meet team iowa

meet team iowa

Jasmine and Matt Both Jasmine and Matt are from the fine state of IOWA, and are teaming up to take on the potato and their fellow line cooks. Jasmine grew up playing softball and volleyball, Matt golfing. So, I suspect a team player and an athlete that relies on himself, will make a very well rounded team. Their culinary backgrounds do the same with Jasmine graduating from Cordon Bleu and Matt working his way through the ranks, ending at Minerva’s a seasonal steak house back home in Iowa. We are glad they both found their way to ZZest! The team mates may go back to their roots to find the perfect potato dish. Matt said he was “scandinavia-ish mostly Norwegian and Jasmine is Czech. And asked their favorite potato dish, neither hesitated. For Matt it was potato salad and Jasmine just good old mashed potatoes. Not sure where they will go with that but they know there are ZZest standards they must meet! Typical food industry employees, their refrigerators aren’t filled to the brim with gourmet items. 3 things in Matt’s fridge are eggs, beer and parmesan cheese. For Jasmine, kool aide, butter and dijon mustard. To get the culinary juices flowing they each had 10 seconds to tell me what they would create out of each others refrigerator ingredients. Matt “ice cream cake” hmmmmm, Jasmine, beer cheese dip. How will this all play out in the ZZest kitchen? Details on their potato dishes will be revealed soon. #staytuned and remember #everyvotecounts ZZest warzz schedule spoiler alert here’s what they are making: local sweet potato mash . duck confit...
the gifting season

the gifting season

and so it begins… the hustle and bustle, the Christmas carols, the ringing of bells, the cars topped with trees. Tis the season, time to buckle down and find THE perfect gifts. Some of us love it. The browsing in stores shelf after shelf, until just the right thing reveals itself. Or the hours online searching for a unique, one of a kind, (with free shipping today only), sort of thing. Others hate the process. Stressing over the time and effort to find the right thing, often settling for a Quick Trip gift card. Although, hey, who doesn’t need gas. But, at ZZest we think food is the answer to all your gifting needs. The downtown location, ZZest Market has an array of items to choose from. From imported and domestic olives oils, vinegars, local honeycomb and imported Spanish delicacies, (just to name a few). We love choosing gifts. Stop by, Izzie is full of ideas for the perfect gift for anyone! To make it even easier we have gift boxes ready to go at the market. Three sizes, three prices. There’s sure to be something for the hard to buy for on your list! Guess what?! we also have gift boxes at ZZest Cafe, for the holidays. You can run in any time. 9 pm? sure! stay for Happy Hour! Check the website for the current selections. Then there’s always a gift card. Your lucky loved one can use it at any ZZest location. This year we have the coolest idea ever! A gift certificate for a chefs tasting! The card itself will only reflect that they are...
one guy gets it

one guy gets it

I ran across this review. I don’t know who this guy is, but, Yelp, in their infinite wisdom, decided that it needed to be a review they would bury; so did Google. It is such a wonderfully written review that I suspect they think it is a plant. But, I assure you, it is not. I have little time in my day for either Yelp or Google Reviews, so I rarely look. Although, I’m so glad I caught this one. This guy gets it. Note in his comment, the lines I highlighted in red. 2/16/2015 WOW. After reading various articles and reviews about ZZest, its almost unanimous that “the food is spectacular, the service is knowledgeable, and the ambiance is casual, yet, refined.” However, its the few reviews claiming the exact opposite that catch my eye. Honest disclosure, I tend to not venture out into the dining world much anymore as I am often disappointed. Instead, I marvel at all the wondrous flavors and creations held in my own kitchen. *cough* . ZZEST IS THE REMEDY FOR THIS. For the people who would rather their dinner plate be sectioned off so that no category of food touches the other– that is, “I would like a piece of meat, with potatoes over there, and the vegetables over here”. Don’t Bother Coming. I see now that the ones who write 1 star reviews of ZZest are self-proclaimed “food snobs” with mediocre power on a review website such as Yelp. These are probably the same people as I previously mentioned, and therefore I say: Don’t Bother. These people, although fine in their...
Eat this now!

Eat this now!

And for fun do it mid week! Come on, do something out of the norm. How many times mid-week are you wondering what to make for dinner? Already exhausted your Chinese take out? I get it you don’t want to commit to a evening out. You just want dinner. Guess what! you can accomplish that at ZZest in as little as 45 min. And here’s how you do it! Pick any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If it makes you feel better call ahead, call on your way here, we’ll save you a spot! Don’t even look at the menu trust me on this one! Order pasta! We hand make it daily. A big steamy bowl of pasta and a glass of wine! No commitment just a bowl of perfection on a chilly Fall evening. Right now you to make just 1 choice. Pick one- 1- rabbit ragu . housemade saffron cavatelli pasta . bacon . peperonata . fennel pollen . cana de cabra goat cheese $19 Add our new Petit Sirah from CA, Wild Hare $7.50 (wild hare haha get it a perfect pairing!)This is the most raved about thing on the menu right now. 2- housemade **maltagliati pasta . chicken of the woods mushroom . sunflower seed *chermoula . smoked creme fraiche $17 Add Vini Pinot Noir for $6 This is our vegetarian option but carnivores are blown away! What’s even more fun? Heading back home knowing there’s no dishes to do. Let’s make it really fun. Brew a cup of tea, put your feet up and catch up with Walking Dead. Tis the season… What’s coming soon?...
So this happened…(SQUEAL!!)

So this happened…(SQUEAL!!)

and then this. And if that wasn’t about the coolest thing….. THISIn case you don’t feel like clicking links Open Table reviews put us in the Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining spots in American and then again a couple months later for Best Restaurants Fit for Foodies in America! We are thrilled. Honored to be mentioned with such amazing restaurants and just the recognition for ALL our hard work. So what does all this do to reservations? Probably nothing. Here’s the inside scoop. We only take a few. #1 rule here, is to be available to the neighborhood, as a drop in place. Some nights, (well, really only Friday nights) there could be a wait. Average time 20 minutes. So come on over foodies! Here’s a fun idea. Make it a goal to try each 8 restaurants from MN on that...
[1.] Great Idea

[1.] Great Idea

We are FIRST consumers In fact we could be ZZest’s best customer. Because, basically, we created a space we would want to come to and food we would want to eat. And since it’s an option to eat burgers one night and potted crab the next, wecouldeat here every night. So it’s a great idea to create what we love, right? Welp, sometimes sticking to a great idea can be harder than you would think. We had afirstgreat idea, almost 6 years ago now. A fabulous culinary market with an adjoining cafe, bringing in artisan, small batch, products. ZZest Market could be the voice for these small companies, and the cafe would use the products in creative ways! Awesome. Well that great idea morphed a bit. Want the nitty gritty details? Read all about it atZZest.com. The nextgreat ideawas the cafe remodel in 2014. We wanted a lively, vibrant, and a low key vibe. We wanted modern and fun, we wanted the environment to match the passion of the kitchen. And what wereally wantedwas, to be a neighborhood gem! With a limited budget, we decided to spend our money on the food, meaning our ingredients. Also it was equally important to spend our money on the talented chefs and front of the house staff. Pricing the menu, (also important), as it must be value based and affordable. If we purchased a grand chandelier for instance, the cost would have to be off set somewhere and usually that ends up on the consumers plate (pun intended). We wanted our neighbors to spend their money on our fabulous food not our...