Friday, February 20, 2009


We went to Zest for dinner tonight.  Zest is located in the Mission Farms development in Leawood.

The space is well done, feels upscale and quite large but not overwhelming.  There are three primary rooms or areas.  We sat in the back-most room but did not feel placed outside of the buzz of the restaurant.  In fact, our area was loud but likely not as loud as the main dining room.

The menu is very comfort-food based.  There is a quarter-pound hot dog on the menu as well as a burger, several steak entrees, chicken and meatloaf.  There is also salmon, spaghetti and meatballs, three pizzas and a chicken-and-dumplings dish.

Our server was attentive but too much so--I felt rushed through the meal.  We were dining with another couple but were given little time to get settled before appetizers were being pushed, specials outlined, and orders requested.  

We started with the fried calamari which came with a special dipping sauce.  It didn't last long at the table.

I ordered Grandma's spaghetti and meatballs and Bobbi ordered the salmon.  In neither case were we asked if we wanted a salad or soup.

Bobbi liked the salmon which was served with a pesto sauce.  It was cooked to perfection.  My spaghetti was good but a bit bland.  Two large meatballs complemented the red sauce and pasta and was well-coated with parmesan.  But, unlike most restaurants, no additional fresh parmesan was offered.

For dessert, Bobbi had the bread pudding and I had the cheesecake.  The cheesecake was the creamy variety and had a very small sampling of raspberry sauce along with three blueberries.  It was a pretty pedestrian version of the dessert staple.

The wine list was thorough and included a decent sampling of wines.

Overall, our meal was $122, which included a bottle of Frei Brothers Pinot Noir.  So, with tip, our meal was about $150.  The value is good at this new restaurant entry in this development, which also includes Room 39 and Blue Koi.  The bar scene was hopping which makes me think this venue will stay hot given the value in this tight economy.

The restaurant is co-owned by Joe Digiovanni, former owner of Joe D's Wine Bar in Brookside.

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