are you crazy? you’re done right? how old are you anyway?

are you crazy? you’re done right? how old are you anyway?

I’m preparing for those questions once again.

The first time was about 20 years ago. I had a boy and a girl, ages 9 and 7 and was heading into my 40s. Life was easy, the future bright, a perfect little family. Then I found out I was pregnant and we were starting Zubay Family: Part 2. We were excited though. We happily told friends and family our news. Then came the comments Wow, really? You already have 1 boy and 1 girl… Are you crazy? You’re done after that, right? And (my favorite) How old are you anyway?

But here we are again with some joyous news! We are adding to the ZZest family. There’s an awesome, super cool building in downtown Rochester: the historic train depot (formally El Loro) is ours to lease. The bones are solid, and the parking lot is a big plus. We have a fabulous design (and great food) in progress. Are we crazy?! Maybe! Times 2! Because it won’t be just one restaurant it will be TWO! We’re having twins!

Due Oct/Nov 2016: PORCH. Urban farm fare.
For those of you who know the Twin Cities restaurant scene, think Brasa and Revival sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. For those not familiar, think casual, rustic, come-as-you-are, pull up a chair, and SHARE!

The bar will pour pilsners of your favorite everyday beers, like PBR, Mich Golden, maybe even Grainbelt. No worries, beer connoisseurs. Craft beers will play nicely right along side the domestics. The full bar will included the usual, but big sister ZZest will influence some great cocktails and the wine list. Because the most awesome pairing we know is Rose and Fried Chicken!

And just like that, we are on to the food! Let’s start with Proper Fried Chicken, a Porch specialty. Behind even the most humble food is a great Chef. Justin has researched, and we have eaten plenty. Order a two-piece for yourself or a platter to pass around. Gathering at the farm table is encouraged. In fact, it’s the best way to enjoy the menu. Pass the biscuits and the Fine Smoked Meats like brisket and sausages.

The menu’s Meat and Potato section will include fresh fish, shrimp and grits, and sandwiches. There are some surprises among the passed shares (Stay tuned on that one – especially if you were around Rochester from 1978 to 1982 and yes. That would make you old, too. The side dishes are not distant cousins. Eat your Vegetables! They are an important and amazingly delicious part of every dinner at porch.

Due Early Winter 2017: CELLAR. Craft cocktails & plates.

At Cellar, we don’t hold back the Chef or the Mixologist! Step down into Cellar’s cool vibe (think Gentleman’s Club) with its swanky cobalt blue decor and deep secrets! The wine list will be awesome, the drinks amazing, and the plates over-the-edge. We will serve Grandpa’s favorite beers, and Sister’s bubbly.

Take a seat at the bar and try an amazing burger that even rivals ZZest’s! Tuck into the corner and sip dramatic cocktails and dynamic chef-driven small plates. Come before dinner, stay for dinner, or come after dinner. There will be dessert, decadent bites, and paired ports and sherries.

Are we done yet? For now maybe, but who knows?! Remember that third baby? That would be Jason. He’s heading up the new restaurants alongside Chef Justin Schoville and Lindsay Zubay.

As for the rest of us? Well, we are old, but we feel happy, we feel fine, and we’re not dead yet! We’ll be helpers, and are hoping to become a cult classic.