Second time at Zest. My group
Second time at Zest. My group of 8 was treated well. Everyone pleased with their food and the service
5/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
We had been last year when
We had been last year when going to the Marine Barracks and thought this year the food was better. I would come another time when not going across the street.
5/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
Hits all the right notes.
I really enjoy our visits to Zest. The food is prepared so well, exactly as described. Most entrees have that dash of verve that makes it a Zest dish. Just enough heat or accent to make the flavors notable. I look forward to the soups offered. I haven't tried a new one I didn't like. The mixed grill is terrific because it offers surf and turf with a chimichurri sauce that accents the entire dish. My partner swears that the blackened salmon bearnaise is the best she has had. The servers are excellent at what they do and not pushy or around too much. We love what Zest offers and will be returning soon.
5/10/2013 4:00:00 PM
Mothers Day Surprise!
Great little spot. Food was fresh and full of flavor. Will definitely be back.
5/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
I went here for my graduation
I went here for my graduation dinner and really enjoyed it. All of the dishes that we ordered were very good. They took typical dishes and gave them an extra spin. I would go back.
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fav spot on 8th Street. Always find quality food at reasonable prices there.
5/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Took my dear friend for brunch. Everything was seasoned well, arrived to temperature with attentive service. We both had the build your own omlettes. Yum! And the spicy cheddar grits were fantastic.
Reasonably priced and nice atmosphere for a Saturday afternoon brunch. Price per person for coffee, entrees and a side was under $40 before tip. Will definately come again.
6/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Another Successful Outing to Zest
Except for the fact that there was no reservation when we arrived (and I had received a confirmation, so who knows what happened), this was a completely pleasant experience, as always. The server was knowledgeable, outgoing but not hovering every minute. The food presentation was artful and was made from fresh ingredients. There were wonderful twists on some of our dishes, such as ginger and Wasabi on calimari. Zest is so appropriately named! A definite YES when asked if I would recommend this restaurant. It is priced right and well worth the trip.
6/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fun little place
I parked under the bridge and ws pleased that it was so cheap. Then headed over for dinner. Across the street is the Marine Barracks so you get to look at good looking people in uniform while eating. I had the pork belly, delicious. I love being in the south, the dish had black eyed peas, which is unheard of back in San Diego. I then had the catfish with grits. That too was yummy.
6/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great neighborhood bistro
Zest is everything you want in a neighborhood bistro. Great ambiance, great food, great location, and reasonably priced.
I had the blackened salmon and am not exaggerating when I say it was the best salmon I have ever had. Perfect seared on the outside, moist, flakey, buttery on the inside. HIGHLY recommended!
6/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Relaxing Saturday brunch
A great find - fresh and delicious food, server was friendly, attentive without being intrusive. THe create-your-own omelette was both rich and light at the same time; my companion had the Chesapeake benedict which was a cornucopia of interesting flavors. Recommend the spicy cheese grits - grits done right with just a little kick. And they take reservations, great if you hate waiting around at brunch time.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Watermelon gazpacho! The chef
Watermelon gazpacho! The chef is brilliant without being pretentious. Her flavor choices are very bold, but clean :-) Sricha cheese grits? Come on. She should be the next Iron chef:-)
6/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
The menu offers a variety of interesting foods and combinations. Everything was tasty and the service was superb.
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
I took my brother here for his birthday for dinner. We'd never this restaurant but it was absolutely amazing. The food was fantastic, we were a party of 6 and we tried just about everything on the menu. The Lamb Shank was spectacular and I had the Miso Cod. Also, our server was amazing and very patient with the undecisive members of my party. I will definitely be back.
6/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Quaint, yet inviting
Zest is a wonderful 8th street find. I haven't visited many of the new restaurants on 8th street but if Zest is the prelude I am thrilled to try my luck at any of the new/up and coming neighborhood gems. Food was wonderful. Our server, Andrew, suggested the lamb shank which was absolutely delicious (I was a lamb virgin). I'm looking forward to introducing my friends to this wondeful establishment. Keep up the great work.
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Date Night was a success!!
We were running late for our reservation so we called. Dante answered the phone and was so gracious! Said "no problem"! We showed up 30 minutes late (traffic/weather) and we were sat immediately. Our waitress was very on-top of things and we never had to look for her for help. The food was really, really good! My friend and I split an appetizer and the Southwest Chicken Risotto - yum! My husband had the sampler plate (can't remember the name) and he really enjoyed it. My friend's husband had a dish with kale and salmon and said it was great. We would definitely dine there again!
It's a small restaurant, but I never felt crowded. The noise level wasn't bad, we never had to speak loudly to be heard.
6/27/2013 4:00:00 PM
Try Zest ... You'll like it.
Three of us came to Zest for a business conversation over dinner. It was the first time for two of us. We all ordered different things, and we were all happy. I recommend the salmon, the corn/crab chowder and the truly yummy calamari. Our waitress was helpful and timely, even when we still chatted a bit after our last drinks were gone and the check was paid. I might add that we were seated toward the back, which is a good thing since it seemed likely that it would have been a bit difficult to hear had we been seated up front. But do try it out ... Zest's good food and good, very courteous service are a joy. There are outside tables too but in our case, we wanted the AC which was working very well.
7/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
We ordered off the appetizer menu. Every dish was delish!
7/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
soy ginger salmon salad on
soy ginger salmon salad on sesame noodles was very tasty - salmon was really hot - just off the grill and super fresh tasting!
7/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Time at Zest
We enjoyed a very pleasant dinner at Zest Bistro on a very busy night for the restaurant. We started with Zest house salads that were fresh and flavorful. This was followed by two hearty pasta dishes which arrived quickly out of the kitchen after their preparation. Both were very well-prepared and satisfying. Service was friendly and attentive despite the fact that the staff had such a large number of guests to serve. We really like this neighborhood gem, and look forward to the next visit.
7/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
I was very impressed with the service when we brought our toddler there for brunch. We had to move tables from outside to inside and they were very accomodating and helpful. They brought crayons for the baby and asked if we wanted a kid-friendly cup for her use. What impressed me the most was the waitress asked if we wanted the baby's food out first. Not many places know to ask and that's always a huge help! They were attentive and the Manager came by to greet everyone as well. We will return.
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food - decent ambience
I really enjoyed the menu at this little restaurant. My favorite item was the grilled asparagus - really delicious. There are a number of healthy options in addition to a number of "creamy" options. Our table was very small and the restaurant felt a bit busy, but I really enjoyed the food and the prices were very good. I wouldn't go here for a romantic evening, but for a night out with friends it is definitely a crowd pleaser.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food in a compact space.
Great food in a compact space. The Southwest Chicken Risotto was excellent with just the right amount of spice for me. My wife had the Soy Ginger Salmon which she really liked, even though there was too much dressing on it. The service was efficient and timely. It was a very busy night and things went well at our table. Many more interesting items on the menu mean we will be back.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Zest is not a presumptuous restaurant, but can deliver carefully prepared and delicious meals. During the week when only neighborhood folk are there it is relatively quiet and intimate. Tuesday is half price wine night!
7/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Only problem with this visit
Only problem with this visit was that I was a little early for our reservation and, when seated, wasn't offered a drink for more than 15 minutes. Otherwise, food and service were good.
7/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Eat before Marine Evening Parade
fairly reasonable price for the locale. Portions a little on the small side, but not too bad. We both had a crab cake flat iron steak version of surf and turf that was on special. Meat was cooked the way it was ordered. Crab cake was decent with a nice crunch on the outside. One noticeable item was the size of the cakes between the two dishes. One was a very nice size cake, probably 3.5 inches across, one was barely three. Same with the sliced flat iron steak. Consistency in portion control is important. Flavors were nice.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
I have been to Zest for brunch and lunch and have had a great experience both times. When I went for lunch it was with a group and they were able to accommodate our size and our server was awesome. For brunch be sure to make a reservation as the restaurant is not huge and does fill up. I can't wait to try their Tuesday 1/2 wine special!
8/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Nice neighborhood scale restaurant; very good & inventive food, tending towards the spicy. Excellent, knowledgable service. Ate at one of their sidewalk tables, which is not a fancy outdoor area but pleasant - inside looked nice also. Cannot comment on inside noise level.
8/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Waitress Kelley really did
Waitress Kelley really did a good job taking care of a party of three for a business lunch.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Two nights in a row!
Brought friends from Wilmington Friday night. They wanted to come back Sat so we did!!
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had an excellent experience at Zest. Our server, Kelley, was just great. I had the sourthwestern risoto which was delicious. Just the right amount of spice. My wife had a kale salad with beets which she thouht was great. We ate outside and even though it was warm it was a very pleasant meal.
Zest is not a fancy dress up place. It is wonderful neighborhood spot with good food and service. We thought it was one of the best places we ate in DC and would go back again.
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
I was extremely pleased with the choice of restaurant to celebrate my Dad's Birthday. He and my mother were here visiting from out of state and I was determined to show them a good time. We were greeted with a smile and excellent customer service. When seated, our server was just as nice as our host. She made sure our water was always cold and full, she also made suggestions and knew the menu well. When our food came our party of four were all pleased. Hands down the BEST calamari we have EVER had in our combined lives!!!
8/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Outside is the best
Zest, like many other establishments of its ilk, endeavors to provide a cheerful, noisy interior, the noisier, the better. (Why? all of my friends ask ourselves. It's a mystery.) Although not necessary to pull out bullhorns to talk to your date across the table (as is necessary at nearby Mezze), it is still sufficiently noisy that my friends and I prefer to sit near the front window, but the best is when the weather is good enough to sit outside. All the pleasures of Zest without the noisy annoyance.
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Pretty Good Find in the District
This was a busy night; Marine Corps Barracks had a formal event going so the Bistro was hopping. We had a reservation and were delayed by traffic in arriving on time but, we were seated promptly when we arrived (we had called ahead to notify them we were running late). Since the place was pretty full, the bartender came over to our table and got our drink order almost immediately. Shortly thereafter our server arrived. The Lobster Bisque was not that good, too much tomato, not enough cream or sherry in the base and everyone had lobster shell in their portions. The main entrees were excellent; well prepared, excellent portions. Overall, great atmosphere; good service; and a good price for the quality. This is a nice find in the District.
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Sunday Brunch is Great
I had planned on coming to brunch simply for the Shrimp and Grits, but was pleasantly surprised by the Restaraunt Week menu they had set for foodies. I still had what I planned, with instant regret because my friend's food was substantially more food. LOL. My portion size for the Shrimp and Grits was perfect, though, so I didn't have the burden of lugging the leftovers back home. Watch out for shelled shrimp. It can get messy.
It was a little chilly in the seating area, so bring a light jacket or don't wear a summer dress. Overall, good food and good service.
8/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
zest did it again.
Had a friend from New York visit, so we took her to our local gem. She was blown away away the food and service. What we love about this place.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
I enjoyed my experience at Zest. I was part of a group of six. We had a member of the party join us late and the restaurant was very flexible about the timing of drinks, apps, and dinner. Our waitress was friendly, informed, and dialed into our pace. While there were a few gaps in her appearance at our table, her service was fine. The food choices ran the gamut from sandwiches to full meals. Our table ordered choices that touched most parts of Zest's range. I was very pleased with my Blackened Salmon which was prepared as I ordered (Med Rare). The meal was attractively presented, generously sized, and tasty. The rest of our party seemed happy with their meals. The prices good for Barracks Row (great for DC). I recommend Zest.
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
The port reduction sauce on the mixed grill was delicious! Blackened salmon/crab was also delicious. The 24 hour hour tomatoes though, did not taste like they were roasted for 24 hours...quickly marinated and regularly roasted. Flavor was not too deep.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Zest American Bistro is my "go to" destination in Barrack's Row when I'm meeting someone for a business lunch. Lunch specials are always quite imaginative and the rest of the menu is filled with satisfying selections. I am very partial to their tomato soup as a starter, but there are others that are quite good. Service is always cheerful, knowledgeable and attentive. Meal pacing is excellent and the staff seems uncannily sensitive to not interrupting a conversation with, "would you like more iced tea?"—they just bring more iced tea! I have never been disappointed with a lunch at Zest and I very strongly recommend it as a worthy alternative on Barrack's Row.
10/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
We needed a restaurant that served good food but that was kid friendly before the soccer game- Zest was perfect. Would really recommend. Waiting staff from the moment we walked in were brilliant. Thank you!
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lunch with Mom
My mom came to visit and we went out to lunch at Zest Bistro from the National Gallery. It was farther away than I had realized. However, Zest Bistro was definitely a good find. It was away from the touristy restaurants and had a real neighborhood feel. My mom had the spinach chicken Cobb salad, and I had the Bombay chicken salad. Both were excellent. The vegetables were very fresh. The chicken on our salads was hot off the grill and very moist. The restaurant was perfect for a yummy casual lunch. It's also just around the corner from Eastern Market, which takes place on Saturdays and Sundays. We would definitely go back.
10/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good Neighorhood Place
I went to Zest for the first time with a group and had a decent meal. The wine was excellent, and everyone was pleased, though not blown away, with their food. My fish was fine, and luckily not overcooked, but our shrimp appetizer was way overdone. I would be more likely to go to Hank's or Belga, but this is a good alternative. This is also a good place to go if you want decent food and have some less-adventurous guests.
10/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Really, really great atmosphere. The food was good. It won't win any awards, but it was delicious and reasonably priced.
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food and service!
I recently came here on a Sunday night and it was pretty empty, but have been there other times when it's been hopping. The service was better when we were the only ones there (surprise, surprise!), but overall this is a great spot - flavorful and healthy food options that aren't the standard fare. Great drink and wine list (don't recall beer selection).
11/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
Had a great meal. there were
Had a great meal. there were 8 of us and the service was a little slow to start, but it picked up after that. All the meals except one got rave reviews; the salmon was under-cooked in that one. Would definitely go there again when in town.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great for a group of 12, service was outstanding and they did an amazimg job for as big of a group that we had. The NY Strip was perfectly seasoned and cooked, lamb was great and the drinks were kept coming. All in all a great night.
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
Located at the end of Barrack's Row it is easy to not make it down the block, but it is worth the walk. Zest has amazing food, the menu has been designed with the patron in mind. The combination of flavors, leaves you wanting to order 2nd and 3rds. The staff is always friendly, and go out of their way to ensure that I have an enjoyable experience. I moved from the Hill, but continue to go back to the city just for some ginger calamari and rosemary fries.
11/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Happy without haughty
A laid back, comfortable place to go casually and have a tasty meal. I get quite annoyed with DC restaurant choices. I wish they'd take a cue from Richmond VA. Sure I've enjoyed some of the high end "fancy food" (that's a joke in our house) options, my current favorite being Blue Duck Tavern, but often I just want a place where I can get a table, that has an interesting, thoughtful menu in a mellow atmosphere with no pretension. Having a relaxed server was refreshing. Zest fits perfectly. There's a nice choice of apps, salads balanced with entrees, a few sandwiches and lots of sides which I love because I dig options. Yummy beverages. Paloma...dreamy.
11/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
Delightful Neighborhood Restaurant
Delicious food, very pleasant staff and good place for dining with children.
11/23/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food stands out
Excellent food, even the whole lobster was cooked up perfectly which is a rarity outside of the northeast.
11/26/2013 4:00:00 PM