Thursday, August 02, 2012

FOOD REVIEW: Zelo (Minneapolis, MN)

lemongrass crab cakes (lump crab meat, avocado, vanilla) $15

Recently I had a business trip in Minneapolis, MN to attend the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. While I was there I grabbed lunch (twice!) at the excellent sandwich place called Lunch Cube (1122 Harmon Place Minneapolis, MN 55403; 612-225-6800) which was a short walk from the hotel and conference site. I would highly recommend the Chipotle Tuna Classic Sandwich (Albacore Tuna Salad and Chipotle Pepper Spread Topped with Lettuce, Tomato and Onion; $6.95) and the Black and Blue Signature Panini (Roast Beef, Bleu Cheese, and Grilled Onion with a Red Wine Aioli; $7.95).

But this post is actually about another discovery that I made while in Minneapolis: the asian fusion restaurant named Zelo. After doing a Yelp search I was interested in eating at Butcher & The Boar (1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403) and my dinner companion was interested in eating at the D'Amico Kitchen (901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403). However, when we walked by the first place we couldn't find anything on the menu that was not red-meat based and when we walked by the second place it was closed for a private event.

So we continued walking around and came across Zelo, checked their menu and found a lot which looked interesting, especially for someone who is trying to reduce their intake of red meat. Happily, they were not too busy, especially since it had just finished sprinkling.

I ordered the lemongrass crab cakes as an appetizer while my dinner companion (a work colleague) ordered the grilled lamb meatballs (harissa, chickpee puree, cucumber; $10). For our entrees I had the romesco risotto (tiger shrimp, carnaroli rice, spinach, romesco sauce and reggiano; $20) while she had some kind of pasta with mushrooms that is not on the regular menu. My crab cakes were excellent, with the combination of avocado and vanilla a scrumptious touch. I had the large risotto, which was such a hefty portion that I wasn't sure I would finish it, but it was too yummy to stop eating, and stuffed with shrimp. I also had a taste of one of her lamb meatballs, which was also quite tasty--it has a surprisingly spicy kick to it.

For dessert we split the tahitian vanilla crème brûlée ($7.50). This was quite well done as well--it's hard to make a mess of crème brûlée.

All of the food was of superior quality, and the bill for two people came to under $100 for two people with 5 courses between us, including tax and tip. If you're in Minneapolis, I would strongly recommend you check out Zelo!

: Zelo.
Location: 831 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55402.
Contact: 612-333-7000.
Visit: July 13, 2012.


OVERALL: A (3.83/4.0)

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