Blog Archive

Friday, May 21, 2010

Going Out In Style

Last night we had one last dinner with Whitney before she leaves for Dallas. Our good friend David is the GM at Zengo, which opened last month. Perfect spot for our last dinner. 

Sara, Emma and myself were lucky enough to attend the Friends & Family night at Zengo and got to taste basically the entire menu. 

The architecture and interior design is beautiful. The concept of Zengo is Spanish Japanese fusion which I believe is evident from th design to the menu. The main room has wood beams running along the entire ceiling with a huge wrought iron chandelier in the middle. 

To keep with the Spanish flare, there are also wrought iron gates along the South wall of windows which are in front of solar shades to keep the sun out and the restaurant nice and dim. 

I love the light fixtures throughout the entire place. They are different per section. The lights over the large rectangular table are very industrial almost kitcheny and homey. 

We sat in a corner booth in the back section. The lights were very interesting with upside down shades. One of my favorite aspects is the splash of color along the walls that were up lit from wall washes on the floor. 

When you look towards the back of the restaurant you can see the upstairs wine cellar. One day I'd like to take a tour in there. Hint hint Dave. 

There is a bar downstairs by the entrance of Zengo. It is a more contemporary bar with some really cool pendants. Love them. 

To continue with the concept of the Spanish Japanese Fusion, upstairs there is a sake bar and down stairs is La Biblioteca Tequila Library. 

I wrote about La Biblioteca recently. I was just there a few weekends ago for Mother's Day Weekend with Emma, her mother and my mother after the theater.  It is a very chill spot. Although, it was pretty happening last night with the CW party. 

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Richard Sandoval grew up surrounded by Mexican culture and food. His father, a successful restaurateur, instilled in him a passion for the cuisine of his heritage and the art of hospitality. From the age of 12, Richard worked in his father’s highly regarded restaurants Madeiras and Villa Fiore restaurants, confirming his desire to be a chef.

After living in California where Sandoval learned to appreciate the ingredients indigenous to the area, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, Sandoval returned to his father’s kitchens, immersing himself in the cuisine of his homeland where he was ultimately awarded the National Toque d’Oro, Chef of the Year.

Back in New York, Sandoval partnered with famed opera star Placido Domingo to bring Modern Mexican seafood to midtown with Pampano. This beautiful restaurant specializing in the coastal cuisines of Mexico received a brilliant 2-star review from The New York Times and was voted one of “The Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine. That same year Sandoval was named one of the “Best Chefs of 2003” in New York Magazine, further solidifying his reputation as the Modern Mexican chef in America.

Richard Sandoval has been a pioneer bringing refined Mexican food to this country. By redefining this historic cuisine he has become a leader in the upscale Latin culinary movement. He is a revolutionary in his own culinary way, cooking with such innovation and refinement that Modern Mexican Cuisine is now recognized as one of the great culinary experiences, sentiments once reserved for French, Italian or Japanese food.

I had the Roasted Chicken Salad with togarashi candied pecans, mandarin, cabbage, piloncillo-ginger vinaigrette and it was fabulous. The vinaigrette was delicious. The chicken was nicely shredded and it was easy to eat. There we no huge chunks of lettuce. It was the perfect size for my main course as well. 

Emma had the Chipolte Miso Black Cod with braised daikon radishes and lemon togarashi aioli. It was recommended by our server, who was tremendous. She said she would have never ordered Black Cod but is so glad she did because it was tremendous. 

Kristen had one of my all time favorite dishes, the Wagyu Skirt Steak Churrasco with grilled onion, crispy yucca aciote and mustard chimichuri sauce. She let me have a taste. It was just as good as last time!  

Whitney had the Port Carnitas Rice Noodles with port shoulder, mushrooms, cashews, soft egg and a hot n' sour sauce. It looked wonderful! She said it was hot n' spicy and delish! 

We also got bottle service right at our table. We could either make our own drinks or our server would offer to make them for us! By the end of the night everyone was just mixing and experiencing up concoctions which they said tasted great!

There was mango puree, grapefruit juice, orange juice, sour mix, ginger ale, mint leaves and a Japanese liquor. Mike had fun saying the name. I on the other hand still can't pronounce it. 

And then the downfall. Well, my downfall at least. I was so good until dessert. I haven't had dessert in two weeks. Two weeks you say, that doesn't seem like a long time. Well, for me, thats like a year. I usually have dessert with every dinner meal (bad bad bad). But, because it was a special event and our last meal with Whitney as a New York City resident I broke down. 

They basically brought out the dessert menu. Of course I had had them before but I just couldn't take it.  They were all so delicious. 

They sent out Whitney the Dulce De Leche Pudding with chocolate caviar (which is tapioca) rum-plantain sauce and coconut macaroons and wrote her a cute little note. 

There were the Churros with dark chocolate-cinnamon dipping sauce.... 

The Lemongrass Panna Cotta... 

Mexican Chocolate Tart with cocoa nibs, cinnamon whip and chili ancho anglaise...

and my all time favorite...
drum roll...

The Goat Cheese Flan with candied walnuts and cajeta. 

Of course I got a little camera happy since it was a night to remember with great friends. 

Whitney and our awesome server gettin a little naughty...

The Tulsa Girls! 


Best Friends. Whitney you will be missed but you will never be forgotten. We love you! 
(We missed you Sara)

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