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Restaurant Review: Zesty's

This week Patch reviews Zesty's in Manayunk.

Restaurant:
Address: 4382 Main St., Manayunk, PA 19127
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★ 1/2
Style: Upscale Mediterranean restaurant
Food: Greek and Italian cuisine
Atmosphere: Colorful and welcoming dining room
Parking: Street parking is difficult
Service: Very friendly and accommodating.
Price Range: Moderate
Unique Feature: Wireless ordering and payment system allows for paper-free transactions and patrons can get their receipts e-mailed to them.

If a restaurant is called, one would think the food should be zesty and flavorful. I went in hoping that the restaurant would live up to its name and it did. Though the weather outside is frightful the menu inside is delightful. Fans of Greek or Italian fare (or both) can surely find something to eat. The menu has standard Greek dishes like tzatziki, grilled octopus, moussaka and gyros. For the Italian lovers there are pizzas, pastas, veal dishes and cappucinos. It’s always fun to have so many dining options under one roof.

I ordered the Greek spreads sampler which had hummus, taramosalata and tzatziki and a plethora of buttery slices of warm pita. The hummus was unbelievably rich and creamy, there was a healthy dose of olive oil and plenty of lemon, garlic and salt. It was fantastic. The taramosalata (caviar spread with potatoes) was a bit too starchy and fishy for my taste. It was fine but just not as good as the hummus or the tzatziki. The garlicky tzatiki made with thick Greek yogurt was bursting with flavor and had a nice balance of lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. I would eat anything dipped in this tzatziki.

The spaghetti alla vongole (spaghetti with clams in white wine sauce) was massive. About a dozen little neck clams were smiling up at me when I opened the container. A pound of pasta comprised the mountain on which they were sitting. The noodles were a touch overcooked (but that is to be expected with take-out as the noodles sit in a hot container) and a bit thinner than spaghetti. The clams were nicely steamed and seasoned nicely without being chewy. Unfortunately the white wine sauce didn’t quite pack the flavorful punch of the previous dishes.

The spanakopita was also incredibly large. Instead of a few small triangular phyllo packets there was only one which took up about half the container. The pastry crust had baked a nice golden color along the edges and the filling was bursting with feta and chopped spinach. The interior also had a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice which really brightened up the flavors.

The food at Zesty’s is not subtle. It is in your face. You can taste garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, herbs and everything else that goes into these dishes. It was a refreshing change of pace to enjoy food that was served hot, well seasoned and in generous portions. Most of the time I am adding salt and pepper to my food but that was not the case here. The amazingly friendly staff are so polite and accommodating you feel as though you’ve been a regular your whole life even if it’s your first visit to the restaurant. Zesty’s did live up to its name and the food brightened up an otherwise dreary day.

Click here for Zesty's website and here for the menu.

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