For this week’s article I decided to go to local restaurant rather than dining at a casino as I want to support the mom-and-pop type places that have felt the pinch of having to deal with closings, then reopening at half capacity.
While takeout is always an option it’s nice to be seated and have people wait on you as that’s part of the dining experience. I don’t get to the Southern Highlands area often but when I do, I like to dine at Zest Bistro & Bar located at 10670 Southern Highlands Parkway.
The menu is pretty extensive so you will have no problem finding something for everyone’s taste. For starters one of my favorite appetizers is the Bacon-wrapped prawns. You get shrimp wrapped in bacon and served with a Thai sweet & spicy chili glaze. Shrimp and Bacon, need I say anymore?
If you like meatballs, they have a 2-pound meatball for sharing. This meatball is good, and you better have help to finish it off.
For my main entree I have had several dishes I like, but my go-to dinner choice is the Gnocchi with Ragu. I love this sauce as it’s a vodka sauce with ground sausage. It’s so good and comes with a salad for just $15. You can’t beat the value and their homemade balsamic dressing is very good.
My wife Lori’s favorite dish is the Beef Stroganoff which goes for $24 and comes with salad as well. The portions are big as Lori always gets two meals out of it when she orders. One of my other favorites is the Chicken Saltimbocca, which is a sautéed chicken breast with prosciutto, mushrooms and served in a Marsala wine sauce. This dish comes with a salad and fresh vegetables for $21. I love the sweet and salty taste of this dish as the Marsala sauce gives you the sweet while the prosciutto gives you the salty taste. That’s a match made in heaven.
Zest Bistro & Bar also has a wide selection of specialty pizzas if you want to just have a couple of drinks and a good pizza. The menu has sandwiches, steaks, seafood dishes and a full array of pasta entrees.
I haven’t had it yet but one of their most popular dishes is their Beef Wellington. It’s on my To Do List. If you are looking for a tucked away local restaurant to try, you won’t go wrong at Zest. I give it a rating of 3.75 Forks.