I was so sad to hear of Zola’s closing at the end of August 2018. It, like its neighbors Golden Wok, California Tortilla and two houses (one of which I lived in for two years during school) will be torn down to make way for a new high-rise apartment building.
I remember its predecessor, Zola New World Bistro, as a ‘special occasion’ place to go, And the relaunched Zola Kitchen and Bar which opened in 2015 provided a great upscale and alternate dining option downtown.
We went on a weekend night, our excuse (aside from checking another place off our list) was to celebrate moving. Hey, whatever you have to say to yourself to justify something, is okay with me. My husband had never been, and really I don’t think he knew of its existence until we went.
The drink menu at Zola was quite comprehensive, wines and beer of course but also a good range of mixed cocktails. Let’s face it, we love drinks! Especially Bourbon based, so I ordered something fancy that had bourbon, nectarine, and rosemary.
My husband ordered a her majesty’s secret service – which had scotch, gran marnier, black pepper simple syrup. It was good, but we both could not taste any black pepper syrup.
We started with some really good duck risotto croquettes. Similar to arancini, which is essentially a risotto ball stuffed with cheese. These had to our surprise, really large pieces of duck confit in the middle. I was expecting small pieces, and more rice to meat ratio. These however, had large pieces of meat and A LOT of meat to rice.
For dinner, I ordered the pork chop, served with grilled peaches, ricotta and a bourbon (there’s that word again….) glaze and haricots verts. The pork was cooked to perfection, the glaze was sweet and it still had a bourbon flavor to it. The best part, and what I saved for my last bite was the grilled peaches!
My husband ordered the filet mignon. Which was served along a lobster tail, and asparagus. The lobster was a big piece, we were expecting smaller bits so it was a great surprise. (We skipped dessert in favor of getting Creamery ice cream)
Overall, our food and drinks were great. Our server was training, which didn’t make sense to us since they are slated to close in a few weeks. Lets hope she finds a new job. The plating was typical, nothing unique or creative, but still the food presented well. (I mean look at that photo!)
According to an interview in the Centre Daily Times, owners Robert Hufnagel and his son, chef Andrew Hufnagel, are looking at options for a future location.
Lets hope they find one !
Here is the CDT article: CDT Zola