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.

Menu Spotlight : Pacific Black Cod

Menu Spotlight : Pacific Black Cod

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There are items on our menu that have been the same for 17 years; recipes that haven’t changed because they are long time favorites. There are many other dishes that we change based on the season and availability of ingredients. The Pacific Black Cod is one of those dishes. Over the years we have had many versions of this dish, some with spicy broths, others with a sweeter component, but no matter what way we do it, our guests love this dish!

Pacific Black Cod
Creamy Sunchoke Sauce/ Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash/ Shredded Brussels Sprouts/ Ginger Mussels/ 30

When it comes to seafood, like all of our ingredients, we go to great lengths to make sure that the fish we bring in is sustainably farmed or wild caught. This can be a bit more difficult and an expensive task, but it’s something we strongly believe in. We want to bring you the freshest and highest quality food that you would purchase yourself and cook with pride and satisfaction. 

We hope you have an opportunity to taste this dish soon!

Poke is Okay!

Poke is Okay!

Poke, pronounce 'po-kay,' is a Hawaiian snack that you can now enjoy at ZINC New Haven. 

Poke, which is Hawaiian for slice or cut, is a delicious raw fish salad. Traditionally tuna was used, though other seafood like raw salmon or other shellfish is now used more frequently. A popular snack in Hawaii for many years, Poke is becoming a popular dish again and there is no wrong way to make it. Some are made with miso and Korean chili sauces, others with ginger and scallions. When Chef/Owner Denise Appel was reading last month's Bon Appetit Magazine, she was inspired by this article about poke and knew she had to create one for ZINC New Haven.  In her version, she decided to use our house-made gravlax, which is salmon that we cure in sugar, salt, and dill, and add a tangy Ginger Mayonnaise and other flavorful ingredients. 

Salmon Gravlax Poke
Cured Salmon/ Ginger Mayonnaise/ Sesame Brown Rice/ Pickled Cucumber + Red Onion/ Edamame + Daikon/ Nori Togarashi/ 14

This dish is perfect if you’re looking for a light and quick dinner that you can enjoy at the bar with a glass of wine or cocktail. Or order it for your table as an appetizer so everyone can try this unique and delicious dish. It’s so light and fresh, the perfect start to every meal!

ZINC Spotlight : Pastry Chef, Alba Estenoz

ZINC Spotlight : Pastry Chef, Alba Estenoz

Our team at ZINC New Haven and Kitchen ZINC has a cast of characters, most of them are behind the scenes and some that you may never see. We'd like to take this time to introduce one of our long time ZINC family members, our beloved Pastry Chef, Alba Estenoz. 
 
Alba was born in Mérida, Spain. As a child, Alba played in her uncle’s pastelería and quickly grew to love the art of baking. In 2001, Alba joined Madrid’s prestigious El Gran Barril restaurant and it was here that she fine-tuned her extraordinary skills. When Alba moved to the United States in 2003, she soon became our pastry chef. 

Alba pulls inspiration for her desserts from many sources.  Two highly influential components in Alba's creations are her rapport with our Chef-Owner, Denise Appel and the availability of seasonal ingredients.  She is constantly taking notes on what’s going on around the world and what people are interested in eating and incorporating that into her delectable desserts. She also looks to others in her field for creative inspiration and holds a high regard for pastry chefs Paco Torreblanca and Antonio Bachour.
 
Alba’s love of unique creations and challenging techniques is balanced with her desire to keep ZINC desserts appealing and irresistible.
 
One of her favorite ingredients is chocolate. She is constantly amazed at the availability of high-quality chocolate. She loves that the type of cocoa bean and country of origin are now part of her selection.  During the cooler months, she experiments with many flavors and adds them to her Housemade Chocolates. She's created classic pairings like Raspberry Chocolates, as well as some more intricate flavors like honeycomb and lavender.
 
Alba is one of the first people in the door at ZINC. Her day ends before most of yours begin, but this is when Alba creates her masterpieces. There's no rule that you have to have dinner before dessert, though I'm sure your mother would disagree. Let this be your invitation to visit us and enjoy Alba’s efforts. Finish (or start!) your meal with her Dark Chocolate, Meyer Lemon + Caramel Mouse Cake, featuring White Chocolate + Lemon Gelato and a Chocolate Crumble. You will leave very, very happy.

Happiness is Cheese...

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ZINC New Haven LOVES cheese! We sample. research producers, both local and from around the world, a purchase some of the highest quality cheeses available. We are happily finding fantastic cheeses to share with you. Our cheese selections and our recently revamped cheese board by our resident Artist/Hostess are bringing smiles and tasty delights to everyone who has enjoyed them. Add your own cheese course to the beginning, middle, or end of any lunch or dinner at ZINC or enjoy is at the bar for a snack. 

Here are a few of our favorite cheeses locally sourced. We offer imported cheeses as well, along with our house made chutney, local honey, and bread. 

Great Hill Blue
 
In Marion, Massachusetts, about 50 Miles south of Boston, you’ll find Great Hill Dairy. Great Hill sources their milk from their local Guernsey cows. Guernsey cows are a breed of cattle used mostly in dairy farming. They are orange-red and white in color and are particularly renowned for a rich flavor of milk. The milk has a golden color from a high content of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which, by the way, has been known to help reduce the risks of certain cancers. The milk is high in butterfat and protein content, which make for some pretty delectable cheese. Great Hill Blue Cheese is an internally ripened variety made with raw, not homogenized milk, giving the cheese a smooth, full flavor. All the cheese is hand-filled using traditional techniques, which ensures proper whey expulsion and curd structure. The cheese is slightly off white or yellow since no bleach or other food coloring is added. 

Kunik 

Nettle Meadow produces what is the favorite cheese of 90% of our staff at ZINC. Kunik Triple Creme, made from goat and cow’s milk, has a white rind and a tangy, buttery flavor: you could eat this cheese with a spoon!  I suppose you could use fruit or crackers with it too. Nettle Meadow Farm is a goat and sheep dairy and cheese company in Thurman, New York, a town in the Adirondacks between Gore Mountain/North Creek and Warrensburg. The farm was originally founded in 1990 and is currently owned and operated by Lorraine Lambiase and Sheila Flanagan, two avid animal lovers. They have more than 300goats, dozens of sheep and a variety of farm sanctuary animals-which basically means there is a place that you’re old animal can go to live out its days in peace. Here, at Nettle Meadow, they take in old and retired farm animals and some goats are available for adoption to have as pets or for brush goats.

Chocolate Goat Cheese

Sid Wainer & Son is a farm in Massachusettes that was founded in 1914 as a distributor that collected produce from the South Coast of New England and distributed it in push carts. They've grown a bit since then and have fine tuned their practices. They deliver fresh produce across the tri-state area the same day that it's harvested. Wainer & Son is a strong advocate of the Slow Food movement and sustainable agriculture. Many of the products it sells are grown on the company’s own Jansal Valley Farms, like their Chocolate Chevré Goat Cheese. They combine pasteurized unripened goat's milk cheese and imported dark chocolate to create the ultimate dessert cheese. This cheese is a suprising treat and a great choice for your dessert cheese plate! 

Next time you are at ZINC for lunch, dinner, or drinks at the bar, check out the cheese board and a 3 or 5 cheese plate for yourself or to share! 

Keep Calm and Drink Tea

Keep Calm and Drink Tea

During these cold and dreary winter months, one of our favorite ways to feel warm and a bit more cheerful includes a cup of hot tea. At ZINC New Haven, Harney and Sons Teas make us happy. Not only are their flavors rich, smooth, and delicious, but their company history and product quality are worth sharing.

In Salisbury, CT 34 years ago, the owner of the White Hart Inn, John Harney, began a journey with tea. Introduced to tea by Stanley Mason, a man who created craft tea blends after becoming bored with corporate tea of London and New York. Mason warmly welcomed Harney to this delicious world and showed him everything he needed to know about the art and business of this unique craft. 

In 1983, in the basement of his home, John Harney started to master the art of tea blending. At first, his audience were the guests at the Inn. The guests embraced his exotic blends and kept coming back for more. His small, basement company quickly grew and is now a global operation and headquartered in Millerton, New York. 

“The company, which sources, blends, and packages their product from start to finish, has grown from their original six teas, to more than three hundred. John brought in his two sons: Mike & Paul. Their story truly captures the essence of American Business Ingenuity.” - Harney and Sons

Harney and Sons Tea’s main goal is to provide the finest quality tea and to educate the world of tea history and taste. Now, this is something that we can get behind. At ZINC New Haven, we do our best to use local, quality ingredients and to educate our staff and guests on local companies, new ingredients, and creative dishes.


At ZINC New Haven, we currently carry eight flavors of Harney and Sons Tea*:

Decaffeinated Ceylon: also known as Decaf Orange Pekoe, is a high-quality black tea with the caffeine removed, yet the depth of flavor remains intact. People say the Ceylon is the only Decaf that tastes like "real tea." 

Chamomile: Harney & Sons sources the finest Egyptian chamomile flowers, of which only the flower heads are used. The result is a premium herbal tea with a definite body. Chamomile is perfect for winding down after a business lunch and before heading back to the office, or to cap off a relaxing dinner at ZINC.

Japanese Sencha: This tea is called Japanese Sencha because not all Sencha on the market is from Japan. Their Sencha is a very fine one from the central Shizuoka province and can be found in many homes in Tokyo. It is a pleasant and approachable green tea. 

English Breakfast: There are many versions of English Breakfast tea. Harney and Son’s has an ancient pedigree. Researchers have traced its heritage back to the black tea the English drank regularly in the 1800's. It is, simply, China Black  100% Keemun. A simple way to start your day. 

Earl Grey: This tea is perhaps the most famous tea in the world, originally inspired by the British Prime Minister, Earl Grey. There are as many different versions of Earl Grey as there are tea companies. Harney and Son’s uses teas from India and China, blended with natural oil of bergamot.

Bangkok: The rich flavors of Bangkok, Thailand are the inspiration for this tasty blend that combines green tea, lemongrass, vanilla, coconut, and ginger.

Rooibos Chai: This brings together caffeine-free rooibos, or 'red bush' herbal from South Africa, with sweet Indian spices of clove, cardamom, and cinnamon. Savor Rooibos Chai in soothing soul-satisfying cups. The spices impart an earthy touch that will have you welcoming seconds.

Mint + Lemon Verbena: An invigorating and full-bodied herbal that combines two favorites: caffeine-free mint and lemon verbena. Mint is also known to calm a temperamental stomach.

Ask you server for one of these delicious teas at the beginning, during or end of your meal. It will let you leave a little happier than you arrived. 

 

 

* tasting notes are sourced from https://www.harney.com

Summer Wine Social

ZINC New Haven's Wine Social is a casual and educational tasting of wines with light hors d’oeuvres.

This month's event will focus on perfect wines to drink during the summer.

You will be tasting...
Emmolo by Caymus Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, 2014  
Michel Redde and Fils “Les Tulilieres” Sancerre, Loire Valley, 2014
Leeuwin Estate Art Series dry Riesling, Margaret River, Australia 2013
Recuerdo Torrontés, La Rioja, Argentina, 2014

Reservations are required, $35 per person all inclusive, pre-paid
Fill out the form below to reserve your spot. You will be contacted to confirm your reservation. 

Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

The Court of Master Sommeliers

zincnewhaven.wine

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in 1977 to promote excellence in hotel and restaurant beverage service. This week, Michael has been hard at work, tasting, studying, and absorbing as much information as he can during the Advance Sommelier Course. He's already a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, but this week he's testing for his Level Three Certification. We wish you the best of luck Michael! Cheers! 

Concord Grape Chutney

Concord Grape Chutney

If you’re a little bored with grandma’s cranberry sauce, spice up your Thanksgiving Dinner with this Concord Grape Chutney instead! It’s an easy recipe and yields enough to use throughout the holiday season.

  • COOK: 35 mins

This recipe yields about 4, 5 ounce jars.

Slow Cooked Black Beans

Slow Cooked Black Beans

We have featured this dish in the past with our hanger steak and it turned out to be a huge flavor craver. This summer we decided to change things up a bit and make it a vegetarian option, Chilaquiles.