Zinc has been a much-loved dining spot in the heart of downtown New Haven for 13 years now, using fresh local ingredients and a comforting but classy environment to win the hearts of Yalies and townies alike.
"There's an upscale feel to it, but at the same time it's more casual than a lot of people are expecting for the quality we provide," says Manager Keith Ruttan.
Different foods are at their peak at different times of the year, and Zinc does their best to sync up with Mother Earth.
"We strive to do as much local as we can and change the menu for the seasons, and I think people really like that," says owner and Chef Denise Appell.
This is especially apparent during the summer and fall, with a market menu based entirely on local ingredients.
"We go to the farmers markets and we buy whatever is best with the farms we're dealing with that day," adds Peter Koll, Zinc's chef de cuisine.
"We bring it into the restaurant and design a menu around it. Every week is a different three course menu, and we list the farms and post the recipes on our website so you can try to recreate them at home."
Also, pastry chef Alba Es Tenoz has returned after an absence of a few years, and the staff is all excited to get her unique style back into the mix. Customers who remember her treats will understand why this is a big deal. For a more casual experience than Zinc, head next door to Kitchen Zinc, a restaurant that shares its staff and ingredients with its neighbor, in pizza form. They make pie's using their own sausage made from Berkshire pork, and seafood pies with gravlax and shrimp, for example.
"I think people really appreciate how well rounded the menu and the restaurant as a whole is," says Ruttan.
of Best American Restaurant
in the New Haven Advocate Best Of Readers' Poll 2012.