Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ode to Mindy!

You just don't find the European restaurant experience in the desert too often. There used to be Phillipe's--where my friend John and I would loll away lunchtimes on the weekend outside on the patio with Mediterranean buckwheat crepes stuffed with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes while Jacques, our favorite cranky ass waiter, would serve us glass after glass of red, in which we'd dip the perfectly cooked and hole-filled crusty bread. When it closed, I felt true heartbreak but remembered that Mindy and Nicolas from Zin American Bistro used to eat lunch there and that the true sign of a good restaurant was when you would see owners from all the other good restaurants eating lunch there I ventured to a new home with Zin, of which my good friend David would constantly rave. I fell in love with the place and it remains my place of choice. Being single, I tend to find comfort with married friends and regular joints, where I can feel a sense of home in the midst of my chaotic, activity-filled life. Zin became my haven for lunches and dinners with friends and now it is the place I go when I want a taste of good-old fashioned European hospitality that unfortunately, in this rat-race packed American world, is a rare gem. A few months ago when Nicolas passed away, the whole community of Zin's regulars showed up to celebrate his life and today, we frequent the place even more than before to show Mindy our love and devotion for the atmosphere she has so expertly created.  Chefs always say that the sign of a good restaurant is when the main chef isn't around but the food still remains the same and with Zin this is definitely the case. Last night, Zine was packed and I enjoyed a meal of mussels and chicken schnitzel. But the best part was at the end of the meal when Mindy came to join us, had the waiter pop a beautiful bottle of wine to share and a dessert plate of amazing cheeses and bread. Definitely something you won't get anywhere else! Zin will always be my home away from home in the desert.
Fabulous Mindy!


  1. yay!!! I also love Zin, and look forward to the next wine dinner there.

  2. Nice tribute to your friend and the restaurant. I too long for the restaurant culture of Europe. Dinners where the restaurant owner wants you to stay as long as you like. And then asks when are you coming back. I would love to experience that again. I shall live vicariously through your blog. N