Thursday, March 28, 2013

Zy Restaurant - Brunch

I have been a fan of Zy since my first visit, but until a couple weeks ago I had never tried their brunch.  Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for me to make it out to brunch (rather, they need to be terrible outside) as I'd rather be skiing, biking or climbing on any given weekend morning.  But if you never make it to brunch in Salt Lake, you will miss out on a whole different side of what our best restaurants have to offer.

Everyone starts off with the cinnamon and sugar fritters at brunch.  These are a great start to the meal and are so big that you will wonder if you have any room for what comes next.

Zy's brunch menu splits nicely between sweet and savory options.  This actually created a problem for us as it ended up taking two meals to get a full view on what they have to offer.  In our first visit, my wife had the french toast and I had the Chicken and Waffles with bourbon butter and gravy.  If you are only going to make it out to Zy once for brunch, you can stop here:  get the chicken and waffles.  Thanks for reading but you don't need to know anything else.

The preparation on the french toast was their house made sourdough soaked in the the same custard that they use for creme brulle, topped with roasted pears, pecans, maple syrup and whipped creme fraiche.  'Twas great - as you can see.

I also enjoyed a side of bacon, which is delicious and is used to garnish the Bloody Marys that kept being delivered throughout the restaurant during brunch.  Unfortunately I hate Bloody Marys so I took my bacon straight.

Given that it was just my wife and I, we stopped there, and made a second reservation for the next weekend on our way out the door.

I wanted to try some of the savory items on the menu for the second visit, and I had my heart set on ordering one of my favorite Mexican breakfast foods - Chilaquiles.  However, during the week Zy posted some facebook photos of their new addition to the brunch menu, the bread pudding.  This was a savory bread pudding topped with a sunny side egg, roasted tomatoes, sunflower microgreens and sauce Mornay.  When the time came to order I couldn't resist, and I'm glad I didn't - it was stellar.  Mornay is a Bechamel sauce with cheese added - usually half Gruyere and half Parmesan (thanks wikipedia).  In a nod to the Utah heritage of this dish, the flavor combo of the Mornay sauce and the roasted tomatos, when taken in one bite, sort of whispers "fry sauce".

My in-laws and my newly-relocated-to-SLC sister and her husband were all along for this meal, so they helped us try more than we otherwise could have.  One of us went for the Chilaquiles that I was so keen to try.  They were good - though untraditional.  The preparation is a red version of Chilaquiles and is much dryer (on purpose) than what I'm used to, which would be much more sauce and a sunny side egg, but the flavors were great and I'd order again if I couldn't get the bread pudding.

My brother in law ordered the eggs benny.  A house-made english muffin topped with truffle hollandaise and Cremenili proscuitto cotto.  I thought the truffled hollandaise was really subtle and delicious - it lacked the kick that you get out of a standard hollandaise and replaced it with the best flavor known to man... truffles.

Several in our party wisely opted for the chicken and waffles, so we only tried one other new item - the french toast part two.  The preparation had changed since our first visit and while this one, to me, sounded less interesting on paper, it was the biggest surprise win of the meal.  Same sourdough toast but this time the topping was berries and a goat-cheese creme fraiche.  The goat-cheese and sweetness combined into a breakfast miracle.  Obviously, Cheff Matt Lake knows his cheese, and I'm glad to see that come out across the entire spectrum of the brunch menu where surfacing that knowledge might require the most effort.

We also tried the herb fries.  As I've been thinking about fry power rankings lately, I was surprised by how good these were and they may have advanced my placement of shoestring potatoes a few slots.

My last note is that you'll probably see more Zy on my blog next month as we are attending a dinner on April 28 dedicated to the recipes of The Modernist Cuisine.  I'm incredibly excited about this - call Zy for info by it sounds like it will be a great night and a crazy-good value.

The Verdict?  I love Zy and their brunch made me a bigger fan than ever.  Regardless of what you are in the mood for, Zy puts out a brunch that is complex, filling and will please both the foodie and the diner who would normally default to a greasy spoon joint.

ZY Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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