Meraki: It's Greek for...

Meraki: It's Greek for...

Summer is a time many people take vacations. In the restaurant industry, a break from work is needed once and a while to keep your mind and body fresh. Denise took a vacation to Greece with her partner at the end of June and it was exactly what she needed. 

They flew into Athens and then traveled to Cyprus, where they stayed at a beautiful resort over looking the ocean with olive vines all around them. This is where she shut her brain off and just simply relaxed and enjoyed the weather, the food, and the view. 

After a few days they packed up and hit the road on a mission to explore as much of the country as possible. First stop, back to Athens. She was completely amazed by the Parthenon temple on Acropolis at Athens. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos, or Athena the Virgin, it was completed in 438 BC. It’s crazy to wrap your head around how told this building is. Below the Acropolis is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built by the Romans in 161 AD. The historic ruins are still used today for concerts, ballet and other performances. 

After exploring Athens they traveled a bit more through other towns and cities, exploring this ancient and beautiful country. They stopped in Meteora to see the monasteries built onto and into the cliffs of this city. 24 monasteries in total were built in the 14th century as a hiding place from the Turkish invasion. Today, six of the grand houses of the holy remain. 

The last leg of the trip was the beautiful island of Santorini. The stark, white architecture, the extraordinary sunsets, the incredible food, Santoriniwas Denise’s favorite part of the trip. She and her partner signed up for a cooking class here. Denise thought it would be fun to pretend that she wasn’t a chef and experience the class in a new way. They made an learned about traditional Greek cuisine. They viewed the extensive process of drying fresh tomatoes, learned about the big exports of the city including fava beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and wine. They learned about how the island’s delicious olive oil producers only sell locally because Italy has the claim on the big export of olive oil. After a few minutes of the cooking portion of this class, the teachers soon caught on that Denise knew what she was doing. They made a fabulous lunch and enjoyed it with new friends.

Denise brought back so many stories and experiences with her and got right back to the kitchen to translate those in to her cooking. Our new menu items are sprinkled with Greek influence for these warm summer months. The feta cheese, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and oregano salad on the Barramundi make this dish so light and refreshing. A perfect compliment to the white, flaky fish and a fabulous choice for dinner when it’s too hot for anything. The Charred Burrata Small plate has a wonderful burnt eggplant + tahini smash with a cucumber raita, inspired by tzatziki they made during the class. Black mustard seeds and pickled currants with fried kale are also a welcome addition to the plate. You'll be asking for our corn and fennel seed flat bread to soak up every last bite of this small plate. 

There's a Greek word that we think is very fitting of Denise and who she is as a chef. That word is meraki. Greeks often use this word  to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it. Denise puts her whole heart, mind, and soul into her work and takes experiences to influence her cooking. 

As you know, our menu items change frequently, so be sure to make your reservations soon and enjoy these Greek inspired items. See you soon!

Connecticut Rhubarb Spritzer

Connecticut Rhubarb Spritzer

We're back! We had a welcome and relaxing week off and now we're refreshed and ready to go! This week is exciting because we have new dinner and lunch menu items, a delicious Market Menu, and some fabulous new cocktails! 

This week's Market Menu cocktail is nothing but delicious! We're calling it the Connecticut Rhubarb Spritzer. 

Denise found some beautiful local Rhubarb at the farmer's market and made a great fresh purée. We were truly inspired with it to create a cocktail with a bit more complexity. We added a special rum, Diplomatico Rum to be exact. Diplomatico is a rum from Venezuela that has been around since 1959 and is now sold in 50 countries.

Diplomático rums are carefully crafted from premium sugar cane and use a rich variety of distillation methods. This is combined with the Maestro Ronero’s expertise and excellence in the art of blending, to produce the finest rums
— http://www.rondiplomatico.com/ourvalues

We then add John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum to the cocktail. You may or many not know this unusual liqueur.  It’s been a staple for bartenders and cocktail aficionados for years. Originally created in the 1890's by John D. Taylor, it is made with sugar cane, lime, almond and clove and other spices and is the perfect compliment to rum for tropical drinks. We topped this cocktail with a little sparkling wine for a nice, refreshing feel.

You may not be able to go away to a remote island this summer, but you can come into ZINC and have this cocktail and pretend you're lying on the beach somewhere. Hope to see you soon! 

Tres Leches

Tres Leches

Alba Estenoz, holds a very important position at ZINC and Kitchen ZINC restaurants. She's the mastermind behind the delectable treats to satisfy our sweet tooth cravings!

For this weeks Market Menu, she made the traditional Central American dessert, Tres Leches. A simple and delicious dessert served in many homes in Central America, it is often make with a store bought sponge cake which is then soaked in “3 milks” condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. The creamy mixture is absorbed by the cake to create a dessert with rich flavor and texture. You can add a simple meringue or powder sugar on top, or simply just eat the cake. 

Alba has taken this wonderful dessert and put a creative spin on it by using local, seasonal products from the farmer’s market. Instead of a simple piece of cake, she's layered it with fresh, juicy strawberries and created a beautiful parfait. Do not miss this treat!

New Summer Cocktails!

New Summer Cocktails!

Summer is that time of year when the motivation to go to work goes straight out the window and all you want to do is be in vacation mode. Trust us, we understand the feeling. Luckily, we decided to stay motivated to work and create some new cocktails for you to enjoy while you're in vacation mode. 

The Mia Wallace                        
Sagamore Rye/Fresh Beet Juice/FreshLemon


This cocktail is perfect if you are whiskey drinker, but want something a little bit lighter and more refreshing during the warmer months. The fresh beet juice in this add such a delicious layer to the cocktail. Sagamore Rye is a newer bottle on our Whiskey shelf and we are loving it. Its smooth with notes of caramel and a bit of spice on the finish. 


Texas Cowgirl
Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka/Wild Moon Cranberry Liqueur/Lillet Rose

We are HUGE fans of Wild Moon Liqueurs. Not only are they local purveyors, they create these liqueur with such intense flavor profiles that they are perfect in so many cocktails. This cocktail was inspired by the classic Seabreeze recipe. So just envision your toes in the sand while you sip on this drink. 


Summer Side Car  
Prunier Cognac/Lustau Vermut/Giffard Triple Sec/Fresh Lemon

Giffard Triple Sec is another favorite at ZINC and we love using it in classic cocktails, like a Sidecar. 


Sweet Dram and Tonic
Escubac/Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic/Burnt Orange Twist

Escubac is an aperitif that you just have to try. They macerate 14 botanicals (cardamom, nutmeg and citrus to name a few) for 72 hours, then slowly distill them on the antique stills at Distillerie Combier. It's then sweetened with raisins, vanilla and a small amount of sugar. This aperitif was created so perfectly that you could simply sip it like you would a whiskey or add it to cocktail recipes. 


Celebrate the Summer Solstice with us tonight and enjoy one these cocktails! 

Market Menu Kickoff!

Market Menu Kickoff!

Our Market Menu is officially here!

 

We strolled the City Seed Downtown Farmers Market this morning and picked up a few things for tonight's menu. Our first stop was our friends at Rose’s Berry Farm for some fresh rhubarb. They are one of our favorite farms to use during the summer for our desserts. They produce strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, and so much more. Take a look at their website and don't forget to stop and say 'Hi' to them at the market. 

We strolled the vendors and said our 'Hello’s' and were pleasantly greeted with some familiar faces and some new. Karen, from Small Kitchen-Big Taste, it a new vendor to join the Wednesday Downtown Market. She offers delicious and healthy food options for your catering need or if you want to stop at her store in North Haven and pick up some of the prepared foods she offers. We’re so excited we get to see her each week and have some of her tasty treats. 

If you missed our email on Monday with the menu, you can always revisit it on our website under the Market Menu tab and check out what’s cookin’. If you haven’t received any of our weekly newsletters and want to say in the loop you can sign up for it here  (just scroll to the bottom) 

See you tonight for dinner! 

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What's On Our Bookshelf

What's On Our Bookshelf

This week, we thought we’d give you a little insight into the personal kitchen of our event manager, Elizabeth Ciarlelli. She is an enthusiastic home chef so we asked her what cookbooks and blogs she sources for inspiration. Of course, a lot of her inspiration comes from Chef Denise who is a tireless explorer of fresh ingredients and exciting foods that can be used to create the menus at ZINC and Kitchen ZINC. They have been working together for over 10 years, so her afternoon conversations with Denise usually stir up a new ingredient or recipe to try. 

Elizabeth reads cookbooks voraciously. They inspire her and feed her love of cooking, baking, and study of culinary traditions. So, we asked her to share some of her favorite blogs and cookbooks. 

In the past year, these three books have been in heavy rotation in her kitchen:

Whole World Vegetarian by Marie Simmons
"Big-flavored vegetarian dishes from around the globe, from the James Beard Award– and IACP Award–winning author Marie Simmons"
 

 

 

 

 

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
“Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the most exciting new talents in the cooking world, with four fabulous, eponymous London restaurants and a weekly newspaper column that's read by foodies all over the world. Plenty is a must-have collection of 120 vegetarian recipes featuring exciting flavors and fresh combinations that will delight readers and eaters looking for a sparkling new take on vegetables” 
 

 

 

 

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
"In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sicilia: Sicilian Traditions, Food and Wine by Elisa Menduni

"A gastronomic tour of Sicily featuring delicious recipes, wine pairings, and beautiful photographs of the Mediterranean island’s landscapes. With over ninety classic recipes for appetizers, main courses, and desserts, this cookbook takes readers on a culinary tour of Sicily."

 

 

 

 

 

 

When she is craving something a little sweeter, she turns to her favorite dessert cookbook. 

Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours by Kim Boyce

"The cookbook proves that whole-grain baking can be easily done with a pastry chef's flair. Plus, there's a chapter on making jams, compotes, and fruit butters with seasonal fruits that help bring out the wonderfully complex flavors of whole-grain flours."

 

 

 

She also visits blogs and websites on a daily basis, some of those are:

Living the Sweet Life in Paris by David Leibovitz,

The Kitchn

Food 52 Recipes 

Minimalist Baker 

 

We hope you are inspired by some of these suggestions for those times you cook at home! Happy Cooking!

See you soon at ZINC and Kitchen ZINC!

 

 

Rosé Soirée

Rosé Soirée

This past weekend was the unofficial start to summer. You’re now allowed to wear white pants and drink pink wine without any judgement being passed. Which means it's perfect timing for our Rosé Soirée on the Kitchen ZINC patio next week. We are featuring four fabulous rosé wines! 

Garnacha de Fuego Rose, Spain 2016  "100% Grenache rosé aged totally in stainless steel. It has a light, almost neon-pink color and delicate strawberry and cranberry fruit notes, with a hint of pomegranate. It is fresh, lively, ripe, medium-bodied, and has more texture and length than one usually expects in a rosé." - wine.com
Pinot Project, Rose of Pinot Noir, Calif. 2016 : "This rosé marks the latest exciting release from The Pinot Project! The Pinot Project Rosé shows pure PINOT aromas and flavors of raspberries and roses, unoaked to enhance the pure PINK fruit qualities. Outfitted in a stellar new package, this wine is a sure showstopper for all meals, seasons, and occasions." skurnik.com
Bieler Pere & Fils, Aix en Provence (Sabine) France 2016 : "Bieler Père et Fils Rosé tastes like biting into a freesia-infused apple in a sexy-hippy version of the garden of Eden. It’s clean, light taste seems to promise that attractive strangers are about to drape your body in crisp, sun-dried linen before leading you to a hammock where sultry events will unfold. And with this Rosé you don’t have to worry about morning-after guilt, because one sip will make even regret taste sweet."
~ Alissa Nutting
Le Petit Gueissard, Rose, VDP, France 2016 : "A salmon color with nuances of dark pink. Red fruit aromas such as raspberry, wild strawberry, and some notes of litchi. Fresh, rich and long-lasting in the mouth." - tastewineco.com

 

With a line up like this and only $12 for a tasting of each and passed hors d'oeuvres in our beautiful garden patio, why would you want to pass the up? Join us next Thursday, June 8th from 5:30-7 pm on the Kitchen ZINC patio for a ZINC Wine Social! You can get your tickets at rosewinedinner.brownpapertickets.com

It's That Time of Year Again!

It's That Time of Year Again!

Radishes, Arugula, Cucumber, Beets, Bell Peppers, Carrots, Zucchini, Garlic, these are only a few items currently in season. At ZINC New Haven, we thrive during the Summer months because of the amount of amazing produce that becomes available for us to use in our menu planning. Thanks to our friends at CitySeed, we’re able to walk the Farmers Market, almost every day, to see what ingredients we’d like to use in our meals. 

CitySeed is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide access to fresh, local food for all New Haven residents. They believe that access is a combination of proximity to food, affordability of food, and knowledge about food, and we completely agree! CitySeed works to support local agriculture as well as equitable food access. Their Farmers' Markets are structured for all income levels, they have a Mobile Farmers' Market, and have established food security programs to improve the availability of and access to fresh, local, and healthy food.

Every year, in the middle of June, we begin our Market Menu. A three course, price-fixed menu, focused and centered around what we have available to us at the Farmers Market. Denise Appel, our Chef-Owner, walks to every stand to gather inspiration for her weekly recipes. The three-course menu is offered every week, Wednesday-Saturday night (this is a dinner-only menu) and it runs all the way through the fall. Because we believe so strongly that all people should have access to good, nutritious food, we donate $1 from every Market Menu purchase to CitySeed! Your contribution supports CitySeed to continue doubling the value of SNAP coupons at all of our markets. SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the program formerly known as food stamps and is now accepted at grocery stores AND farmers markets. It is a federal nutrition program that helps you stretch your food budget and buy healthy food. It enables customers to redeem $10 in SNAP for $20 in fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you haven’t ordered our Market Menu in the past, this is the year to do it. We start offering the menu on Wednesday, June 14th and for only $33, you’ll have an amazing three-course dinner. We offer a supplemental cheese course, usually consisting of two kinds of cheese like Kunik Triple Crème + Adirondack Cheddar served with Local Honey and a Toasted Raisin + Nut Bread. We also suggest having a Market Cocktail to start. The cocktail changes weekly with the menu and uses ingredients found at the market as well, like a Strawberry Old-Fashioned that uses a fresh strawberries. Denise’s menus are inspired and fresh and offer a taste of local ingredients with a global infusion. A few items from past menus have included a Mexican Spring Onion Soup with Chipotle Peppers as a first course, followed by Ancho Beef Chilaquiles with Radish, Cucumber + Cilantro/ Fried Corn Tortilla/ Fried Egg/ Cotija Cheese, sourcing the beef from Blue Slope Farm in Franklin CT. Finish your dinner with a simple, yet delectable Strawberry Parfait with Chile Marinated Strawberries/ Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet/ Cumin Kamut/Cilantro- Honey Yogurt. This is just an example of a delicious Market Menu you’ll find this summer. We hope to see you then! 

Summer Time and the Living is Easy...

Summer Time and the Living is Easy...

Congratulations to the Class of 2017! While local universities and colleges commence these next few weeks we can’t help but wonder, where has the time gone! It seems like yesterday we were welcoming new students and preparing for Parents Weekend. Sometimes summer can be a bit quieter in New Haven, but we’re looking forward to lots of exciting things at ZINC and Kitchen ZINC.

Patio Season! The Kitchen ZINC Patio is one of the best outdoor dining areas in town. We may be biased when we say this, but between the greenery that surrounds you, making you feel like you’re in a secret garden, to the beautiful lights to give you more of a romantic ambiance, there’s no better place to have a pie. The patio at Kitchen ZINC, located in the Temple Plaza Courtyard, is a fantastic place to hold an event too! We have quite a few private events coming up that will utilize this outdoor space and we’re even hosting a Wine Social there on Thursday, June 8th! You may be familiar with the Wine Socials that we’ve held over the year in the back room at ZINC. This time, we decided that we wanted feature rosé and there’s no better place to drink rosé than on a patio. Tickets for this are only $12 and you can purchase them at rosewinedinner.brownpapertickets.com


We’re also thrilled to be hosting a dinner with Master Beekeeper, Bill Hesbach, and Broken Arrow Nursery. The Buzz About Bees, Flowers, and Food is a 4-course dinner on Thursday, June 1 at 6 pm. Enjoy our menu, inspired by and infused with honey, while learning about bees and flowers. Tickets are $85, all inclusive, and can be purchased at zincbeedinner.brownpapertickets.com Seating is limited and there are only a few seats left, so reserve your spot before we’re sold out! 

Even though Summer is not officially here, June marks the month that we’ve been waiting for all year, the beginning of MARKET MENU!! Mark your calendar because Market Menu kicks off June 14. If you haven’t dined with us during the summer months and are unfamiliar about this, it's a three-course menu, designed around what our Chef-Owner, Denise Appel, finds at the City Seed Farmers Market each week. We love being able to walk down to the Farmer's Market to get ingredients for that nights dinner. 


We’re welcoming the warmer months and longer days with wide open arms! We hope you see you for dinner soon! 

ZINC Spotlight : New Additions

ZINC Spotlight : New Additions

In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, we wanted to introduce the some new additions to the ZINC family. Over the past year a few of our employees have had children and we couldn't be happier for each family!

Martha Altieri, is a senior server and has been an employee of ZINC for almost ten years. We were so excited when she announced her pregnancy. She welcomed her beautiful daughter, Ava Vivian, in September of 2016. Happy Mother's Day, Martha! 

 

 

Sean, our resident bartender,  became a father for the second time this past February. He came into work beaming with the news that his son, Zebulon Francisco, was here and boasting about how strong and amazing his partner Josalee was throughout the birth. Happy Mother's Day, Josalee!

 

©elizabeth grant photography 2017

©elizabeth grant photography 2017

Our Chef de Cuisine, Alex, and his beautiful wife, Deena, became first time parents back in November of 2016. Their son, Oliver David, has been the light of their life and even though at times they may be sleep deprived, they are extremely happy parents. Alex loves the beach and can't wait to bring Ollie to the ocean for the first time. Happy Mother's Day, Deena!

 

Happy Mother's Day to all of our ZINC Moms and to all of the Mothers that visit us on date nights, girls night out, with their families, for graduations, and any other occasion in-between. There are not many Sundays that we are open at ZINC, but Mother's Day is the exception to the rule! Celebrate your Mom with us this Sunday for dinner. We're open from 12-6pm with a la carte dinner menu and Mother's Day Specials. Reservations are recommended. 

The Buzz About Bees, Flowers and Food

The Buzz About Bees, Flowers and Food

At ZINC New Haven we are huge proponents of local, small business. You know that we are also fans of education and teaching our staff and guests about the ingredients that we bring into the restaurant. With that said, we are so excited to be hosting a dinner with Master Beekeeper, Bill Hesbach, Broken Arrow Nursery, and Barr Hill Gin focused around bees, pollination, and the delicious nectar they produce - honey! 

Bill Hesbach is Connecticut native with a background in engineering. His interest in beekeeping started in 1975, and after a career hiatus, he began to build a sideline beekeeping business in Cheshire, CT where he now produces a crop of artisanal raw honey at Wing Dance Apiary. He teaches bee biology and basic beekeeping at events hosted by both the Backyard Beekeeping Association and the Connecticut Beekeepers Association. His interests in beekeeping include honey bee genetics and the connection between local flora and bee behavior. He’s an EAS certified master beekeeper and recently completed the University of Montana's master beekeeping program. His published articles on beekeeping can be found in both Bee Culture and Beekeeping Magazine.
At ZINC we use Fat Bee Honey, made from by Wing Dance Apiary, on our cheese board, in dessert, and any other cooking opportunity that we can. We do have an inside source, our beloved Events Manager, Elizabeth Ciarlelli is the other part of Wing Dance and Fat Bee Honey. In addition to delicious nectar, she makes hand creams and lip balms from this beeswax from the apiary. 

 

 

 

 

Broken Arrow Nursery is our neighbor in Hamden and we’re so happy to have them join us for the dinner as well. A representative from the nursery will talk with us about the importance of pollination and the best native plants and flowers for bees. Broken Arrow acquires, develops, and grows rare, unusual and garden worthy plants. 

To sweeten the pot a little, we’re serving cocktails featuring Barr Hill for this fabulous dinner. Todd Hardie, the founder of Caledonia Sprits, producer of Barr Hill Gin and Vodka, has been a beekeeper since he was 12-years-old. After owning an apiary in Vermont for quite a few years, he decided that he wanted to bring raw honey into the distillation process, and thus, Barr Hill Gin and Vodka was created.

 

 

 

 

This kind of dinner doesn’t come around often! We hope you'll join us on Thursday, June 1 at 6 pm. Denise is creating a 4-course menu for this dinner, inspired by honey. Wine and cocktails will also be served. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Tickets are $85 (all inclusive). To purchase a ticket, visit zincbeedinner.brownpaperticket.com

 

ZINC Spotlight : Lincoln Tech Graduates

ZINC Spotlight : Lincoln Tech Graduates

Education is the key to success, we’re sure you’ve heard that before. This saying is more than true at ZINC and Kitchen ZINC. We are constantly educating our staff on new ingredients, wine, service standards...the list is long. A couple years ago, a student from Lincoln Tech Institute, approached Denise and asked to do their externship at ZINC. Denise was more than happy to open her doors to an eager, young mind and since doing so, two more students have inquired about an externship. Those 3 students are now full-time employees in the kitchen, still on a journey, learning something new every day, working a new station or given a new responsibility. We thought it was time to shine our ZINC Spotlight on these young minds and introduce our Lincoln Tech Graduates. 

Javon Phelmetta, 21, New Haven, CT

How long have you been working at ZINC New Haven?
I’ve been working at ZINC for a year and a half. I started the same time Graydon, our Sous Chef, started. 

How long have you been doing what you’re doing? 
I started cooking when I was young, I watched my family cook all the time. I started taking it a bit more seriously in high school. 

What are your career goals? 
My career goals are to keep learning new cooking techniques and hopefully own my own restaurant one day. 

What is your favorite thing about what you do? 
My favorite thing is how I learn something new every day about my technique or food. I like that I keep working towards perfecting my skills. 

What do you love about working at ZINC New Haven? 
I love learning new things from each person. There are so many talented chefs in the kitchen and they all show me a different technique or way to do something, it shows how much they care about what they are doing and about me and making me a better cook. 

When you’re not working, what are you doing? 
When I’m not working I love spending time with family and friends, reading cookbooks and playing sports


Jennifer Bolton, 24, Trumbull, CT

How long have you been working at ZINC New Haven?
I’ve been at ZINC for 4 1/2 months. 

How long have you been doing what you’re doing? 
Two years

What are your career goals? 
I’d love to own and operate a dessert tapas bar. 

What is your favorite thing about what you do? 
Making people happy with the food that I cook for them. 

What do you love about working at ZINC New Haven? 
The opportunity to learn about new kinds of ingredients and how they go together in an entree is really exciting for me. 

   When you’re not working, what are you doing? 
When I’m not working I’m usually baking and researching new recipes. 


Dylan Seidenburg, 21, Milford, CT

Write here...

Write here...

How long have you been working at ZINC New Haven?
It will be a year on May 10th. 

How long have you been doing what you’re doing? 
About 5 years

What are your career goals? 
I would eventually love to own my own place. I’ve been inspired working here, so I’d like for my restaurant to be a small, locally driven place. Farm to table with a modern American style.

What is your favorite thing about what you do? 
I get a lot of satisfaction from other people enjoying the food I make them.

What do you love about working at ZINC New Haven? 
I love how Denise and Alex are nurturing and caring. They take a lot of time to show you the ropes and how to hone your skills. I also love the access to amazing ingredients. 

When you’re not working, what are you doing? 
When I’m not working I like to work out or play my guitar. I cook a lot at home too. 


We spoke with a representative at Lincoln Tech and they could not be more proud of these recent graduates.

“Cooking isn’t just something you do - it’s an exploration into ingredients and flavors from around the globe to create works of art, with plates as your canvas. These students have turned cooking into a career with the foundation of Culinary Arts training they received from caring and highly qualified chefs at Lincoln's Culinary Art School in Shelton, CT."

One of Jennifer's teachers, Chef Ted Redos - Culinary Program Manager, had this to say about her.

“Jennifer is a very dedicated and dynamic culinarian with a bright future ahead of her.  She is passionate and enthusiastic about food.  Her interest goes beyond cooking. She honors the traditions of classic techniques and curious as to how to add modern/contemporary twists. She is very teachable and collaborative. Above all, Jennifer is hungry to learn and is willing to put in the extra effort! I am glad to know that Jennifer is doing well and I am not surprised in the least!  I could go on but…”. -Chef Redos

We’re all about community over the competition at ZINC. It brings us great joy and pride to be able to help people learn and grown into the industry professional they want to become. 

If You Eat Organic Food, Shouldn't You Drink Organic Wine?

If You Eat Organic Food, Shouldn't You Drink Organic Wine?


As Earth Day approaches, we are reminded that great wine comes not from factories, but from farms. Michael Egan, our Sommelier, has been a proponent of organic principles in cuisine for quite some time and is thrilled that those principles are being applied to wine. 

After reading a recent New York Times article by Eric Asimov "Want to Pick Better Bottles? Repeat After Me: Wine Is Food" Michael was reminded of a conversation that he had with a winemaker in Napa Valley. When he asked him why organic and biodynamic farming is a better practice, he simply pointed out his back window and said "This is where my children play. This is where they move their small tractor toys around in the dirt. This is where my wife grows our vegetables. This is my backyard, and where my grapes are grown. Why would I spray harmful pesticides there?" He's 100% right. If you don't want chemicals in your food, why would you want them in your wine? 

Eric Asimov points out in his article that under federal law, a wine cannot be called organic unless it is made from grapes that have been certified as organic. In fact, the whole process has to use organic materials (like yeast) and not add any sulfur dioxide (preservatives). Few wines can technically be called organic, but many are made from organic grapes, but don't let the label lead you on. An organic label doesn't necessarily mean that the wine is better than a wine without an organic label. Most small farmers who go through great lengths, usually above and beyond just organic grapes, don't certify the wine to avoid the expense and bureaucracy of doing so. 
Let's look at wine from a different perspective for a minute. The simplicity of it is that it's fermented grape juice, but think of those grapes like they were Heirloom Tomatoes. Heirloom Tomatoes are not refined, but they are the raw, unaltered vegetables. They hold different flavors and acidities. Grapes are similar. The raw, unaltered, organic grape carrys such an intergeral part of a story. The wine you bring to a dinner party isn't just a delicious, full body Cabernet Sauvignon, it's a snapshot of the weather patterns from that area that year, a flavor of the dirt, sun and rain from the year; it's tells a complete story, down to the family that grew and tended to the vines. 

In today's wine world there are endless types of wines and places to get it. However, we think it's important to recognize and celebrate those who take a sustainable approach to winemaking. In Asimov's article, he compares the way you source local produce, meats, fishes, and breads to the way you pick a bottle of wine. You should take the same amount of time and thought into where you source your wine as you would into the ingredients you use for dinner. Small, passionately owned wine shops or online merchants will conduct intensive research on what wines they offer, eliminating much of the work for you and narrowing the important qualities for buying the wine to flavor and occasion. 

Be assured the next time you peruse our wine list that this is the effort we put into our wine inventory. Michael researches, tastes, and picks only the best wines produced under the best possible circumstances. Here are a few of the organic wines on our wine list. Give them a try and we promise, you won't be disappointed! 


Eudald Massana Noya Brut Cava, Organic, Spain, N.V.
"Nine generations of the same family devoted in body and soul to their vineyards." 
Aromas of green apple, toast and tropical notes. Good, crisp acidity and great body. Light nutty flavors on the palate layered with light mineral and pear notes. Pair with our Salmon Gravlax Poke Poured by the glass. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean Foyard Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py, Beaujolais, France 3.14, 2014 Vintage
"Grapes from one-hundred-year-old vines are used to make this fine, no-nonsense, silky, deep, and authentic Morgon. Jean Foillard didn’t become a legend without earning his stripes." Kermit Lynch. Pair with our Grilled Pork Chop.  **Check with your server for availability. 

 

 

 

 

Marcel Lapierre Morgon "Cuvée Marcel Lapierre," Biodynamic, Cru Beaujolais, 2015 Vintage
"Chauvet was a winemaker, a researcher, a chemist, and a viticultural prophet. It was he who, upon the advent of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the 1950s, first spoke out for 'natural wine,' harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais."-Kermit Lynch. 
Pair with our Chicken Entree.  **Check with your server for availability.

Did Someone Say Pizza?

Did Someone Say Pizza?

Who doesn’t love pizza!? Especially in New Haven, when there’s a pizza place on every corner. Kitchen ZINC is our hidden gem, tucked behind ZINC New Haven sharing part of the Temple Courtyard. Artisanal pizza, fresh salads, and small snacks called cicchettis, our pizza place is a fantastic option with a twist on the typical New Haven Pizza traditions. Craft beer AND wine on tap, we offer only the best beverages to compliment our delicious pizza. Following the same fresh philosophy as ZINC, we source fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients to top our one of a pizza dough. That's right, one of a kind. Denise got a sourdough starter from a friend nearly 20 years ago and has been using this recipe to create our bubbly, crisp, golden crust. 

Kitchen ZINC isn’t just for a quick pizza and pint of beer. Our space, with exposed brick and big doors that open to a beautiful garden patio, is perfect for events! We’ve held everything from baby showers, rehearsal dinners, fundraisers, work happy hours, and more! Elizabeth Ciarlelli, our Event Manager, can answer any and all questions you may have about hosting an event with us. (elizabethciarlelli@zincfood.com)

We highly recommend a night out at Kitchen ZINC soon if you haven’t tried it yet or if it’s been a little while since you have a pizza! 

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ZINC Spotlight : Alex Blifford

ZINC Spotlight : Alex Blifford

It’s all hands on deck during Restaurant Week at ZINC! The days are long, but also rewarding! Our kitchen is where a lot of the magic happens, thanks to our talented Chef de Cuisine, Alex Blifford. Alex has been with ZINC for seven years and has become Denise’s Right Hand Man. Working his way up the ranks, he’s a crucial part of the ZINC team and completely understands the vision and ideas behind the food. He’s always behind the line, so we wanted to shine our spotlight on him and have you get to know him a little better. Alex loves craft beer and is a proud father to his 5 month old son, Oliver. Here’s a little more about the man that helps keep that kitchen running smoothly. 

Where are you from? Branford,CT

How long have you been working in kitchens? 18 years

What are your career goals? 
Eventually I would like to open my own kitchen. After learning from others for so long and working for other people I would like the chance to see if I can make it on my own.

What is your favorite thing about what you do? 
It's definitely making something with my hands every day. I get to make something tangible that another person will enjoy. There aren't a lot of people who get to do that, so I feel pretty lucky. 

What do you love about working at ZINC New Haven? 
Two things. One, the constant exposure to new food and ideas keeps this things that I've been doing my whole life fresh and exciting day after day. Second, the friends and relationships I've made over the years at ZINC. I wouldn't be the person I am today without them.

When you’re not working, what are you doing? 
I'm usually trying to spend as much time with my wife and newborn son. We live close to the beach so I'm looking forward to warmer weather and spending time by the water with them.

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

Creating our seasonal cocktail list is a lot like science. We do plenty of research on ingredients, there’s taste testing, a bit of trial and error, but in the end, our cocktails have a wonderful balance and use unique components. 

Spring is an exciting time at ZINC New Haven. The list of ingredients that we are able to bring into the restaurant starts to grow. New, fresh flavors take over our palates; grapefruit, blood orange, kumquat, citrus, the tastes of spring!

Our cocktail list this season is inspired and creative. A twist on a margarita, the Smoke and Mirrors uses Mezcal, a smoky, agave-based liquor, instead of traditional tequila. A little Giffard Pamplemousse gives a powerful grapefruit taste that is complimented with a little lime. The citrus flavors are cut with a little spice from muddled jalapenos. This drink is served over a large ice cube and a garnish of jalapeño.  

Our Dancing Doll uses a favorite ingredient of ours, Avua Cachaca. Cachaca is a liquor that dates back almost 500 years in Brazil. A liquor made of sugarcane, it’s a great base for cocktails. If you like rum, you’ll love cachaca. Our house made Yuzu puree compliments this liquor perfectly and creates the perfect, fruity cocktail for a warm spring evening. It will get you ready for summer!

If you’re looking for a cocktail with a little more complexity, The Opportunist is where it’s at. Wild Moon Liquor is another favorite ingredient at ZINC. The Hartford-based company creates some amazing liquors that can be used instead of purees or syrups. The flavors are intense and in this cocktail, we use their Birch flavor. Cognac and Orange Blossom Water just blend together so perfectly and create an amazing array of flavors that coat your tongue and leave you wanting more. 

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We could go on and on about these amazing cocktails, but we think you should come try them for yourself! 

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

There are certain dishes that we absolutely love, but can only keep them on the menu for a limited time, to make room for other phenomenal recipes. 

Right now we have a natural grilled pork chop that we are sourcing from a family farm in Missouri. They raise sustainable, natural, and organic protein products. This cut of pork is so tender and juicy that you'll definitely eat your entire dinner! 

Denise Appel, our Chef-Owner, created an IPA Beer and Smoked Cheddar Sauce, using the Connecticut brewery, Charter Oak Brewing Company's Wadsworth IPA. It's an American style IPA with plenty of hop aroma and bitterness that blends perfectly with the smoky cheddar flavors to create a sauce so befitting of this tender pork. 

Apples have been a classic pairing with savory pork for centuries, adding a sweet contrast to the dish. Of course, we can't just give you traditional apple sauce at ZINC. Our Granny Smith Apple Confiture (which is taking whole fruit and submerging it in a syrup) We take sliced apples and add a little wine, mustard seed, cardamom, and cinnamon. It's absolutely delicious! 

Our Shredded Brussels Sprouts are sautéed in butter with house pickled mustard seeds, which add both spice and texture. Finished with a bit of fried onion, this is a delicious accompaniment to the tender pork.

Heritage Foods, the family farm we get our pork from for ZINC and Kitchen ZINC, is a natural processor, marketer, and distributor of natural and organic protein products. Heritage Food, humanely and sustainably raises hogs and cattle as well as chemically free vegetables, crops, hay, and timber. Russ Kremer is a family farmer and manager at Heritage Foods and is nothing short of amazing and we could talk about all of his accomplishments, but we suggest you take a look for yourself and read more about what this man is doing for the slow food movement. You can learn more about Russ and Heritage Foods here. 


We'll have to make room for lighter, Summer inspired dishes, so this won’t be on the menu too much longer. So you must come soon and try it soon! 

A Rosé By Any Other Name Would Taste As Sweet

A Rosé By Any Other Name Would Taste As Sweet

Despite the inches and inches of snow on the ground and the below freezing temperatures, Spring is right around the corner. Believe it or not, March 20 is the first day of Spring and in our books, that means it’s the beginning of Rosé season. 

To celebrate the start of this season, we have two amazing Rosé wines at ZINC New Haven. They are MUST tries. Seriously, these are some delicious wines that you don’t want to pass up!


The Withers 2016 Rosé
California 

Andrew Tow, the owner of The Withers, is a Connecticut native and long time friend of ZINC New Haven. Three years ago, we hosted a wine dinner with his wines and it was then, that we were introduced us to his 2014 Rosé, which was one of his first vintages. Once that light pink liquid hit our lips, we were in love; creamy and smooth with notes of strawberry and the perfect acidity. Fast forward to now; we found out that he just released his 2016 vintage and became very excited. Michael Egan, our sommelier, quickly ordered multiple cases and made a decision to not only offer this by the bottle, but by the glass as well! 

“Winemaker Tasting Notes: Our 2016 Rosé is a dead ringer for a classic Bandol, highlighted by the color, flavors, and aromas of apricot, cherry, watermelon rind, nectarine, and peach. The wine is buttressed by strong balancing acidity, with excellent tension and lift over its medium bodied, layered and textured frame. Balanced and elegant, it is best served at cellar temperature and can be paired with oysters, shellfish, seafood, pasta, and fowl. It will be enjoyable immediately on release but should improve in bottle for 3-5 years.” The Withers Winery

Currently, we are offering The Withers by the glass and by the bottle, but we highly recommend just ordering a bottle. After one glass, you’ll want another, so why not share a bottle at the table.

Aix Rosé
France


The other Rosé that we now have in-house is AIX. This wine comes from a 130-year-old winery located in Southern France, an hour north of Aix en Provence. This winery sits on 200 acres, 1,300 feet above sea level, in an area that sees 300 days of sunlight a year. Maison St. Aix has the perfect conditions for growing Cinsault, Syrah, and Counoise, the varietals for a perfect Rosé from Provence. Each year the winery improves their wine making process; like replanting hectares of Grenache and Syrah vines and adding new temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and pneumatic presses so they can continuously control the quality of Aix Rosé 

Aix Rosé has a tremendously vibrant and summery taste, the ultimate expression of Provence. Bright, pale-pink color and a nice balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.

With both bottles on our wine list, plan a fun night out and order each and have a taste test of your own. Two new menu items that would pair wonderfully with these wines are the Arctic Char or the Salmon Gravlax Poke.

ZINC Spotlight : JC Vallejo

From Server to Manager,
Meet JC Vallejo

Juan Carlos or as most know him, JC, has been a part of the ZINC family for the past five years. One of our senior servers, it was an obvious decision to make him our manager when the position came available. JC truly understands the spirit of ZINC New Haven and is a wonderful addition to the management team. Let's get to know a little about the man who is helping ZINC thrive. 

Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in Ecuador, in Salcedo- a small city outside of Quito. I currently live in Ansonia. 

How long have you been working at ZINC New Haven?
5 years ago I started as a server and a few months ago I was promoted to manager.

How long have you been doing what you’re doing? 
I have been working in restaurants since I was 18 years old. Ten years ago I started as a server by chance at a Sushi restaurant here in New Haven, Miyas, then worked in another restaurant for about three years before finding a home at ZINC.  

What are your career goals? 
Being involved in the restaurant business for so long I have truly grown to love it, so I would like to continue in the hospitality industry. I absolutely love everything about it, making people happy and providing a memorable experience for someone is a true joy for me. 

What is your favorite thing about what you do? 
As I mentioned before, I think there is so much to what I do. Providing someone with an experience they never forget is a feeling I can't really describe. I have had people come up to me and remember a time years ago when I waited on them and how happy they were. It’s such an honor and brings me such pleasure that I made such an impact on them.

What do you love about working at ZINC New Haven? 
I couldn't ask for a better place to explore my career. Everything about ZINC is unique from the people to the creative menus, cocktails, and wine lists. I have learned so much about hospitality and the restaurant industry and I don't think I would have been able to do so working somewhere else. 

When you’re not working, what are you doing? 
In my very little free time, I love doing things that will keep me sane. I really like to work out, take care of my body as well as my mind, it helps me let off some steam. Even though I work in a restaurant every day, I really enjoy going out to dinner and just relaxing. Time alone is something I cherish as well, it helps me recharge after being around so many people each day.

 

JC continues to to work hard to make everyones dining experience at ZINC New Haven a memorable one. Say hi to him the next time you're in! 

Juan Carlos Vallejo, 27,  was born and raised in Ecuador, in Salcedo- a small city outside of Quito. He currently live in Ansonia.

Juan Carlos Vallejo, 27,  was born and raised in Ecuador, in Salcedo- a small city outside of Quito. He currently live in Ansonia.

ZINC Spotlight : Graydon Chapman & Ian Brown

Meet the Men Behind the Line

We’ve said this before, our team at ZINC New Haven and Kitchen ZINC has a cast of characters! Most of them are behind the scenes and some  you may never see. We'd like to introduce you to some key players. A few weeks ago, we talked about our beloved pastry chef, Alba Estenoz. This week, we'd like to introduce a couple of guys that can handle the heat and that make your dinner each night, Graydon Chapman and Ian Brown.

From left to right: Graydon Chapman, 32, originally from South Africa moved to New Haven a year and a half ago by way of Miami. Position at ZINC New Haven: Sous Chef. Ian Brown, 29, originally from Providence, Rhode Island. Position at ZINC New Haven: Grill and Sauté Cook.

From left to right: Graydon Chapman, 32, originally from South Africa moved to New Haven a year and a half ago by way of Miami. Position at ZINC New Haven: Sous Chef. Ian Brown, 29, originally from Providence, Rhode Island. Position at ZINC New Haven: Grill and Sauté Cook.

How long have you been working at ZINC New Haven?

G: I’ve been working at ZINC for about a year and a half. With what I’ve learned, though, it feels like I've been here longer. 

I: I just completed my first year of working at ZINC in February.

 

How long have you been doing what you’re doing? 

G: I got my first job as a busboy and chip runner at a Mexican restaurant. I always found I was drawn to the kitchen there and when I had the opportunity to get my next job I made sure it was in the kitchen. I worked from being a dishwasher to where I am today, which is Sous Chef at ZINC New Haven. I’ve held a quite a few jobs over the last 12 years, but I can finally say now, I’m on my career path. 

I: I started learning how to cook at the age of 12 from my father, a former chef, and I began a career in cooking about 6 years ago.

 

What are your career goals? 

G: This is a tough question for me. For 10 long years, I was always told that this “isn’t a real job.” I've been in this now for so long that I feel that I would like to eventually run my own kitchen. I love the work of Nancy Silverton and Francis Mallman. Both chefs work with a traditional focus on food but elevate familiar dishes to places that exceed the norm. I’d like to settle somewhere warm after doing some traveling. 

I: I would love to own my own restaurant someday.  A Michelin Star would be nice too.

 

What is your favorite thing about what you do? 

G: I love working with my hands, I don’t think I could ever sit and work at a desk. The adrenaline rush of working on the line is unexplainable. I love working with food and making the guests’ night better. Every day is a growing and learning experience. Every day is different.

I: I love the creative nature of cooking. There is nothing more satisfying than making something with your own hands and then getting to see the instant response to your work on the guest's face.

 

What do you love about working at ZINC New Haven? 

G: The people and the work. I honestly can say that I look forward to coming to work and being around these people every day. 

I: Working with local producers and their products has always been important to me and central to my own cooking, so I love getting a chance to work in a restaurant where those things are a top priority.

 

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

G: When I’m not working I’m usually thinking about work. Otherwise, I like to read and watch television. When the weather is warm I go for hikes and bike rides around the area. I also spend a lot of time with my dog, Wallace, and partner, Sierra. My cookbook collection has grown over the last few years. Food may take up a huge portion of my life and time.

I: When not at work I like to go hiking in the woods and foraging for wild edibles to use in my own cooking projects. I'm also an unashamed nerd and fill the rest of my time with reading, comic books, gaming, and movies.