First, an admission: I detest the way review sites like TripAdvisor enable cranks and snobs and narcissists and know-it-alls to heap anonymous slander on conscientious restaurants. No food establishment is perfect, but as long as it does a serious job, I will not give it less than 5 stars, and save my criticism for the end.
Five of us had dinner for five at ZacJack’s bistro in Cameron Park, just off Highway 50 west of Placerville. Its theme is an inventive mix of French and Californian. But their food presentations are not prissy-fussy as in nouvelle cuisine, which is fine with me.
One of us, a very elderly lady, had the stuffed artichoke which she greatly liked, and took half of it home. Another had the chicken cordon bleu, her husband a fancy Kobe-beef burger, my wife the trout almandine, and I decided on that night’s special, the ahi tuna, cooked rare. Oh, my wife and I also split their spinach salad, which was wonderful, not overcooked but barely tossed, with candied walnuts, julienned, marinated apple, sautéed mushrooms and red onions, and a sweet balsamic-bacon-dressing. All of us loved our food. Unlike much farm-bred trout, my wife’s trout was firm-fleshed, and came with home-made sweet potato fries and very fresh green beans. I also loved their prices, since I was paying the bill. They have hardly anything over $20. All told I spent about $160 including drinks, a dessert and the tip. A good deal; don’t pass it up.
Now, for the criticism (which not everyone may agree with; that’s why I get so annoyed at restaurant reviewers who think the entire world should conform to their tastes): 1. The waitress could have asked if I wanted a second glass of wine, but I let it go; 2. Somebody forgot about the side of fries I had ordered, and when they finally came they were limp, not crisp like the others; 3. During all the time we were there we were forced to listen to a wailing banshee by the name of Underwood, who should have stuck to making typewriters. Apparently they were playing one CD that repeated endlessly. When I finally made my unhappiness known I was told the music was the department of somebody not present that evening. Seems a poor excuse to me, but I’m not privy to the internal management structure.
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