out of town visitors who just bought the new cookbook. I'll be back, but not anytime soon.

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