Saturday, November 29, 2008


******Zing is closed**************************

If you have followed my blog, you know I love tapas, or little plates. Indy has a fairly new restaurant specializing in these little plates. Tapas technically come from Spain, but many restaurants have taken this concept into other types of food—which is what Zing is doing. I was a little hesitant about this place as I have heard mixed reviews, but nothing I love more than a new restaurant, so off we went.

First off, it was midweek, and it wasn’t very crowded (although it picked up a bit later). I enjoyed the colorful modern interior and great views from certain tables of the lit buildings of the City. It wasn’t cold like many modern interiors are, it had a lot of creative lighting and the bright colors to make it more eclectic. The service was prompt (although I think the hostess a bit bored, as she was reading a book) and our server was quite friendly. The only gripe I had was that we weren’t told about the drink specials, but that may be because we ordered wine so quickly. The wine list isn’t huge, but has a good variety from around the world, and I found the glass pours reasonably priced and generous.

We wanted to try a bit of lots of stuff, so we started with one of the salad courses—the mushrooms. They were marinated mushroom caps, served cold, and they were the first thing to come out. They were okay, but not overly exciting. I think they would be better if you maybe ordered some of the meats and cheeses offered and had them alongside other things in an antipasto platter. They weren’t much on their own. We skipped the meats and cheeses on this trip though in order to make room for more of the warm dishes (baby, it’s cold outside!).

The next thing to come out was the BLT “pizza-ette.” Their “pizza-ettes” are little 7 inch pizzas with several choices of toppings. This one had bacon, tomato, and cheddar cheese and was topped with lettuce drizzled with ranch dressing. It wasn’t bad, sort of tasted like a flat potato skin. I probably wouldn’t order it again, but if someone else really wanted, I would eat it again. My suggestion would be to go a little higher end on the flavors on at least some of the “pizza-ettes” a la Oh Yumm Bistro. The crust was pretty tasty, but the whole thing just wasn’t overly exciting. Maybe the one with sundried tomato pesto, fennel and bleu cheese would be better.

The next dish to come out was the scallops with keylime butter sauce on top of spaghetti squash with currants and pinenuts. This dish just simply didn’t come together. There were three very small scallops (that were properly cooked I will say), and way too much of the accompaniments. I think the delicate scallop flavor was completely lost in the heavy Middle Eastern flavor of the squash. And if there was key lime butter, I didn’t taste it (and some nice citrusy flavor would’ve helped). I love scallops, but this was the worst plate we had. Unfortunately, they came highly recommended by our server, but I would go on your own instincts with what you choose, as the best things we had were not recommended items.

Thankfully, things seemed to turn around at this point in the meal. We were next served the fried fingerling potatoes with Italian sausage and feta vinaigrette. These had a nice flavor—they really seemed to grow on you. The sausage was just little tiny bits mixed in (so it wasn’t too rich) and the feta vinaigrette jazzed it up. The only thing I would change about this course would be that it was served along with something else at the same time—it is a little much to just eat this somewhat large portion of the rich and starchy potatoes with nothing to go along with. I know they just sort of bring things out as they are ready, but they should make a point to bring these out along with something else—we had quite a long period where we only had the potatoes on the table. And it is a larger portion than some of the other things, so a good one to share, even with more than 2 people.

The next course was the mahi mahi tacos with avocado cream, jicama slaw and cilantro pesto. These were outstanding and reminded me of some mini tacos we used to get at a tapas place in San Francisco. The shells were light and very crispy and the flavors blended together beautifully. They are definitely on the must order list in my book.

Finally, we added an order of the fried calamari with remoulade sauce at the last minute and this was probably the best calamari in Indianapolis I have had to date. A very light fry and tender calamari served with a delicious remoulade sauce that seemed to have a bit of lemon in it as well as fresh herbs. It made the sauce very bright (rather than just mayo with hot sauce like so many remoulades taste like) and made the dish one of the best on the table.

We were quite happy about the way the meal was wrapping up and were trying to figure out whether to order dessert or not (afraid to ruin what had turned out pretty good) but decided to go for it. We ordered the little shot glasses of mousses. We got the sampler of 4 different flavors—2 chocolates, 1 peanut butter and 1 butterscotch. They were actually very good! And it has been awhile since I had something so butterscotchy. I liked mixing the chocolate into the peanut butter and the butterscotch and blending the flavors. Tasty. Would get these again as well. And they aren’t so big that you feel like you just don’t have room—there is always enough room for these.

I guess we were lucky the dishes seemed to come out in order of worst to best, as we left with a good taste in our mouths. I am hoping they tweak the menu a bit with the seasons, and maybe take some of the weaker ones off the menu, because I would like to see some new things the next time I go, along with some of the really great items I had on this trip.

543 Indiana Avenue
Indy 46202

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