Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Zazu - Santa Rosa California

Zazu Resturant
3535 Guernville Rd
Santa Rosa

We went up to Santa Rosa a the night before the trial.  The winter Bayteam trial always runs late and we really wanted to try Zazu.  As a matter of fact, I waited one whole year to eat here as last year we had reservations on Sat evening and had to cancel them because the trial went so late.

It is northwest of the trial location about 10 minutes from the fairgrounds.  The road there is dark, but the restaurant is well lighted and you won't have any trouble finding it.

One word:  Bacon.  If you are a fan.  Get the bacon.  Yummmmmmm.

We arrived late as traffic was a bear getting up from the Southbay.  Worried we wouldn't be able to find the place driving the dark roads, we were so happy to see the big Zazu sign.  As we drove in my phone rang and it was the restaurant.  They wanted to make sure we were still coming.  I am so thankful that they didn't just give our table away. 

Service:  A little slow.  Not horrible, just a little slow
Cost:  We split the bill 5 ways and ordered a bunch of food (appetizers, salads, main course).  We got one bottle of wine and brought in a bottle (corkage fee).  Still the Cost was $55 each.  I did not think it was crazy expensive.  The meal was well worth the cost.
Ambiance:  Rustic, Farm house style, comfortable but loud.  I was there with a group of 5.  I couldn't hear half of what was said from the two people seated across from me.  It was a cold night and the inside of the restaurant was very pleasant.  Clean well lighted with a feeling of upscale but still relaxed.  Dinners were all dressed very casual in jeans and holiday colors.
Food: Sorry that the photos aren't great.  I only remembered after we were halfway done with the main course.

I had the Porchini Mushroom Pasta and a side of bacon.  Yum
We ordered wine.  Then we ordered appetizers and dinner.  Wine came first, then bread, then the appetizers.
  • Smokey Eggplant dip.  Came with two small pieces of toasted bread.  I felt there was a significant amount of the dip and very little bread.  The bread had been toasted and was a little soggy with the Olive Oil.  I used the bread from our bread dish (plain).  The appetizer was good, but not exceptional. 
  • Salumi.  OMG over the top good.  I can not remember which salumi we ordered, but it was delicious.  They also served pickled turnip with it and the combination of flavors was delicious. 
  • I ordered the porcini noodle, winter squash, sebastopol mucshrooms, redwood hill goat cheese.  A very earthy dish.  I love the flavor of procini, but if you don't like it, stay away.  This dish has a very deep flavor.  I loved how the goat cheese really balanced the flavor.  I also ordered a side of bacon that I shared with the table.  I broke up my bacon into the pasta and was rewarded for my efforts.  The bacon blended well with the earthy dish.  I would absolutely order this dish again.
  • My friend ordered the california black cod, backyard sorrel, brussels sprouts, bacon fat fingerlings, caper aioli.  Cod was indeed the highlight of this dish.  Perfectly cooked, my bite of fish was well seasoned and perfectly prepared.  Feedback from my friend was that the potatos were a little bland but well cooked.
  • Another friend ordered the green noodle fazzoletti, short rib sugo calabrese, roadhouse ricotta and she seemed to really enjoy it.  But said she'd try something else next time.    
OVERALL:  Recommend
I would recommend this place for dinner.  The menu is different and you might need the waiter to help you understand the choices, but it is really nice to go somewhere and try new things. I felt the price was well worth the experience. You absolutely need a reservation.
The Cod with Potatoes.  The Cod was highlight of this dish