Second Review of Zucchero--Not the Same as First

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today, my boss invited me and a coworker to lunch and asked me to pick the restaurant. To support local restaurants in my neighborhood, Zucchero was my instant choice as I wanted to compare the lunch service compared to my memorable dinner. [Click here for my first review]. Also I wanted to make favorable impression on my boss.

Upon arriving, the valet immediately tended to our vehicles and we were seated right away. In surveying the dining room, there were only a couple of customers at 1:30pm. Our waiter promptly brought menus and shared the specials.

While waiting for the order, the bread basket was placed on the table. Almost prison-cold and hard and no butter or spread, my mouth salivated at the memory of the bread spread from my last visit. In trying to explain the taste, texture and ingredients, my waiter had no idea and asked the kitchen crew. No one knew what I was talking about. My coworkers were wondering if I started drinking before lunch.

Thankfully, our meals were served quickly and portions were impressive. I ordered the Cod fish special which came with soup or salad. I chose the Soup of the Day--garbanzo soup in a light vegetable broth. Tasty, light but filling and garbanzos were "al dente" firm for this protein-rich legume.

Lianne ordered the Risotto which appeared soupy but she said in eating the white giant bowl of porridge it was consistent and "good".

My boss ordered the carpaccio as appetizer and Caesar Salad for his main meal. CEO of a major company, and a connoisseur of fine dining or excellent food in Miami, he offered poor marks for the carpaccio. "Too cold and tasteless". His main course was a generous portion of chicken slices (compared to most restaurants where the lettuce overwhelms the chicken).

The Malbec house wine was not house temperature but more on the Miami warm side. But after dropping one ice cube in the glass (from his glass of water), my boss elevated the marks to "acceptable".

Zucchero lacks energy and ambience in the daytime. That personal attention was definitely missing. I imagine the owner or premier staff were managing the sister restaurant, the popular Tutto Pasta literally down the street. We excused the restaurant due to the economy. The restaurant opened in November of 2008, literally when the economy was nosediving. Timing is everything but not always within our control.

So much for impressing my boss. Guess I won't be getting that raise. But I'll keep blogging and writing these reviews. You can count on that!

Sadly, I must downgrade Zucchero from "Best Kept Secret" to "Hit or Miss". Dinner is probably the safer time frame.

If you visit the restaurant, please return to and post your comment below!

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  1. We are so sorry that the second visit wasn't the same as the first. We would love to invite you back now that Chef Juca is back in the kitchen and has relaunched as Tutto's Mare at the same beautiful location. Find us on facebook and email us your reservation, would love to hear your feedback!


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