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“A good choice”
Review of ZaZa's Cucina

ZaZa's Cucina
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Ranked #23 of 261 Restaurants in Ithaca
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $17 - $28
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: Hospitality; it is what drives us at ZaZa's Cucina. We provide our patrons the complete dining experience by delivering excellent food, attentive service, and fine wine in an elegantly designed space. Chef and Entrepreneur, Curtis Radcliffe, combines his practical knowledge gained through years of experience in the hospitality industry and his training at the Culinary Institute of America to redefine the dining experience at ZaZa's Cucina. Curtis has led several kitchens as Executive Chef in the finger lakes region, including a Fortune 500 company. He brings passion, consistency and experience to the new ZaZa's. Curtis strives to utilize the best local and regional products, along with the finest imported ingredients available.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A good choice”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

The site is not big, but nice, clean, quiet ytiene very good attention, although it is a bit expensive, with little parking, the quality of their Italian food is very good, i would recommend it.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tonymiranda1220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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222 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    104
    63
    36
    9
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Fairfax Station, Virginia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Italian Dining”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Easy to locate restaurant off main thoroughfare with plentiful parking. Exterior is nothing special and right off the street. Interior décor is a bit surprising with a center section that has a rather elaborate ceiling, a bit dated and reminds you of something Liberace would have designed! Wine recommendations are from the various local Finger Lakes region. A reasonable variety of appetizers and entrees with very plentiful portions. Service was great and the table never felt unattended. Expect to pay at least $50 per person.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“High price for mediocrity”
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

I'm going to be more critical than normal, because this is an expensive, high-end italian place. You will easily spend $100 on dinner for two, if you each have wine or drinks. For $50 per person, it better be top notch. That being said...

Likes: great italian wine selection, one of the largest around. Pleasant lighting and atmosphere

Dislikes: way over priced on most dishes, uncomfortable chairs throughout- felt like patio chairs that would be hosed off at the end of each night. Kinda snooty

We ordered: the special appetizer, which was a risotto & smoked mozzarella fried ball thing. It was like a glorified mozzarella stick with rice filler. Came with only two, and a cup of sauce that tasted like a jar of pomadoro sauce from the grocery store. 3/5 stars
Veggie lasagna, $18!: came with zero sides/salad/anything. Was lifeless, over-sauced, & over-cooked. Couldn't tell a textural difference between pasta and veggies at all. Felt, looked and tasted reheated. Very dissappointing, sent it back to kitchen. 1 star
Wild mushroom risotto, $17: pleasant with excellent flavor, nice mushrooms, seasoning was rich but not over-bearing. Good texture of the rice as well- not over done. Decent portion. A little pricey. 4/5 stars
Chicken Parm, $18: came with a small side of fresh green beans and mashed potatoes, which were great, but small. Two boneless chicken cutlets. Cooked well, nice flavor, but conventional chicken. Overall seemed like a dish I could easily make myself for a fraction the price with organic local meat instead. 3/5 stars
Wine: predominantly Sangiovese from middle Italy. $10 per glass, which was pricey, but it was wonderful wine. My favorite part of the meal by far. Great fruit & acid, medium body, bright dark red color, aromatic, slightly spicy. 5 star wine, but for the price, 4/5 stars.

Overall: They clearly pinch pennies... on bread, veggies, sides, etc. Dont expect anything extra at this place. Also, I always get irritated when meat at a restaurant this "fine" is NOT all local and/or organic/humanely raised. Especially in this area which is rich with resources like that. There are places offering better food, with ALL THE MEAT sourced like this, at a cheaper price tag, and a less pretentious attitude. High price for mediocrity.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SingingOwl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morristown, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Rude manager/owner”
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We visited the restaurant over graduation weekend. The owner had everyone sign "contracts" and place deposits for graduation weekend, indicating specific 1 hour and 50 minute time slots in which you had to complete your meal. Everything went fine, food was good, until we had a question on the bill. The restaurant charged an 18% gratuity on the bottle of wine in addition to the food. When we questioned the validity of that charge, the manager/owner stormed over to our table and threw a piece of paper on the table and screamed that we signed a contract and had to pay the gratuity on the bottle of wine also. This is highly irregular, embarrassing, and it was our understanding that the contract was just for the total food bill. If we would have known this, we could have obviously walked up to the bar in the restaurant and bought the bottle of wine paying a regular bar gratuity to the bartender. The owner/manager was rude and unprofessional and I would not recommend this restaurant since they have such little respect for their patrons. And it gets worse, the bottle of wine we ordered was a 2011 NYS Dry Reisling. The server shows up at the table w/ a 2012. There is a retail price difference btwn these 2 bottles. I asked her what the price difference was and to make the adjustment. Again, they refused and said they had the right to substitute bottles of wine and vintages at their discretion. Odd.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank LMC60906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cortland, New York
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful venue for a wedding reception”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

My husband and I decided to have our wedding reception at Zaza's after going there for dinner several times and falling in love with the fantastic (and authentic) Italian food and charming atmosphere. We had wonderful communication with the owner who helped us plan our menu and decor details. Bonus!, she made our wedding cake and it turned out tasty and beautiful.

On the big day, every detail was taken care of and the food and service were simply amazing!
My family and friends were very impressed and are still talking about. Lovely place for a reception, special event or just dinner.

If anyone is interested in seeing more detailed photos of our reception or would like additional information about our experience then please feel free to email: steph.yan.wedding@gmail.com

Ciao ciao!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank sstevens1492
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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