Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A European couple review Zola the restaurant

So we wanted to try fine cuisine in the US. Probably, having had the choice, for this experiment we wouldn’t have selected Nashville, a city famous for other offerings. But this is where work brought us to, and anyway we had heard nice things about Zola, where Chef Debra Paquette (co-owner with husband Ernie Paquette) produces dishes inspired by Mediterranean (notably Spanish/Moroccan) and French cuisine.

Let us come clean at the outset: the experiment was not successful. We don’t want to play the part of the snotty Europeans (though what else are we?) so we would prefer to attribute the failure to a seemingly impassable gulf between our concept of fine dining and the Nashvillian one.

As you might have guessed already the main problem for us was that the multitude of ingredients expressed only muted flavours at best. We prefer dishes with fewer ingredients, but with clear, well extracted flavour. We read in an interview with Chef Paquette (you see, we really do our research) that fun is an essential feauture of her cooking philosophy. And no doubt her cuisine looks joyful, if ungenerous in the meat portions. We wish good luck to Zola, which anyway does not need our wishes because it clearly meets the local taste.

Read the entire review and visit their site at Eat Drink Man Woman.

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