Zazio's inside the Radisson hotel in Kalamazoo deserves a lot of kudos for spearheading the restaurant resurgence in this college town 45 minutes south of Grand Rapids. This Italian eatery offers an extensive Italian wine list, a burst of bright colors for its interiors, a quaint lounge, an open kitchen and a very impressive chef's kitchen featuring stadium
seating overlooking the culinary studio setting.
My colleagues and I dined here last evening as precursor to the annual Michigan Lodging Tourism Association's annual Pure Michigan Governor's conference hosted by the Radisson. Our experience did not disappoint, in fact, the food quality and the friendliness of the staff surpassed our expectations.
The highlight from our dinner were the Spinach Tagliatelle Pasta Ribbons with Bolognese Ragu, Parsley and Grana Padano, and both steak dishes, the Manzo Ribeye and the Fiorentina Porterhouse. The Tagliatelle was so simple yet absolutely delicious in its purity. The Manzo with balsamic grilled onions, gnocchi al gorgonzola, cremini, garlic and broccolini was a feast for the eyes as it was for the stomach. The 20-ounce Fiorentina is a meat-lovers dream with a truffle-pecorino infused arugula salad and roasted butterball potatoes.
The claret style Il Borro wine stood toe-to-toe with the Manzo and Fiorentina as if it was its destiny on the Zazio's menu.
While I would give the overall food experience an "A," I would suggest the kitchen to look at upgrading the gelato presentation. The three Palazzolo Mango Gelato, served in what appeared like a cereal bowl from the buffet breakfast, was underwhelming, given the creativity of the other plates on the menu. I would also suggest using a dry Prosecco instead of the sweet Moscato for the Bellini cocktail. The sweet Moscato paired with the peach puree and the gummy ring was a mouthful of sugar in a glass.
Hunter, our server, was both efficient and friendly. He was knowledgeable about the menu and contributed to the wonderful dinner experience at Zazio's.
|Guazetto - Steamed Prince Edwards Island Mussels with roasted garlic, white wine broth|
leeks and spicy sopressata.
|Mista di Zazio|
|The amazing Spinach Tagliatelle|
|The 20-ounce Fiorentina Porterhouse|
|Sausage and Peppers|
|Slow braised Duck Gnocchi|
|The hearty Tuscan Il Borro|
|Palazzolo Mango Gelato|