Occupation: Public Address Announcer
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Zut! On Fourth
Reviewed Zut! On Fourth: Friday, November 29, 2013
What is no doubt considered a local gem, a gathering place for regulars, family friendly, comfortable and a homey destination on the bustling 4th Street shopping corridor in Berkeley, Zut! brings a taste of the Mediterranean to the East Bay. The menu is a mix of various Mediterranean flavors and American classics presented in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, making the short trip across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco worth the time and effort.
The starters include a nice selection of Mediterranean favorites including Chilled Gazpacho Soup, Grilled Octopus, Lamb Meatballs and a Meze Plate filled with a variety of classic appetizers. As for the main courses, if it is meat you are craving, you can’t go wrong with the Rotisserie Chicken, Lamb Chops or New York Strip. The fresh fish and pastas are also a great choice for folks that want something a bit lighter or don’t eat meat. And the individual thin crust pizzas are the perfect option if you want something quick and satisfying; much like you would get from a pizzeria in Italy. But don’t expect all the items on the menu to be there each time you come in as the kitchen changes dishes out regularly based on the season and what’s fresh and available from their local suppliers.
While the savory portion of the menu highlights many aspects of international cuisine, the desserts have more of an American, continental influence and are definitely worth saving room for. The Fresh Fruit Crisp, Chocolate Budino Cake and house made Sorbets are all aptly portioned and delicious. But it’s the Ice Cream Sundae that has us coming back for more, or at least staying for dessert. Made entirely of homemade ingredients, you get the perfect bite of everything in every spoonful. With free parking in back and plenty of meters on the street, their location just off University Avenue and Highway 80 makes access to Zut! a breeze and well worth the trip over from Oakland, San Francisco and beyond.
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Paulie’s Pickling
Reviewed Zut! On Fourth: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I have to start out by saying what a great restaurant! The paintings on the walls, the velvet lined seats, and the beautiful chandeliers were just some of what to look at because it’s endless!
Service was impeccable. He was very attentive and great to talk to about Chef Jim Wimborough and his food. I thought that there was such care to the menu and the use of great products were impressive. We almost ordered everything on the menu! We started with a cocktail called Philanthropist: bourbon, absinthe, gum syrup, lemon and orange bitters. We also had a good, light, drinkable Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley called Stompin Girl and a nice 2006 White Rock Cabernet Sauvignon. My son had a Mexican Coke and a really interesting Lurisia Chinotto Soda which was really good and totally different.
Our entrees were great. If you want the perfect burger look no further. The fresh Ground Beef Burger with aged white cheddar was juicy and bold in flavor! It comes with best French fries ever! Totally addictive! We also had the Halibut with Manila clams, Yukon potatoes, fennel, tomato, aioli, and served in a delicate saffron broth. I ordered the Rib Eye Steak medium, but it came well done. The server was super cool, sent it back and it came back with the perfect temperature and juicy! It came with tender greens that seriously melted in your mouth. The JOJO Potatoes were giant wedges that were perfectly crispy and fluffy in the center, and seasoned nicely, except I could have done without the lemon.
This was a great experience. Chef has a creative, well thought out menu and I look forward to going there again and hopefully soon.
Occupation: Small Business Owner/Blogger
Favorite Restaurant: Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop & Restaurant
Reviewed Zut! On Fourth: Friday, December 6, 2013
4th Street in West Berkeley is an excellent location for walking, shopping and eating any time of year, but on an evening during the holidays, it has a festive, movie-set appeal. A tunnel of lights sparkle over the tree lined street and you’ll find Zut! right in the center of it all. The laid-back ambiance and warm, friendly service make it well suited for a stop to recharge with a libation and a casual meal.
Overall though, Zut! lacks identity. It makes an attempt at creatively crafted dishes, but they miss the mark. For a unique and pricey dining experience, there are too many restaurants in the Bay Area to compete with. The starters, salads, pizzas and burger are decent and well-priced and a better fit for the ambiance. The restaurant should focus on expanding and perfecting that portion of the menu and doing away with the more fanciful fare.
For a winning dish, don’t miss the Brussels Sprouts. Whether you’re on the side of embracing or abhorring them, you’ll find yourself delighting in their preparation or with a fine opportunity to change your mind. Lightly fried in canola oil, they have a slight crunch with a soft give. The flavor combination of garlic, bacon and parmesan with a lemon in a cheesecloth sack for squeezing on the top makes them fairly irresistible.
With a few menu tweaks in the kitchen, this location could become a sought after respite from the bustle and charm of 4th Street.