Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mamma 'Zu: Richmond Bucket List #2*

Mamma 'Zu and Svomama's Mamma

Sometimes, I can get irrational. On one of our weekends apart, Chris called me from Richmond to say: "You'll never guess where mom wants to go eat -- Mamma 'Zu!"  For those of you following this blog, you'll know that I have been working on Chris for us to go out to eat when we are in Richmond. Mamma 'Zu is one of those places I have been dying to try, and so the idea that Chris'  mother would get there before me induced a fit of pique.

Once I had recovered my senses, I suggested that all three of us go the next time I was down for the weekend. And so we did: me, and Svomama (aka Chris) and Svomama's mamma. It was good to have her along, too. Of the three of us, Svomama's mamma was the most animated by the crush of people inside the restaurant, and did not mind having a drink or two at the bar while waiting to be seated. "It's a happening," she said, enjoying the fact that the dim lighting and lack of windows made the place seem like a night spot, even though it was only 6 pm.

Not everyone feels the same about the cheek by jowl intimacy in this tiny dining room.  We were lucky enough to get seats at the bar, but behind us were three layers of people jammed between the barstools and the tables. Our friend Lynn refuses to go to Mamma Zu's. "I had an ass on my table," she exclaimed, describing her experience there. "Really, is this what goes down here, I said to myself, an ass on my table?"

What about the food? I was pleasantly surprised by the fried oysters, fried so lightly that the bivalves inside retained their moist brininess. Mamma 'Zu's sister restaurant, Edo's Squid, uses a similar technique for their fried sugar toads (blow fish), which have also surprised me with their flavorful flakiness inside a delicate casing. But otherwise, the meal was disappointing. Someone in the kitchen had gone wild with the pepper pot that night.

But I will give Mamma Zu's a pass, and try again another time. After all...

...can this many people AND Ruth Reichl be wrong?

To Die For: Reputation

Mamma Zu on Urbanspoon

*Note: As a result of "On Fumes Alone", Chris created a "Bucket List" of Richmond restaurants for us to visit. This is the second of such visits. For a full list of visits, click here

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