Saturday, June 16, 2012

Farm to Table at Zynodoa

Located in historic downtown Staunton, Zynodoa serves creative dishes inspired by local producers. This contemporary restaurant has garnered great press up and down the eastern seaboard, but as many times as we had visited Staunton, we never stopped to partake of the "inspired southern cuisine." This oversight was addressed during the Memorial Day weekend.

Despite not having reservations we were gracefully guided to a table for two at the back of the establishment near the kitchen window (too high for me to watch the action, unfortunately).

A Spearmint Mojito for hubby to celebrate the start of a weekend getaway

Spearmint Mojito

and a Ginger Pear Martini for me with a candied ginger swizzle.

Tipsy Ginger Pear

Zynodoa displays a Farm to Fork board listing local producers and purveyors.

Farm to Fork Board

While imbibing our cocktails we ordered the Caromont Goat Cheese Tartlet with melted leeks and a shortbread crust.

Caromont Goat Cheese Tartlet

Both of us exclaimed, murmured, and moaned over the tart's allure with each bite. We were familiar with Caromont because the lovely Sara Adduci (former cheese queen of River City Cellars and Secco and now cheesemonger at Feast! in Charlottesville) introduced us to this wonderful Virginia product a few years ago. Zynodoa prepared an extrodinary dish. Creamy with a slight goatish tang, a hint of leeks, and a touch of sweetness with the shortbread crust. A rich starter that can be easily shared and lusted after.

We opted for a non-local wine. Zynodoa's wine list offered several Virginia bottles, but we spotted the Marietta Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley. A favorite of ours that we had not enjoyed in quite a while.

Marietta Petite Sirah

And the wine paired extremely well with our choice of entree. We both ordered the the Buffalo Creek Steak Frites: Grilled Skirt Steak with Crispy Potato Wedges, AM Fog Oyster Mushrooms, and Horseradish Aioli.

Steak Frites with Oyster Mushrooms

A lovely dish. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare. We adored the potatoes and we could use as much or as little of the aioli as we cared to. Yummy. But the big surprise happened to be the mushrooms. Maybe because they were local; maybe due to the chef's expertise; perhaps a combination; in any case, they were freakin' awesome! Fungi usually do not thrill me. Some I have detested; some, tolerated. Only a scant few servings have I liked and quality of the product and expert preparation have been the key. These I really raved about and scarfed them all down. I was that impressed. (By the way, for you mushroom lovers, AM Fog offers their lovely fungi at the South of the James Market!)

Good drink. Awesome food. Mostly local. Zynodoa.

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