We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fabulous Food. Disappointing Ambiance.”
Review of Zeppa Bistro - CLOSED

Zeppa Bistro
Price range: $13 - $45
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: A modern American bistro, the restaurant has a hip, cool vibe with an amazing menu. A newly refashioned bar invites you to sit comfortably and enjoy one of Zeppa’s seasonal signature cocktails or chose from an impressive collection of beers and wines.​In addition to the restaurant, Zeppa offers alternative dining areas that can accommodate parties up to 47 guests for catering, private parties and business meetings. These areas feature a separate entrance and restroom.The Zeppa Auditorium, located upstairs from the dining area, is available to hold large events—be it a concert, private wedding reception, party, large meeting or dinner.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We recently had dinner at Zeppa based on recommendations from other couples that ate there. We fully agreed that our dinners were some of the best meals we have eaten anywhere in the USA. My short-rib dinner was outstanding. Our waiter was pleasant and helpful.

However, the restaurant is located in the basement of the building with a relatively low ceiling. The restaurant appears dark and uninviting. Even the table cloths are black. Our friends also commented on the excellence of the food but will probably not return because of the atmosphere.

We suggest that the owners consider using a mixture of brightly colored tablecloths and purchase torchiere lighting or install interesting ceiling lights if the ceiling height will accommodate them.

It would be a shame if a restaurant that can serve such outstanding food does not stay in business because the atmosphere is lacking.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (33)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

11 - 15 of 33 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

We have been to this restaurant many times and have had consistently excellent food and service. The food is very well prepared to order and nicely presented. This is a very friendly place. We met one of the chef-owners last night and were impressed by his extensive credentials.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Choosyeaterfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Zeppa is a fairly new restaurant in the Southwedge neighborhood of the city. It is attached to the German House and related to Mise en Place across the street. Whereas Mise focuses on the new york city cornerstore/deli vibe, Zeppa tries to bring a taste of what New York City fine dining can be to Rochester.

I know that is a bold claim from someone who hasn't been able to afford much fine dining in bigger cities, but I recently had the best meal of my life there: a five course meal of appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert.

The appetizer was polenta fries and they were good sized rectangular prisms which were crispy, almost caramelized, on the outside and moist, fluffy, and well seasoned on the inside. They were served with plenty of roasted mushrooms and goat cheese so you could play with different ratios in every bite.

Soup came next: creamy potato bisque with a braised short rib, topped with sour cream and chives, floating in the center and surrounded by garlic croutons. This soup was an excellent combination of flavors and textures and I would say large enough to constitute as a meal by itself if you're on a budget. This was the best soup I have ever had.

I was getting a little full by the time my salad arrived, but it was so light and tasty that it made me feel like I had more room in my stomach by the time the entree arrived. The salad was a combination of honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon over baby lettuces, topped with cotija cheese (think feta, but not as moist and a touch less salty) and a mint and honey vinaigrette. I love melon and the saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the dressing made this a salad to remember.

The entree I ordered was farfalle with pasta neck clams, sauteed artichokes, broccolini and roasted peppers in a garlic, oil and herb sauce. In spite of me being ridiculously full, I ate this entire meal because it was just so good. I even drank the remainder of the sauce from the bowl, much to my girlfriend's dismay.

Finally, dessert came - two scoops of ice cream (one vanilla, one strawberry/raspberry) were artfully plated with a sprig of mint. This was the perfect way to end the meal: light, simple, clean and well-executed.

Thank you to the chefs for showing me what an experience food can be. My father always stated that belching was a compliment to the chef and I thought he was just saying that so he could belch without my mom yelling at him. Now I know that he was right, I spent the entire night belching because I ate way more that I ever thought possible, but the pace of the meal and the quality of the food allowed me to finish every last morsel and I will remember this meal for the rest of my life.

In fact, thank you to everyone who made that experience possible.

-j

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SCMStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

The food at Zeppa's was fantastic. Starting right from the fresh and hot bread they bring you, the food was great.

I had the duck plate which apparently has been with the restaurant since it's opening. I understand why. It's served with gnocchi and vegetables and was some of the best duck I've had in a while. Definitely recommend if you go here! Coworker had the pork special of the night, and he said it was also very delicious.

Some suggestions for improvements:
- The coffee is terrible. The espresso especially.
- Service could use some improvement. The waiter looked like he was bored and mildly annoyed the entire time.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jfbibeau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Thursday evening there is a prix fixe menu of three courses, each of which includes a small wine pairing, a bargain at $30. We were seated promptly on arrival, and the menu offered. Drinks were ordered, and, shortly after we each ordered from the prix fixe menu, along with the first wine choice. Shortly after, two full glasses of wine came; we thought "how generous". As the first course was being served, the cocktail came, so we let the first course sit a while while drinking the cocktail. The mussels were excellent in a wonderful broth, but no spoon was offered to drink the broth. After asking twice, finally we stopped another server and got the spoon. We finished our first wine, and with the salads we were told that there had been a mistake, and we had been given a full pour of wine with the first course, so there would be no more. There's a disconnect between the kitchen (really good food) and the wait staff. Too bad.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank vpoleshuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Zeppa Bistro also viewed

Rochester, Finger Lakes
Rochester, Finger Lakes
 
Rochester, Finger Lakes
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing