z food & drink in manchester, nh

My sister-in-law and I drove up to Manchester, New Hampshire for a scrapbook convention this weekend (more info on that excursion soon to be posted on my blog!). We had lunch on Friday afternoon at this restaurant I found online via Google called Z Food & Drink. It’s a cute little restaurant on Elm Street in downtown, not too far from the Verizon Arena. I think we got there sometime around 1:30 pm and there was a decent amount of people inside having lunch, too. The waitress was super nice and very attentive. The food. How can I say this? The food was awesome.

But before I go on about the food, let me tell you about the decor. The table settings were really elegant and simple, but the quirky part was that there was some type of classic children’s toy in the center of each table.

As you can see, we had Legos but other tables had a mini Etch-a-Sketch, a travel size Connect Four, there were about 3 or 4 Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads floating around, a magic eight ball, and a slinky.

(Apparently, someone got very creative with one of the Potato Heads today.)

The menu is kind of simple but I think that’s what makes it work so well. The prices for almost everything on the lunch menu were under $10. I ordered a romaine salad ($8) which consisted of sweet gem baby romaine, white anchovies, crispy capers, asiago cheese, grilled bread, lemon confit, and a garlic dressing. I assumed (something you shouldn’t do, right?) that the salad was going to be a small portion, so I also ordered the grilled cheese sandwich ($8) because for some reason I was craving cheese and bread together (and Marina and I thought we would split the salad because we thought that her dish, the goat cheese croquettes, weren’t going to come out the way they did — more to come below on that one. It was so yummy, like one of the best grilled cheeses I’ve ever had because it had ricotta, gruyere, and fontina cheese on grilled ciabatta bread. Like, um, did someone call this place up and tell them to put two of my favorite cheeses into one sandwich? I love gruyere and fontina, so to put them together seems ingenius to me.

So a rather pricy lunch on my end, I know, but worth it in the end. And as mentioned above, I think we both had envisioned the goat cheese croquettes ($10) to be the main focus of the appetizer sized dish that Marina ordered. So when it arrived and looked more like a salad with the croquettes piled on top of the field greens, with pistachios, dried cranberries, and a champagne vinaigrette she ended up not needing to share my salad in the end. Well, she did take a few bites because we both really liked the creamy but light dressing and we were trying to figure out exactly what was in it, so that helped me put a small dent in it. But I couldn’t eat the potato chips that came with my sandwich because it looked like they were seasoned with something orangey-red. And ya’ll know what my body does with spicy orangey-red things inside it. So instead of possibly ruining our weekend with a trip to the emergency room, I skipped the chips (and the pickle spear too) even thought they looked really good too.

Oh and the other thing that was a no-no for me was a cute little basket of popcorn that they gave us to snack on while we waited for our food.

One nice thing about their wine menu is that you can order glasses by the 4 ounce or 8 ounce size. So we both had a little 4 ounce glass of vino – Marina had the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and I had the XYZin Zinfandel. Both were excellent, and served in stemless glasses.

It turned out to be a wonderful lunch experience and since we’ll be back up to Manchester in September for the Journey concert, I think we’ll try to bring the hubbies there for dinner beforehand. We met the chef/owner, Tom Puskarich, right before we left and he was kind enough to share with us the ingredients he uses for the vinaigrette in Marina’s salad. We told him we’d try to come back so hopefully we can stick to our promise this fall and try out more of his delicious dishes!


1 thought on “z food & drink in manchester, nh

  1. I don’t live too far from Manchester and have been meaning to check them out so it’s nice to read a good review! Great idea for them to have two sizes for wine offerings!

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