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“Oasis” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zola New World Bistro

Zola New World Bistro
324 West College Avenue, State College, PA 16801
814-237-8474
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Ranked #49 of 213 Restaurants in State College
Price range: $15 - $50
Cuisines: Bistro
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Oasis”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

When you are in the middle of the state and your hunger will not be satiated with a burger, you need something with style, masterful local ingredients and yes, an incredible selection of wine options....you will be relieved to find Zola. It's not surprizing the owners are totally food and wine oriented, only that they decided to give a rough and tumble, beer guzzling football-oriented college town this degree of comfortable sophistication.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    36
    23
    10
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Great food and great atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I scored a gift certificate to this restaurant online or I would not have eaten here. The place opens at 5:30. Parking is limited, but so is everywhere downtown. The bartender, Jason, was extremely attentive and friendly. I started the meal with the Baby Greens salad. Very well balanced. The mustard vinaigrette was spot on. For dinner I had the Sea Scallops over lemon risotto. This was also extremely good. This looks like a place that would be a lot of fun to come and hang out in the lounge and have a couple of drinks. Definitely a place to stop back.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“City food without uptown prices”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

This place looks like its gonna be super expensive. And yes, you could go broke on their extensive wine list. But, the food prices are very reasonable.
Something I have never noticed before, the under-side of the table was padded!
So my complaints, it was freezing cold! Even the waiter said he was cold! Not like cold air blowing, more like its winter and maybe the heat was broken. There was a portable space heater in the bathroom that was not turned on, but the space heater makes me think that it's usually cold.
My other gripe, it was advertised as that it was Asian fusion. There was almost nothing Asian at all on the menu. And I was not very hungry and everything on the menu seemed pretty heavy.
I got mac & cheese which had a side salad. It was delicious and as un-heavy as mac & cheese can be.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Best in State College”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Zola's is the only option for fine dining in State College. Unfortunately, State College has very limited choices for fine food, other than some respectable ethnic choices. This is a very attractive upscale restaurant with a very French/New Ameican orientation. The food is really good with some inventive twists. The calamari salad is different, delicious and worth repeating. The Asian snapper is also wonderful. The fois gras was great, but microscopic in size. I understand the cost of the product -- it was an expensive app-- but never had such a tiny portion. When pointed out to the server, he replied, it was 3 oz., which I question. Easy enough to avoid in a future visit. Crabcake is outstanding. Servers are generally on target and helpful.
There is a fun bar scene with wonderful bartenders and really good Jazz on Fridays at 9 pm. If you are really lucky, Rick Hirsch's group will be there, although Arthur Goldstein's trio, who I believe teaches at PSU is also great.
All told, this is a must to try in SC. We have been several times and will return.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Crownsville, MD
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Exceptional, imaginative dining”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

My third time at Zola and it remains my favorite place in State College. Although a bit upscale for a college town, it's good to have this as an option - imaginative, delicious food perfectly prepared, very good service and a well-chosen wine list. Zola is a must-visit every time I'm in town.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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