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Zely & Ritz


Zeb A
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Zely & Ritz is a new restaurant on Glenwood in Raleigh (at least, it seems new to me). It is in the spot where Crooked Chef and the deli joint (can't recall the name) failed--next to Sushi Blues. We went there last week. I would call it thoughtful tapas. I don't have time for a detailed review, but just about everything was pretty darn good, including the desserts. And, the tapas were interesting, not run of the mill appetizers that you see everywhere. Check it out.

Zely & Ritz

301 Glenwood Ave

Raleigh, NC 27603

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I would call it thoughtful tapas.

I like the term you used here, Zeb, "thoughtful tapas" and hope that when you find a bit of free time (an oxymoron of course!). you will share some of what this term actually looks like in real time ... anxious to hear your own take on this because I, too, enjoy the concept of tapas!

Anyone else from Raleigh been there?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Does anyone else find that when the verbally describe something as a "tapas restaurant" you often get a squirrely look from people as they wonder if you're talking about a strip club?

I find I have to enunciate VERY clearly when saying "tapas". :laugh:

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I actually prefer the term "small plates" to Tapas as a descriptor for the latest trend to hit the triangle restuarants. After a trip to Spain nothing here is tapas the way tapas are meant to be. I want a neighborhood place where I can sip a small beer or glass of fine and munch on fried squid, or a piece of Spanish chorizo on a slice of bread, or a dish of marinaded olives, where every tapas is under 3$ per plate and you can gorge yourself on only the best.

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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I went out to Zelly & Ritz last night and I will have to give it mixed reviews. Here is my breakdown of what my girlfriend and I had:

Assorted Cheese Plate & Cured Meat Plate: These are 2 separate dishes and this is what we started with. The meats were Mortadella, Pancetta, and Procuitto. The Cheeses were goat, Camembert, and a cows milk cheese(can't remember the name). The meat plate came with a sausage tart and the cheese plate came with a onion tart. I was disappointed with both of these plates. I was expecting some cured meats that were harder to find (Serrano) and the cheese was average and the goat cheese was too firm. Both tarts were a decent addition, but they force the plate to take much longer to prepare in the kitchen. I believe the dishes were 8.95/ea.

Root vegetable ragout: This also was a bit disappointing, since I was expecting a soft root vegtables and the majority of them were still quite hard.

Now to the good stuff........

Rack of Lamb w/ golden raison sauce: I only had a small bite of this, but it was cooked perfectly and the flavor was outstanding. It comes as 2 small chops. This was my girlfriends dish and she loved it also. $12.95

Duck & Cherry Pie: Now this is what I expected when I decided to come to Zelly&Ritz. Very unique blend of chopped duck with cherries and a puff pastry topping. The sauce was a port and cherry reduction. If you are thinking rich, then you are correct. It was the highlight of the meal w/o a doubt. It was lighter than a english style pie with the crust being much lighter and the sauce not as thick as a gravy. $8.95

We skipped on the dessert, but I remember seeing a panna cotta, molten choclate cake, another type of chocolate cake, and assorted homemade ice cream and sorbet. All $6.

All in all I will return especially for the Duck & Cherry pie. Both my girlfriend and I love cheese and cured meat plates and since we were disappointed in those, it stated the meal off poorly. I would recommend it to friends and I would like to go back and try some of the seafood dishes as well as the risotto dishes.

One last thing......the wine: Good size list of bottles and glasses. A little disappointed to not see more Spanish offerings, but a nice list nonetheless.

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I've long wanted to start a restaurant called Topless Tapas, with well, toplessness and tapas. Great theme restaurant, huh?

Anyone know of a tapas place 'round here that serves salt cod in any form? I'm really, really craving it and I don't want to wait until my trip to Berkeley in March to get some (don't wanna make them at home, either).

Gourmet Anarchy

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  • 1 year later...

After multiple visits, some great, some with frustrating moments, I come down on the side of really liking this place. Like at Vin, I am happy when I leave, even if every dish is not the "best ever". The dishes are always made of fresh, good quality ingredients and well prepared, even if I think some miss the mark, at least for me. They have a great wine list. Their cocktails, especially in the summer when they have lots of fresh fruit, are great. I had one drink this summer made with fresh pear and mint, that I still think about. (I love drinks made with fresh fruit in the summer, but most places make their fruit drinks SOOOO sweet. Here, I could always expect a fresh summer drink that allowed the fruit to provide all the sweetness. At Duck and Dumpling, they are currenly serving a watermelon martini with fresh watermelon puree and 1/2 pack of Equal.....yuck...tastes like sugary chemicals! Okay, I digress)

Back to Z&R, one big point for me is that the owners are truly great people who are down to earth and care about the food and their customers. I have bought fresh eggs there to take home, which is a bonus! This is definately a place to be a regular.

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