Even though it was a little off the beaten path for a dinner (since we were staying in the Napa Valley), I couldn’t resist Zazu Restaurant and Farm in Santa Rosa, especially when I realised that we would be there for the Monday Night Farm Supper (3 courses for $39, before beverage, gratuity, tax). For those of you who don’t know, Zazu is a roadhouse restaurant, serving Americana and rustic Northern Italian inspired-cuisine.
According to their website, Zazu restaurant and farm was opened in 2001 by Duskie Estes and John Stewart. Zazu was named a TOP 10 best new restaurant of 2002 and was listed in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 restaurants in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Zazu was also rated in the Top 10 Italian Restaurants in Northern California by Zagat and Top 50 restaurants in the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, Zazu was included in the San Francisco Michelin guide as an Inspectors Favorite for value, receiving a “Bib Gourmand”. In 2009, Duskie & John received the Rising Star Chef Awards for Sustainability.
Quite the accolades for an unassuming roadhouse that doesn’t look like much from the outside but which is bursting with country charm and warmth on this inside.On Monday nights, there’s not much to think about when it comes to the menu..
Except if you want the vegetarian option or not. And if you want the wine pairing or not. (On a side note, the night we were there a diner at a neighbouring table was allergic to garlic. Either that or she didn’t like it. Can you imagine? She didn’t eat much that night).
Neil, dad and I couldn’t resist this beer:
Mini corn muffins were brought to the table to share:
A revelation for my mum and dad who are not big fans of cornmeal (my dad doesn’t even much like corn! What’s wrong with him?). These were light and fluffy and airy. And so small you simply had to have two.
Our entrée (sorry, starter for you North Americans reading) was corn and zucchini fritters:
Served with the quintessential baked beans and coleslaw:
For dessert, we were a little dubious to read about the “Chocolate and Strawberry Gelato Icebox Cake”. Then when it came, we were still skeptical…
It looked a little out of place. However, one mouthful in and we all agreed that despite the strangeness of the concept (pound cake covered in strawberry gelato and covered with molten chocolate sauce) it really worked. Not as heavy as it looks or sounds, either.
This was a wonderful early evening meal in a cozy, friendly environment. Thanks Dad for being the designated driver (it really is a bit out of the way…) so that we could enjoy this meal with the wine pairings. If you can get to Zazu on Monday for Farm Supper, you won’t be disappointed. It’s like a fabulous home-cooked meal that you don’t have to cook. Or clean up. What could be better?
Zazu Restaurant and Farm
3535 Guerneville Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-3927