This guest blog article is by Cindy Plata.
The very first time I visited Chez Zee, I was attending a baby shower brunch. Although I thought it was a little strange to attend a baby shower at a restaurant, I quickly realized that if a baby shower was going to be at a restaurant, Chez Zee would definitely be the place to host it. There was an immediate feeling of warmth and happiness in the air, and the beautiful decorations throughout the restaurant only added to the already pleasant atmosphere. Even though my first visit was six years ago, Chez Zee continues to be one of my top choices for any and all occasions.
Love Is in the Air (Literally)
The atmosphere inside Chez Zee is one of my favorite things about the whole place. The restaurant is dimly lit and sets a romantic – but not uncomfortable – tone, so everyone feels welcome. There is a gorgeous, hard-to-miss red piano sitting in the front of the space, and they have a live piano player on Friday and Saturday nights, Sundays for brunch, and also Monday night for dinner.
Chez Zee is also wonderfully decorated with strings of white lights all around. One section of the restaurant has these amazing lights that resemble lamp shades, and each one is designed with a different pattern. In the middle of the restaurant, a display case with all of Chez Zee’s signature desserts is set for all to see and drool over.
The restaurant is decorated by holiday or season. With February being the month of Valentine’s Day, it seems appropriate that in the middle of the ceiling hangs an array of Valentine’s decorations. From hanging red hearts to red rope lighting, Chez Zee is definitely ready for the “day of love”!
For the Love of Food
Although atmosphere is important for anyone’s dining experience, for me, it’s the food that has to stand out. Lucky for me, Chez Zee has fantastic food and the menus are rather extensive and impressive. With four different menus – lunch, dinner, desserts, and brunch – it’s easy to see that there is something for EVERYONE.
I went for a late lunch with friends recently, and we all had trouble figuring out what to order. There is so much to choose from. We started with Chez Zee’s most popular appetizer, their Fried Dill Pickles. I highly recommend getting these. They are delicious! The breading is light and crispy with just the right amount of seasoning. The pickles themselves are not overpowering in flavor, and the two sauces (ranch and chipotle ranch) both made in-house complemented the pickles well.
For our entrees, I decided on the New Orleans Pecan Chicken with mashed potatoes instead of rice pilaf, and sautéed vegetables. My friends decided on the Smoked Pork Tenderloin with mac and cheese and veggies, Sharon’s Angel Hair Pasta with grilled shrimp, and the Grilled Cheddar Cheeseburger.
My entrée was fantastic! The chicken was large, crunchy, and extremely tasty. It was complemented well with a Bourbon pecan sauce that had just a touch of sweet with a hint of cinnamon. The mashed potatoes were creamy, buttery, and oh-so-yummy!
In the name of research, I was inclined to taste each of my friends’ dishes as well. All were outstanding. The Smoked Pork Tenderloin was tender and delectable. Sharon’s Angel Hair Pasta was cheesy, creamy, and savory. Adding the shrimp was the right choice! The burger was juicy and cooked just right, while the fries were light and crispy.
I can honestly say that we were all more than satisfied with our food. Even though our bellies were full, we decided we just couldn’t pass up dessert!
Sweet, Savory Satisfaction!
Not only does Chez Zee have great food, but their desserts are some of the best in all of Austin. Chez Zee’s signature dessert is the Lemon Rosemary Cake. Maybe rosemary and cake doesn’t sound like the best of combinations, but trust me, you are going to want to try this cake. It is a four-layered slice of heaven!
If lemon cake isn’t in your palate, there are a ton of other desserts – cakes, pies, brownies, and even a few gluten free items – to choose from.
My friends and I shared the Lemon Rosemary Cake, Coco Leches Cake, and the New York Cheesecake. They were all sweet, creamy, and more than enough to share between the four of us! With an entire menu dedicated to these sweet and tasty treats, it’s hard to say no to dessert.
Lunch, Brunch, or Just Because
Chez Zee is perfect for a nice, casual lunch with friends, a romantic date with your sweetheart, or even a lovely brunch on the weekend. Chez Zee’s brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays and they recommend making reservations online. Their brunch menu is filled with a ton of different options to choose from, including waffles, burgers, omelettes and quiche, but I highly recommend their Crème Brulee French Toast. Yet another signature dish from Chez Zee. You will never want regular French toast again!
Chez Zee will continue to be my “go-to” place for all special occasions, dessert, and “just- because-it’s-so-good”. If you’ve never been, put it on your “to-do” list. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Cindy Plata is a freelance writer, and loves all things Austin. She enjoys exploring places around town and occasionally getting lost in her adventures.
Have you made a trip to Chez Zee? Share your thoughts in a comment!