Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Restaurantin': Zinc - New Haven, CT

While I do promise that I'll post about my little sister's actual graduation, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the outrageously delicious meal we ate the night before all the ceremonies began. (The Chinese food we had at Basil the night before the night before the festivities began also hit next level deliciousness, but after five hours on the road, I wasn't havin' no camera come between me and my dinner.)

After much anxiety and planning, my wonderful mother managed to score a reservation at Zinc, a farm-to-table restaurant that opened right around the dawn of this millennium (doesn't that sound cooler than just a number? Let's all get into it.) I'm not saying that so you'll think that we're all high and mighty and important and got a coveted reservation, just that we had major struggs what with having to be in approximately a bajillion places and everyone else graduating in New Haven also going out to dinner that night.

First off, the space's aesthetic hit all the marks for me. Semi-dark lighting, classic stemware, clean lines with modern touches? Yes, please, all of the above.  Since we had a 5:30 reservation on account of needing to finish in time for my sister's concert, I had the opportunity to capture the pleasingly empty table you see above. What can I say?  I love simple stemware.

Let me say that this day already had quite a bit of food in it, so I looked toward the menu's lighter options.  For a starter, I selected the soup of the day, a Asparagus Tarragon Soup that delighted me to no end.  It tasted vibrantly of fresh asparagus with just a hint of tarragon to add interest, and I'm pleased to tell you not a drop remained when I finished with it.

For my main, I decided on another of the small plates, House Made Salmon Gravlax, accompanied by puffed rices, tamarind vinaigrette, Madras yogurt, and pickled kumquats.  Can we get a round of applause for pickled kumquats, y'all?  'Cause that shit goes PERFECTLY with cured salmon.  Cuts really nicely through the fattiness of the salmon, yo. Speaking of the salmon, the delicate flavor hit the spot for me, though I must admit I rarely object to salmon in any form. If I have one complaint, it's that the amount of yogurt overwhelmed the finessed flavor of the salmon. In my opinion, the dish needed about half as much as was present. I can't lie, though, the yogurt was just as scrumptious as all the other components.

I couldn't bear to leave out a shot of my father's entrée, the Smoked Pork Chop, which surely would have found it's way to my stomach had I not already been full from the day's earlier culinary exploits. Isn't that just gorgeous? I was informed that it was cooked to perfection, as well.

All in all, a really bang up meal, and a lovely evening to boot. Price was as to be expected, always nice not facing surprises on that front (be real, though, you think I paid for this? I was eating with my parents...).  I would absolutely give this place another go 'round and try some of the well-curated menu's heavier offerings, but it seems my family's time in New Haven has come to an end with my darling little sister's graduation.  C'est la vie.

I leave you with this reeeeeeeeally cool piece visible from the alley next to the restaurant.  Apparently it lines up perfectly if you stand in precisely the right spot, which I think it is reasonably clear I did not manage to do. Still. Really cool.

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