Destinations Magazine

Zinc Restaurant: "Authentic Flavors," Great Service and Very Pleasant in a Barren Culinary Desert.

By Johntalbott

June 2012 0074.0 Zinc, 8, rue de Hanovre in the 2nd,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, opened with great hopes since it was the second of Frédéric Vardon of 39V that I rated at 5.8 and called "very nice, refined and pricy."  Ironically my meal at the supposedly less refined and less pricy Zinc today was about the same.

June 2012 009
As soon as I entered and looked around, I realized that my good buddy Julot, who says I cover mainly "hipster" type places, would rib me endlessly about this place whose decor was classic hipster, with all its customers (except me) in ties, under 30 and clearly on their nearby places' lunch break.   Well Bobo be damned.

June 2012 010
The service (wait-person-wise) was terrific, 6 people must have said Hello and Goodbye to me; the music subdued and non-intrusive and the amuse gueule spicy and satisfying (with great toasted breadlettes - the two regular breads were also quite nice).  So I was primed.

June 2012 011

June 2012 012


Rather than order the forced choice menus at 23 or 28 E, I went a la carte with a very pleasant (but let's face it, bland) marinated salmon in the style of herring, which in this Republic means warm potatoes and olive oil but not necessarily sock-it-to-'em zingo-ing fish - and a jambonette of chicken made quite well but served with a too many potatoes and a few sauteed cepes with a weird smoky sauce.

June 2012 008
In honor of its being the summer solstice ("Midsummer's Night Dream" and all that, the Fete de Musique and the first day of summer-like warmth and humidity since April), I had a Matelote Rosé from the Bandol, which went perfectly with my mood and meal.  Wines here are sold by the glass (teens), 50 cl carafes (high teens) and bottles (twenties and up).

With no bottled water or dessert but a coffee with a mini-Madeleine, my bill was 66.50 E.

Go?  Funnily enuf, Yes, even though I rated it a 4.0 and Rubin 1 heart, Lobrano thought it was a solid B concluding that "Ground breaking gastronomy isn't what this place is about, of course, but rather good quality affordable casual dining," and I think that sums it up perfectly. 

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