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“Nicest restaurant in State College”

Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar
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Ranked #54 of 250 Restaurants in State College
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $50
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Zola Kitchen & Wine Bar provides ingredient driven, seasonal, new American cuisine, with exceptional service, and an outstanding selection of wine and spirits. Located in downtown State College, Zola has an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere that enhances the fine dining experience. Chef Andrew Hufnagel uses modern culinary techniques, locally sourced foods, and global inspiration to develop a menu that will challenge and delight your mouth. Our wine bar and state of the art wine room provide an extensive selection of wine by the bottle, as well as premium by the glass selections from our Wine Keeper preservation system. Our Sommelier is available to help you make your selection or answer any questions about our wines. The bar will feature live music on Friday and Saturday night as well as an extensive selection of craft beer, brown liquors, and specialty cocktails for relaxed post dining entertainment.
Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

So far this is the best fine dining I've found in State College. The wild game was excellent, but the sides were just OK. Stay away from the tuna though. But really why would you order fish in the middle of PA anyway?
Their wine list was great and had a nice variety. The sommelier made a wonderful recommendation. He is also the host, but he knows his wine!

Thank Rich C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 - 119 of 210 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2013

Went there with my spouse for a nice meal, brought along a gift certificate in the amount of $25 dollars. We ordered two expensive dishes on the menu, along with a a bottle of Pinot Noir that cost over $50. Total bill was over $150, and gave the waitress the gift certificate and an Amex card for the payment.

When presented with the bill, I almost did not bother to check the itemized bill, nearly doing the automatic pilot credit card authorization by adding my normal 20% gratuity. Fortunately, my spouse thought the bill seemed a bit high, so I double-checked the itemized slip, then came to find out the restaurant had "automatically" added on a 20% gratuity! We were a party of two - since when does a party of two merit an automatic gratuity?? More to the point, the waitress made absolutely no mention of an automatic 20% gratuity (which is high for an automatic gratuity, IMO) being added to our bill. I do a lot of dining out for my job, and I can't ever recall being charged an automatic gratuity whether it be for a party of just two or for using a gift certificate.

I found this maneuver by the staff at Zola's both low class and deceptive. I wonder how many times they managed to double the amount of the tip by keeping this "automatic gratuity" charge hidden from an unsuspecting patron?? I guess the morale of the story is read you bill carefully at Zola's!

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2  Thank PG_SCE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Had a great lunch with service 2nd to none. $37.10 for a shared appetizer and two lunch entrees which were very good.

Watch parking in the back and only park between the lines. We were about to be towed and still had to shell out $65 to keep from being towed. Shame on State College as there was plenty of open parking spaces and not very clear instructions where to park.

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Thank foodie2121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I made 7:30 reservations approx 30 days in advance. They called to confirm a day or two prior to our visit. Arrived on time, told it would be 10 minutes before our table was available. We were finally seated at 8:20. Placed our order shortly thereafter. First course not served until 9:00. Long story short, we left the restaurant at about 10:45. Needless to say the service was abysmal. Inattentive service with long delays between our three course dinner. When presented with the bill I was told a 20% gratuity had been added to our check, this for a party of 6. Nowhere was there any indication of an automatic gratuity. I had it removed by the manager and added a more appropriate tip. The food was just ok nothing out of the ordinary. Entrées included a couple of steaks, pumpkin ravioli and a fish entrée. A salted pear desert was very tasty.

Now the kicker. We had parked on a closed real estate company parking lot next to the restaurant. The lot had been used by Zola patrons in the past, I knew this since I have dined at the restaurant several times over the past couple of years. When we returned to the parking lot we found our car had been towed. Apparently there was a warning sign posted on the door in the restaurant not to park next door. In our case, someone opened the door for us on our way in to dinner and we never saw the sign. My gripe is why wouldn't the hostess at least ask about where we parked or mention the change in parking arrangements and the enforcement of the no parking on the adjoining lot.

Yes this happened during homecoming weekend so the restaurant was busy but all in all not a very happy homecoming dinner experience.

1  Thank Jge4psu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We had read several less than stellar reviews of Zola and decided to see for ourselves. So glad that we did. The service was leisurely yet timely and food was outstanding. The decor is contemporary with floral artwork by a local artist. Tables have fresh linen tablecloths and napkins. Our server, Steve, was friendly,competent and unintrusively attentive. The lunch menu is varied and includes soups, salads, mac and cheese, mussels, calamari, a variety of burgers and interesting entrees. There is also a fritata of the day. We chose the prix-fixe lunch with a glass of Fontera chardonnay. The soup was Tuscan made with fresh ingredients , tomaotes, onion, sausage and orzo. It was nicely seasoned. The crab cake was delicious and presented beautifully with remoulade sauce and chopped mangos. The salad was also fresh with assorted greens, grated carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and a mild dressing. Dessert was a well prepared Creme Brulee. We highly recommend this restaurant and will definitively return.

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Thank Maryann L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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