Thursday, February 5, 2009

Decatur Restaurant Review: Zucca

We're all about supporting the local establishments. I try to keep up with the Decatur Metro blog and recently saw a post about Zucca in downtown Decatur. While Zucca is a chain, we decided it was worth a try since one just took up post on the downtown square (where Zocalo once was, next to Brickstore Pub). 

With our kitchen in shambles, Saturday night seemed like the perfect night to give the place a whirl. We parked by the high school and made a brisk walk over to the square. Zucca seemed crowded (the long wait at Brickstore probably works to its advantage) yet we were still able to be seated right away. The spacious booths and TVs at every table were a hit with us. Dan was able to find some ESPN channels and ordered a Guinness (they were out of Bass). He was set.

I saw the relatively impressive draught list but still asked the waitress for a recommendation. She asked her bar manager then came back and said that the Terrapin "Wake and Bake" seasonal was excellent. And delicious it was! The dark beer wasn't too bitter and had an ever-so-slight taste of coffee and chocolate. Mmmm.

Seeing in that we'd had late lunches, we opted to split an appetizer, salad and entree. We ordered all three at once and proceeded to talk/watch TV... for a little longer than I'd planned. After about 20 minutes, I asked the waitress to check on our appetizer. Not 30 seconds after I inquired, our calamari arrived. Served with a spicy marinara and lemon wedges, the calamari wasn't overly breaded and seemed to be cooked just the right amount.

We had barely eaten half of our calamari when our classic/house salad and entree arrived in a one-two punch. The house salad (olives, parmesan cheese, tomato wedges, mixed greens, onions, etc.) seemed fresh and was complemented by a homemade vinaigrette. 

The lobster ravioli didn't live up to expectations, though it wasn't bad by any means. The bits of lobster were overwhelmed by the cheeses (ricotta, mozzarella, etc.) and the rich-but-tasty tomato-based sauce. The pasta was reminiscent of the high-end frozen variety (think Bertolli) that you buy at your local Publix and cook at home. It was good but not $15 good.

In the end, the damage for four beers, one appetizer, one salad and an entree was $52 plus tip. Not bad. I would say you're more likely to find us drinking beers, watching sports and having bar food at Zucca than treating ourselves to a full dining experience. 

To Zucca's defense, we didn't try their pizza. Maybe it's excellent.

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