How we ended up at Zoubi
After a day traveling around the area, admiring the spectacular gardens of the yearly Historical Society garden tour, I was not expecting to be treated to a great dinner at a restaurant that I had written off years ago. However, I was very pleasantly surprised when our perfect day was capped off by rediscovering the beautiful patio at Zoubi, a restaurant that once again deserves our patronage.
It’s been many years since I’ve dined at Zoubi because, frankly, it used to be overpriced and inconsistent. If you browse the review sites, you will find them littered with negative reviews. But that is all behind them now and Zoubi appears destined for a rapid ascent through the culinary ranks of the finest restaurants along the Delaware.
We built up an appetite as we took the garden tour with a foodie friend of ours. She mentioned that the owners of Zoubi had brought in a new chef, Justin McClain, giving him the freedom to create a new menu concept and break away from the restaurant’s past. Being familiar with McClain’s cooking, she expected him to do good things at Zoubi. I admit that Evy and I were a little dubious but it was a beautiful night, perfect for a patio restaurant, so we gave it a try. I’m glad we did…
This is a whole new Zoubi
I’m so glad we did because this is basically a new restaurant. Everything we had was delicious. The patio setting was among the nicest in the area. Portions were more than generous and the prices were in line with other restaurants in the area. All in all, it appeared we had a real contender here.
If you have any past experience with Zoubi restaurant, I suggest you forget it – this is a new restaurant. The only things it has in common with the original is the name, a liquor license, and a beautiful patio. The menu is different. The vibe is friendly. Prices are reasonable. This is the New Zoubi.
Seriously, if I were the owners, I would divorce myself from the old restaurant and rename it so as to leave behind the specter of the reviews that do not reflect the current restaurant. It’s simply not fair to Chef McClain to battle that reputation. But life is often not fair, so we must hope that the food will speak for itself and draw the crowds that Zoubi deserves.
Decadent food from a dynamic menu
I could go on and on about the delicious cheese tasting, the perfectly dressed Caesar salad, the fresh ceviche, the tender, sweet scallops and the perfectly charred, cowboy steak and the creme brulee, but you need to experience it for yourself to truly appreciate it! The food was very good indeed. Be prepared for a decadent meal with creamy, bacon laden sauces. This is truly food for the gourmand.
It might be nice if Zoubi had some lighter fare, for those nights when I don’t feel like having a richly sauced entree. Evy and I would likely come here more often if we could get a simple seafood dish in something like a light garlic ginger broth or maybe a bouillabaisse. And I know a lot of our foodie friends would only join us if there were non-creamy items available. So it will be interesting to see if, with the ever-changing menu, Chef McClain decides to address the needs of these diners.
In addition to serving excellent quality food, the setting is among the most beautiful in the area. You would never guess this from the nondescript entryway on Mechanic Street. But once you enter the restaurant you see a glorious patio that makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to a classic al fresco restaurant in France. Even if the food weren’t so good, we would come back to dine on the patio.
Edit: Not being a big drinker, I totally forgot about their drink menu. Our dining companion, Lynda, noted that her blood-orange martini was luscious. I started with a basil lemonade, another refreshing, summer flavor.
We were stuffed at the end of the meal, yet everything was so good we asked for the chef’s recommendation for a dessert. He served us the creme brulee and it was perfection in a dish. Smooth, light custard topped by that immaculate crust of bruleed sugar. What a way to finish the meal!
Overall, we feel that if chef McClain can maintain the quality that we experienced tonight, then New Hope will have a new restaurant worthy of Dining Along the Delaware. We will definitely be dining there again 🙂
Address and Contact Information
Zoubi Restaurant and Bar – 215-862-58551
7 West Mechanic Street
New Hope, PA 18938
Hidden just up Mechanic street, next to the Blue Moose Cafe