No Moment of Zen
After generating buzz for months, Gallery Place's Zengo opened its doors last night. The swanky restaurant sells itself as Asian/Latin fusion, but the menu reads as predominantly Asian, with sushi, dim sum and other similar offerings. While there are empanadas and a few bits of Latin American fare, the most interesting south-of-the-border offerings came from the inspired drinks menu. The raspberry caipirinha and various flavored mojitos (cucumber, pineapple and mango) rocked at prices from $9-$11. In a neighborhood where drinks can average $15, this is a reasonable list, but I still prefer the city's best mojito a few blocks away at Cafe Atlantico.
As for the food, I was underwhelmed. I loved the XO-style edamame, but then again, I'd expect to really enjoy a $6 plate of soy beans. The signature sushi rolls came overloaded with rice so that the fish and crunchy texture were lost. Perhaps if you glom onto the low-carb craze and ask for easy rice, you'll have better success. Other dishes were similarly uninspired, but I will give the kitchen a few weeks to get into the groove before final judgment.
Zengo seems ideal for post-game (or concert) drinks and nibbles. Bring a honey, snag a booth or one of the tables in the upstairs window and splurge on the Kobe beef, which you cook yourself on a hot stone. Chef de Cuisine Alan Yu has a pedigree that includes stints at Citronelle, Teatro Goldoni and Asia Nora, so I'm hoping that it won't be long before diners are experiencing the zen of Zengo.
Posted by: DV | October 14, 2005 6:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: CH | October 14, 2005 11:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Nate | January 26, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse
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