Italian food enthusiasts, rejoice...then make a reservation at Zia's, because it's hoppin' just about every night of the week for reasons you'll understand once you try it. In-the-know foodies flock to this Edison Park hot spot for an outstanding meal and an up-tempo vibe (not to mention the loyal staff), and the truly selfish ones aren't planning on telling anyone about it.
The list of appetizers and salads, also served in the open-late bar area, includes some stellar creations (compliments to chef/owner Joe Calabrese): sauteed gulf shrimp wrapped in prosciutto, grilled polenta with sausage and peppers, and duck-and-lingonberry-stuffed ravioli with a sage-tomato-veal jus. Those with simpler taste, however, won't be disappointed by classics like the Caesar or tomato-mozzarella salads.
The menu changes about six times per year (depending on what's in season), but some items staunchly remain: rigatoni bolognese, pollo diavola and the beloved ravioli di zucca (butternut squash filled pasta squares with mascarpone cream and toasted hazelnuts), which can be enjoyed as an appetizer or an entree. Hefty servings of pasta cost $12.50-$15.50; the rest of the entrees fall somewhere in the $15-$20 range, give or take. Meat eaters will love the filetto al formaggio, a grilled eight-ounce filet stuffed with garlic and herb cheese in a Barolo wine sauce. The seafood lover in me looks forward to Zia's list of daily specials, as it always features at least three fresh fish dishes, among other standouts of the day. Complimentary valet.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Natalie Goldstein