In honor of my declared resolution to live life in the continuous mindset of a traveler, I was extremely excited to celebrate Restaurant Week 2013. My friend and I had dinner at a unique restaurant called Zed451. After hearing several rave reviews from my coworkers, I was dying to try it out.
It was equal parts a fantastic meal and a fascinating experience. The restaurant is dark and artistically decorated with deep panelings, dramatic fire pits, and clusters of candles. The service was friendly from the moment the door was opened for me to the man who helped me put my coat back on as I left the restaurant. The hostesses were sweet. Our server was great. And the chefs who brought food directly to our table (yes!) were all charming.
The restaurant is unique in that you pay a set price. You then have unlimited access to over a dozen different salads. And I’m not talking about your typical ceasar salad, I’m talking about the best of fresh market salads. I had spicy green beans with nuts. I had apple, spinach and feta salad. I had poached pears. Deviled eggs. Mushrooms and oysters with a feta dressing. And these are only the ones that come immediately to mind. There was also a charcuterie table with a handful of different cheeses, cured meats, and spreads. My favorite was a wine and fig spread. Then there was a soup station.
Stones sit in the middle of the table and once you feel ready, you can move your stone from the plate to the edge of the table. Chefs holding spears of meat then circle about stopping to offer you a fresh slice of meat. We tried a spicy, moroccan chicken; we tried salmon that had been marinated in both lemon and lime and topped with onion; and we tried a beef juicier than any I had eaten before. Bottom line, what I’m trying to say is if you are hungry and in Chicago, go eat at Zed451.
Are you wondering what Restaurant Week means? Typically it’s a week (or 10 days if you live in Chicago! or a MONTH in live you in Napa!) where restaurants create special menus at discounted prices to introduce new clients to their culinary experiences. Many cities have adopted the tradition to honor a week during their slower times, usually in the middle of winter or the middle of a hot summer, as Restaurant Week. I adored this tradition while living in San Diego and now again as I live in Chicago.
Do you live in Chicago? Don’t worry you haven’t missed out! Restaurant Week is running strong until Sunday, February 10 – so get to eating! Click here for a list of restaurants participating and to make reservations. Do you live in a city other than Chicago? Click here to see a list of Restaurant Weeks throughout the United States.
if you’re lucky enough to dine at Zed451, you’re lucky enough