Saturday, August 9, 2014

Have you heard of ZZ’s Clam Bar?

Well, have you? I’ve recently discovered this West Village gem and I’m a huge fan. I had never heard of the place until about a week before I went. ZZ’s is actually under the Major Food Group umbrella, the team also responsible for Torrisi and Carbone. I did my research and even the Yelp reviews were outstanding. Looking at the menu, I gasped. $20 for a drink? Wine $20 and up? This is pricey even for Manhattan standards. All the food is light, seafood inspired and small. It's the only small plate menu I've seen that ranges from $18-$150. 
Say whaaatttt!?? I admit. I was skeptical.  

You must make reservations as the space is teeny tiny! By tiny I mean the size of a bedroom. When you walk in there are 3 tables to your left, a few bar height seats to your right and a bar that looks like the bartender is about to test a chemistry experiment, surrounded by colorful jars, fruits and tools I've never even seen in a restaurant. Don't be alarmed by the door guy outside (he’s actually the best way to know you've arrived as there's virtually no signage outside), he's just there to monitor guests. The space is pretty much reservation only since their capacity is about 15 people.

As you settle in to your table or bar stool, get ready for an amazing experience. Cam, the only server I've seen there is a pro. Super charming and knowledgeable. The space itself is something to be seen and the spectacular food and cocktails only heighten this "only in NYC" experience. Come prior to having dinner for drinks and bites as it would be hard to get full here, at least for less than $100 per person sans drinks. But hey, we do eat a lot:-)

Where the magic happens...

ZZ's Coconut Cocktail. $20 and takes about 20 minutes to make but totally worth it. 
Well, at least once:-)

Goods from the raw bar. Fresh oysters and clams. Fresh, briney perfection.

ZZ's Tuna Toasts. One of the best bites I've had in a long time. The olive toast is crisp and super buttery with the most amazing raw tuna (a spicy concoction) perfectly piled on top. Divine.

Our tart and creamy Key Lime Pie. 
Very tasty.

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