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  • Zest Bistro

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Zest Bistro
Zest Bistro

Zest Bistro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.zestbistro.com
  • Email: info@zestbistro.com
  • Phone: (202) 544-7171
  • Hours of Operation: Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Thursday - Sunday: 3:00pm - 11:00m
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Dot Steck
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Zest hosts events from 10-75. Please call for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Liz Goldstein (202) 544-7171

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between G & I, SE
  • Public Transit: Close to Eastern Market and Navy Yard metro stops
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Take advantage of the Public lot underneath the freeway, 1/2 block from Zest!
A word from Zest Bistro
Zest Bistro - A Neighborhood Bistro with a twist....
At Zest, you"ll experience the coming together of 2 great pleasures - great food and outstanding service. Zest is an urban restaurant that takes bistro food to a new level. Every day, our Chefs create contemporary American cuisine with a distinctive twist. Daily specials highlight seasonal freshness and showcase the Chef's innovative talent. Zest pleases your palate with savory entrees & inventive salads & sandwiches. Desserts are all made on the premises, in keeping with what's available seasonally. The wine list is filled with choices, and we offer 1/2 off bottled wines on Tuesday's. In addition to wine and a craft beer selection, Zest offers innovative cocktails, many of which are made with fresh syrups & purees concocted in-house.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "We went here because we were told that this was a kid friendly spot. My son loved the food. The porkchops with the mustard sauce was amazing. My husband got a typical burger, and that's all it was- typical. I'd say overall the food was great. The place was a little tight though, and we were stuck in the back where the kitchen was, so very loud and we could hear more than we wanted to."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "been there a few times. disappointed in this visit."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We had a delicious Sunday Brunch at Bistro Zest. The restaurant was packed so we were glad to have a reservation. The atmosphere was casual and very energetic with a friendly and mostly attentive staff. He menu was varied and pleased everyone in my group."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Doesnt get the hype of some of the other places on the Row and is nestled in towards the end of the street, but Zest, with its small dining area and eclectic menu is a real gem. The Tuna Club is one of the best around and a real bargain and omelets to order go over well. Our party of five had not complaints and left only crumbs on our plates."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Six of us came for a get-together meal Sunday afternoon. Two wanted lamb, but they were out. the waitress should have told us that at the outset. When five of us were served our meal, the sixth was told "we are out of catfish." Why did she wait until the meals were coming to the table to tell us? We were having a good time with our friends and were good-natured about it, but afterwards I thought about it more. The meal was OK. There are so many other restaurants in the neighborhood,, I would choose another one next time we are in the area."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "When given the option of picking any restaurant on the Hill for her birthday dinner, my 9 year-old picked Zest. The kid's menu never fails to satisfy. My hungrier tween loves ordering from the regular menu. Adults are equally satisfied with menu options that are flavorful and healthy. This is our family's favorite restaurant on Barracks Row."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Came with a group of 12, were seated immediately. Ordered a mix of salads, sandwiches, soups, shrimp & grits. Everyone loved everything. The place was empty at 11:30 and packed an hour later, so come early."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I had been here before for dinner, which was quite good. And, again, for brunch and that was very good. So, I brought my mother here on a visit this weekend and was so disappointed. The food was lukewarm at best, toast and homefries were simply cold, so adding that to the cramped atmosphere without the food to overcome the lackluster atmosphere, I was disappointed. Our waitress was lovely, but we had to ask the hostess for coffee refills, the check, and a lot more that the waitress should have covered. I won't be in a rush to go again with so many other choices on 8th Street now."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Despite the reviews, the food was not exceptional, the service was scattershot and small things --like paying attention to seating, providing enough bread for the table, et…-- weren't there."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The food was very good, and the server very helpful without being intrusive. The bets thing about Zest is that you can have a conversation without shouting or straining to hear your companions. I like other Barracks Row restaurants, but Zest is really the only place to go for good food and a noise level that supports conversation."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Dependable, good quality bistro style restaurant, one of the best on the Hill. Never disappoints, the perfect spot to finish the day or chill out with friends, good food and always friendly service, one of my favorite spots."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "Service was spectacular but we were disappointed in the food and the lack of flexibility. It was lobster night but there was no option to substitute fries for a vegetable. Plus no lobster bibs or wash and wipes which made it messy. We were impressed with the wine."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "The Bistro Lunch at $13 is a great value. You get a choice of soup or mixed greens, a sandwich, and a choice of fries or mixed greens with the sandwich. Plenty of food. You could get two lunches out of it. The vinaigrette that was on the mixed greens was delicious. I'm normally a cream-based salad dressing person, but that vinaigrette is something I would have again. I also ordered a side of the spicy cheesy grits. The grits were excellent. Some of the best chees grits I have had."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Zest is a very good neighborhood restaurant. It has a nice well-balanced beer/wine/cocktail list, and a diverse menu. I brought some friends from out of town, and they enjoyed their experience as well. I never leave disappointed, and will continue to make Zest one of my regular spots. Thanks Zest."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I discovered Zest a couple years ago. Always great food, for those with a discerning palate. The prices are very reasonable, especially when you consider the quality of the creations. For some reason, it has never caught on with the "in" crowd that floods out of lesser establishments near by. I'm thankful for that, but feel bad for the owners."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I would give this place 5 stars! Food and atmosphere was great!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Parents take note: this place is kid friendly. It's well lit and there were lots of sippy cups and chicken nuggets served. For folks looking for a nice place to dine on 8th Street without screaming kids, this is not for you. I wasn't impressed by the service - beer and wine took over 20 minutes to show up for our table of two and the restaurant wasn't even crowded. Then I wasn't impressed by the food - the miso cod was too salty and yet somehow flavorless. One saving grace was really good herb french fries (like McDonald's only with rosemary). So the fact that there were lots of kids there really was the straw that broke the camel's back."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "I discovered this restaurant via a yelp search. It had 4 star ratings and priced as affordable. The ratings held true. It was a great time for a large group dinner. Our server Katherine was great!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Great menu & food. The staff is very friendly and competent on the menu items. Took a group there for a work farewell and we all had a great time and loved our food."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We had dinner at Zest this weekend. It was my first time back in a few years. The servers were friendly and efficient - especially considering that the place was very busy. The food was interesting and nicely prepared. We shared the tuna tartare and beef short rib appetizers, and the pork loin and miso cod main dishes. Everything was tasty. The only issue was that the portion sizes for the main dishes were on the small side. Since we ordered appetizers, this wasn't a big issue for us. Also, we noted that the prices seemed better than some of the nearby restaurants of similar quality. We will be back soon."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "The food was good, the cocktails tasted great and the atmosphere was nice. However, it was extremely slow services, especially from the bartender sending drinks to tables."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Zest was busy on this Saturday. It appeared this is a spot where a number of families had children. I had the burger and my dining companion ate the ahi tuna club. Both entrees were very good and would order them again. The service was slightly backed up on this Saturday."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Restaurant week menu was small but varied. The micro lobster salad has to be one of the most delicious salads I've ever tasted."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "I selected this restaurant based on other reviews on this site. I was overall satisfied, but not exceedingly impressed. The food was good, well made and fresh, but nothing spectacular. The service was excellent in all respects. For the price, this restaurant was just about right - worth visiting."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Have been here before and the food was great. But tonight, Zest really knocked it out of the ballpark. The lobster salad was wonderful and the scallops were tender and juicy. But the creme brûlée - ooh la la. Will definitely be back for more!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "So, I had the prime rib which was excellent but....the potatoes and asparagus were underneath it :/ The potatoes were mushy, and the asparagus was pickled yuck. On the upside, the micro lobster salad was to die for, I could of just had a regular sized one if it was available and my ratings would of been a lot higher."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "service was lovely, menu selection is always great, but salmon was a bit fishy tasting, sides are always great here., but statets are variable in terms of selection. Coffee is marginal in flavor, salad was fresh and lovely, flatware has an appealing feel. Filtered water is not standardard so must order bottled still water."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Our server was less than friendly/helpful, but the hostess and other servers made up for it. Food was great!"
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "Fit for foodies and a wonderful neighborhood gem. Love Zest!"
    Dined on 4/5/2013
  • "Excellent choice for a work/party lunch. Everyone was really pleased. It was a bitter cold day and soup didn't stay warm in the plates for long, but the soups were all delicious. The kale salad was wonderful too, as were the burgers. Ahi tuna tartare with grilled ginger was sublime. Our only concern was difficulty in hearing conversations. Although it was not busy at the time we went, it still had a noisy ambiance, presumably by design. This makes it difficult for boomers!"
    Dined on 1/7/2014
  • "Zest Bistro gave great service, super friendly people but the food was mediocre. I cannot recommend Zest; too many other great places to eat in DC w/ same food for same prices or less. Zest is a lovely little cafe, where the people make you feel satisfied even if the food is not good... lol. That is quite a feat! Coffee was good. Homefries were tasty with touch of rosemary. Chesapeake Benedict was served on thin halves of sourdough bread, instead of English Muffin, the crab cake was thin and about the size of a half dollar hidden underneath the poached egg. Their hollandaise sauce is VERY good. Short rib-hash looked like mashed sweet potato with dark flecks. It tasted like apple vinegar. The hash is more of a side, not the primary food."
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "I love Zest, and visit often. Was disappointed in brunch on New Year's Day. The challah French toast not only wasn't challah (some sort of multigrain bread), it was also lukewarm, as was the apple compote and syrup. Think I'll head over to Ambar or Ted's next time I want a sweet breakfast entree."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "I went to Zest for brunch and there were about 3 people in the restaurant and yet, service still managed to be slow. The food was OK."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Zest Bistro never disappoints. The food is reliably good, the service friendly, and the prices (especially the lunch special) are reasonable."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "We enjoyed this restaurant very much and felt very pleased that we choose it. The food was great and the atmosphere perfect. The service was kind and informative. The only thing we would change is the creme brûlée and the espresso, which was too much like american coffee."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "My party of 3 just finished lunch at Zest. Two of us had the Asian Salmon salad. The salmon was perfectly cooked, and the salad was excellent. The third had a daily special, short rub sandwich. It must have been excellent because there were no crumbs left and no offers to taste. The service was good too, I would highly recommend trying Zest. We would easily return."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "Zest has a modest number of selections but they're all good. I like restaurants that pay attention to a smaller number of items than offering a larger number and can't pay attention to all of them. I had the tuna club at lunch; the tuna was rare as the waitress told me it would be unless I specified otherwise. And the bread thin enough that you could get your mouth around 3 slices plus the filling; a rarity in my "clue" experience. It's those kind of thoughtful things that keep me coming back.."
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "We had a hard time picking appetizers and entrees, so we ordered a few. Everything was great. The service was questionable. Our server was also the bar tender. When we ordered a bottle of wine, she just poured the wine without allowing us to taste or inspect the cork. When the main course was being cleared she asked "can I get you the check?" and seemed annoyed that we ordered dessert. She brought the wrong beer to the table and didn't offer to replace or comp it when I said it was OK. Overall, we felt like a major imposition and our server clearly wanted us to hurry up and leave --- even though the restaurant was only 1/3 full. Maybe she was the only server and had to cover the bar too, but poor staffing is no excuse."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "I had the lamb...extra large portion , succulent and polenta was a great comfort food compliment. My guess had the salmon and chicken and we shared the ginger calamari. Excellent"
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Zest helped me to surprise my fiancé with an engagement party. It was a great place for out of town guests to meet and prepare for the party and the menu has items to please everyone."
    Dined on 12/21/2013