My Mom is a frequent bridge player. She plays with her friends who she refers to as her “bridge bitches.” Whenever they’re done with their game, if one of them isn’t cooking, they will try out different spots in Rochester and she’ll tell me all about it. When she told me about ZZest, I knew I had to feature them on my blog. She described the menu as inventive and different from what she has seen before… I was immediately inspired and intrigued. Growing up in Rochester, Minnesota was great and I wouldn’t change a thing… but, every time I come home from Chicago to visit, I am always so excited about how far my sweet, little hometown has come.
The very first thing I noticed about ZZest was that they have an open kitchen! I’m a sucker for an open kitchen. I love being able to sit and watch the magic unfold. Although the space is intimate, they do a great job of dividing up the seating areas so it feels like there’s plenty of room to sit. You can sit in the bar area to the left or you can sit in the open kitchen area to the right. Joining the two areas in the back is a specialty cheese counter, which is how this place originally got started. I like this visual connection into their history – it almost feels like the ‘hub’ of the restaurant. You can read more about their impressive story here.
In order of appearance, the food I shot was their Sea Scallops with a cinnamon crust, popcorn puree, n’duja sausage and orange, their House Pulled Mozzarella with lamb sausage, hazelnut pickled salsify and turkish curry vinaigrette and their Parsnip Cheesecake with strawberry, mint, yuzu lemon and kiwi. Is your mouth watering yet?
You can see more of their menus here. Be sure to scroll down where you can select from cheese & charcuterie, lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, the bar and party platters. Pizza is coming soon!
Whether you’re living in or visiting Rochester, make a point to check this place out. I’m looking very forward to coming back this summer where I’m going to sit on their outdoor patio with a ‘build your own’ cheese board and glass of wine… or two.
ZZest Team and LeeAnn, thank you so much for having me – I can’t wait to come back! Cheers!
All Images © Regan Baroni 2016.