Well, this is awkward. I spent my entire Cold War lecture Monday scoping out all of the New Haven Restaurant Week menus online, finally choosing to get dinner at Zinc. I made a reservation Monday for dinner Thursday and spent the entire week Yelping Zinc and picking out what I was going to order from the prix fixe menu. It didn’t even seem suspicious to me that no one else knew it was restaurant week, I mean I am the go-to foodie among my friends, so I proudly assured them that yes, this is restaurant week, now make your reservations ladies!!!
Restaurant week is actually next week. My waiter at Zinc informed me of this when I asked where the prix fixe menu was when I sat down… he’s definitely the go-to foodie in his group of friends. He judged me. Anyways, I was quickly heartened when I realized that this meant I could order my FAVORITE chicken dish in New Haven! (it wasn’t on the restaurant week menu.. suckers) And unlike Annie, I am a huuuge fan of chicken, especially this one. It is a Vietnamese chicken breast with a salad of carrots and sprouts and this amazing black rice. That’s the rice they call “Forbidden Rice” in the dining halls, so you can tell I was feeling rebellious that night. The dish was so delicious—the tangy-ness of the sauce and lime you put on everything was absorbed by the juicy meat and rice. And, as anyone who knows me can confirm, I love ‘Nam. I went there last December and haven’t shut up about it since—my family is always on the hunt for authentic Vietnamese food that can remind us of our trip. Well, if there are any fellow ‘Namophiles reading, get this dish! Something about the sauce and the salad especially will bring you back. Hopefully not to any bad war memories though…
My friend ordered tomato soup which had an interesting spicy kick, and some tender scallops that came over rich, delicious cheese and bacon risotto. I think that risotto was the highlight of the dinner. SO GOOD. I’m not really a scallops kinda girl, but they were fresh and mixed really well with the wholesome-tasting risotto.
We didn’t order dessert because I wanted to go to the YCC “breakfast at midnight” study break for the infamous Orangeside Diner donuts, but our waiter at Zinc gave us complementary chocolates, which were great. I tried to pull a post-Warner-breakup Elle Woods and eat a bite of each chocolate, but I don’t have that kind of self-control so I just ate the rest of them.
Overall, this is definitely a restaurant for everyone, especially on a nice occasion because it is a little pricey (about $20-$30/entrée). Also, if you’re into the market-to-table trend, they are proud participants. Their head chef creates a “market menu” each week based on what she bought at the CitySeed Farmers’ Market, so there are tons of fresh cheese and veggie dish options that are fresh and locally grown.
The stars just weren’t aligned for me that night, though. After rushing over to the study break, we found they were out of the legendary donuts! But just like after the restaurant week confusion and my subsequent favorite chicken, disappointment turned into excitement because I realized this just means I have to go to Orangeside Diner myself! Review to come ASAP (I hope)