Thursday, June 9, 2016

Zest Restaurant - Canton St in Roswell Atlanta Geogia

You can find Zest Tapas Sushi and Tapas Restaurant at 957 Canton St, Roswell, GA 30075, your basic main-drag in downtown Roswell. Parking can be found in pay lot across the street or along some of the side streets - during prime time (weekends and Friday evening) you may need to walk a bit as this area gets packed, for good reason as there are lots of good restaurants congregated along this short strip (about three blocks or so).

I've been wanting to try Zest for some time, having spotted it during a pub crawl I did in Roswell a few months earlier. This mid-week night seemed like a good time to check things out. We parked int he pay lot across the street in front of Canton Street Antiques Market. Zest is the low building with an awning across the street - it's actually two sister restaurants, Zest Tapas and Sushi on the right and Pearl Seafood on the left - once you enter you can sit on either side and enjoy both menus - as the Zest side was packed to overflow, we found a high table in Pearl. The interior has brick and contemporary finishes and concrete floors with wood table tops and an open kitchen. The bar extends along the demising wall between the two concepts.

You're given both menus if you ask for them - the Pearl menu features seafood combinations with a lunch menu (with bento boxes and sushi) on the back; while the Zest menu features tapas and sushi on the front with wines and drink selections on the back. I liked that there were many "stacked" options for oysters and shellfish available on the Pearl menu - at some point I'll return and gorge myself of those but for tonight we were looking for things to share - also my friends Sangam and Apoova weren't too familiar with the shelfish options for the most part although we made some exceptions (Apoorva is mostly vegetarian).


For drink, I went with the Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA - one of my favorite locals, on draft. I find IPAs work well with just about anything and in particular a wide variety of food types, which we were planing to order. In total we ordered the following:

Seared Diver Scallops - This was a small plat of large seared scallops spiked to a small pile of cheese grits. Delicious

Asian Chopped Salad - napa cabbage, cucumber, edamame, carrot, scallions, cilantro vinaigrette, wonton strips - sort of your basic slaw-style salad. we also ordered another salad but I don't remember the deets:

Lamb Lollipops - three grilled lamb chops stood up on a small pile of mashed potato - delicious!

Fried Calamari - a basic slightly salty/spicy fried calamari dish served with Thai chili sauce

Hush Puppies - Good roasted jalapeno and corn hush puppies but nothing to write home about - still very filling and served with a remoulade

PEI Mussels - The classic from Prince Edward Island cooked in white wine, garlic, shallots, herbs, cream, and served with a rustic bread 

Rainbow Roll - California roll topped with tuna, salmon, red snapper, yellowtail, avocado

Dynomite Roll - tuna, yellowtail, red snapper, asparagus, topped w/ masago & crunchy flakes

Other Roll - don't remember the name but it was quite good.

Overall all the food we tried was above average. The sushi was also above average - better than what you would find in most of the larger buffets but not quite the quality of the air-dropped fish at Nakato - still very good. The service was a bit hit-or-miss, mainly due to how busy the restaurant was when we arrived and how quickly it filled up. We shared a tall bench-style table with another group who were more interested in drinking (they were going to a show nearby). Still a good overall experience and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to friends.  We ended up at Roswell Provisions for coffee and dessert.

-- John

 (also posted to Yelp)
Zest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

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