Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zylo - A Tuscan Steakhouse


Recently a W hotel opened up in Hoboken, NJ. Inside is a tuscan steakhouse run by Troy Unruh. Being the first of its kind in Hoboken, it was time to check it out, even if it had only been open since March 27th. I went last weekend and left surprised.

The layout of the restaurant is nice. When you walk in there is a bar on your right as you face the NYC skyline. There are tables in front and in another room in the back.

We arrived a bit early so we had a drink at the bar. The drinks were great. I had a bourbon drink that was a riff on an old fashioned and my girlfriend had prosecco with strawberry puree.

Now onto the food. The menu is broken into pizza, antipasti, primi, secondi, steak and sides. We decided to order a pizza, an antipasti, a small pasta, and a couple steaks. We also ordered a side of the braised black tuscan kale but unfortunately it never showed up, which was one of many small miscues.

First up was the Al Prosciutto pizza. It was prosciutto, red onion marmalatta, shaved
fontina cheese & baby arugula. This was was very good. The middle of the crust could have been a little crisper and the outside crust was a little burnt and not in a good pizza char kind of way. The flavors though were spot on. The salty proscuitto and the red onion marmalatta were perfect compliments. I would go back for this.

Next up was the salumi and cheese plater. This consisted of 5 cured meats (speck, proscuitto, mortadella, copa and one I cannot remeber) and 3 cheeses (fontina, a blue, and parmesan reggiano) and some pickled vegetables. This was another great dish, perfect for sharing. The meats all tasted great and the pickled vegetables added a great crunch and acidity that was refreshing.Then came the pasta dish and this is where things started going down hill. We ordered the ricotta nudi with spinach puree, browned butter & basil. Unfortunately, the spinach puree overpowered the lightness of the nudi. Also, the texture of the nudi was too chewy and felt heavy rather than light. Not something I would consider again.Now onto the steaks. The first up is the 8oz flat iron steak served with roasted onion. It was ordered medium rare. However, the taste was terrible. It was tough, chewy, and flavorless. My girlfriend actually called it terrible and unedible. The roasted onion along side of it was topped with a "pancetta gremolata" according to the menu. It tasted nothing like pancetta. The gremolata was so hard it made the texture difference unpleasant and rather crunchy. The other steak was the 20oz bone-in ribeye, ordered medium rare. This was a much better steak. However, it did not impress. While flavorful it tasted like something was missing. Maybe it is there use of olive oil instead of butter to top the steaks. The mushrooms accompanying it were an afterthought.Luckily, dessert was able to end the night on a good note. This was a semifreddo which hit the spot. The texture was light and creamy. A great way to end a meal.

A couple other notes about our visit. The service was disorganized and overeager. While our waiter was very friendly, he was unable to provide us with descriptions of any of the wines on the all italian wine list and was unable to answer my questions about the wines. The restaurant also does not yet have wines by the bottle. We were offered the opportunity to purchase a bottle of wine for 4 times the glass price.

Overall, I would go back. Maybe not for the steak but the pizza and antipasti with a couple glasses of wine just might do the trick. I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement and hopefully once the restaurant hits its stride, it will be able to fix its shortcomings. I am also looking forward to the outdoor seating once it warms up.

My final grade: B/B-

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