I have been silent about Za Za Trattoria for too long. It was selfish, really, to have sat on such a fabulous new restaurant, but you’ve got to understand how I might want to keep those bready bits of pizza and fabulous BYO brunches to myself for a little while? Yes? No? Well, here we go anyway.
I lost count of how many time I’ve eaten at the trattoria in the last five or six weeks, but let’s suffice it to say that I have been thrilled with everything they’ve served so far. From their focaccia-like pizzas to, surprisingly enough, their grits (which are the best I’ve had: neither too cheesy nor greasy, with a true corn taste and milky, smooth texture), Brian, Geoff, and Braxton present high quality products simply. The sausage cornbread, the salads, especially the caponata and peach/arugula. As they are both Chez Fon Fon alums, Frank Stitt should be proud of their elegant and economical approach to local food.
Their daytime service is strong, as evidenced by formidable lines at peak times, but the dishes really shine at supper and Sunday brunch. I have never sat around a table of food lovers and heard such uniform praise (most typically in ecstatic moans, smiles, and pointing). Surrounded by an eggplant-based caponata salad, sausage cornbread, grits, frittatas and breakfast pizzas, fresh fruit, and prosecco (which we were lucky enough to have on hand), it was an unparalleled meal.
Tips: Get to the Za as early as you can at mealtimes to make sure you can get exactly what you want (and to avoid long but swift-moving line); Order a “local” latte (made with Higher Ground espresso and Wright’s Dairy milk); BYO wine and beer while you can – that feature will likely end when their beer/wine license comes through.
AL.com’s Bob Carlton wrote a great post on Za Za a few weeks ago. Read it.
Dan is the producer of ‘Ham Sandwich. P.S. He loves Za Za’s macaroni and cheese. Those massive hunks of pancetta aren’t there for show, folks. Read about his cooking adventures as Skip on The Gourmetro and learn about his work on aisle-9.net.