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“A real gem”
Review of Cafe Zack

Cafe Zack
Ranked #19 of 447 Restaurants in Ventura
Price range: $15 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Outstanding dining experience from Hector and his excellent staff. Very small dining room (@ 8 tables in main room, more on porch) so reservations highly recommended. Nice selection of starters, salads, and entrees. Steaks are terrific and especially enjoyed porcini mushroom sauce. Roasted vegetables and potatoes are delicious. I hope to return soon and try some of the lamb, duck, and pasta dishes which smelled and looked great passing by. Save room for sharing a slice of Zack's signature dessert, a chocolate cake/pie with caramel sauce.

Thank CapeCodPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 - 95 of 123 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2012

My husband and I have been dining at Cafe Zack for many years, and have never been disappointed. Ambience is intimate, with comfy banquettes along the walls in the front room of the converted bungalow,and a frequently changing display of interesting art. The back patio, which was enclosed a few years ago, isn't quite as charming as the front, but still very pleasant. One of the many things we love about coming here is the warm welcome as you walk in the door. Hector, the owner, always greets us with a smile, and everyone on the staff makes us feel like old friends.
The wine list is well-chosen, and there are always a few wine specials on the chalkboard which are well worth investigating. We have thrown caution to the winds a few times and let our server select a wine for us, and every time it's been spot-on.
And the food! They have several tried-and-true dinner entrees that are always on the menu, and always prepared well; classics like the filet with a choice of porcini mushroom sauce or peppercorns. (I'm partial to the porcini myself; creamy, velvety, perfect complement to the beef...I have to force myself not to lick the plate!) They also have a nice touch with fresh fish, usually seared with a nice crust on the outside and perfectly cooked inside. Sauces and accompaniments enhance but don't overwhelm. Whether classic treatments like buerre blanc or more unexpected sauces, they never lose sight of what really works together. Most entrees come with perfectly roasted potatoes (can't tell you how many times I've tried to duplicate those at home, unsuccessfully), and a simple fresh vegetable.
Cafe Zack makes, in my opinion, the best Caesar salad in town, which we usually split because we can't resist some of the other starters, like the lobster and sweet corn tamale. And save room for dessert--classic Creme Brulee, Zack's Pie (pecan crust filled with ganache and drizzled with caramel sauce!), and my personal favorite, the apple dumpling in puff pastry with warm caramel, are all stellar choices.
Lunch is delicious as well. They have several tasty salads, pasta specials, and sandwiches,and the soup of the day is outstanding (especially if it's tomato-basil or French onion). But the standout in my opinion is the Executive Burger. The beef is exceptionally tender (and never overcooked!) and the sundried tomato aioli is just tangy enough to balance the richness of everything else. Have it with blue cheese if you really want an over-the-top treat, and a glass of red wine. Heaven!
Cafe Zack is one of those neighborhood places that goes way beyond ordinary in terms of quality. I am extremely thankful that they are in my neighborhood!

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Thank Victoria C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

The food was amazing, and the warmth of Hector, an owner, made it especially amazing! The corn and lobster appetizer combined unexpected, but wonderful flavors. The pork tenderloin with brandy cream sauce melted in my mouth.

Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

I rarely give 5 stars but our experience at Cafe Zack merits them. My wife and I were promptly seated in a requested "quiet spot". The atmosphere was relaxed, moderately quiet, and unpretentious. We ordered wine by the glass from a generous menu. We began by sharing a lobster-sweet corn (with mandarin orange slices) appetizer which was delicious. We then enjoyed a plate of mussels followed by filet mignon. We chose the Bernaise sauce with our meat. As good or better in flavor and tenderness than any filet I have had before. For dessert an apple tartlet with a muscat dessert wine. Relaxed atmosphere, prompt courteous service, and good food. We were out of towners but will definitely return when we are in Ventura.

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Thank DocPhun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Classy lunch spot with interesting choices in a nice atmosphere, good for a business lunches especially.

Thank Katherine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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