"Zoko (also spelled Txoko) literally means nook, cozy corner in Basque. Originally a zoko is a gastronomical society where informal groups of Chefs and friends regularly meet to eat, drink, sing, and talk. The first record of a zoko goes back to 1870 in San Sebastián, Spain, from where they spread outwards geographically in all directions."
After finding out Zoko was moving into what use to be Auden's Kitchen, I was pretty excited to see what kind of menu they would have because Clint Connaway from Max’s Wine Dive and Bistro Vatel ...along with Nolan Pierce his sous chef have created a unique and original menu which offers European cuisine with a Texas twist. I went during soft opening and everything from front end, service and food was pretty amazing for only being opened a week. Zoko does have two private dining rooms from my observations of this elegant and cozy restaurant. As you walk in you can see the cooks straight ahead and to the right, the bar...beautiful restaurant.
Our server was Christopher and he did a good job, very attentive but not overbearing. They started us off with warm fresh bread and the in house olive oil is amazing.
Appetizer - Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Tomato, Basil Pesto & Toasted Pine Nuts on Flatbread
Comes out looking like pizza and it somewhat has a taste similar to gourmet pizza but the basil pesto and pine nuts tell your taste buds its not. You could literally order this as an entree for yourself but its better to share this with someone.. Awesome and delicious, I would order this again.
Main Meals - Seafood Paella For Two
The Seafood Paella served at Zoko was perfect in every sense. Although the menu stated that this dish was served for two, upon asking, I was assured that they would be happy to make a single serving. It arrived loaded with perfectly cooked shrimp, tender calamari, fresh, in-the-shell mussels, blackened red fish chunks and spicy sausage. I was in heaven before I had taken the first bite. The aroma was delightful. My first bite made me feel 20 years old again. The Saffron Rice was seasoned to perfection and moist in my mouth. The portion size was more than enough and even warranted a to-go box which excited me because I was already looking forward to eating it again the next day.
Main Meals - Lamb Meatballs in Roasted Tomato Sauce w/ Grilled Peppers, Feta and Saffron Rice
The Lamb Meatballs at Zoko were recommended by our server and I was eyeing this dish as well. The meatballs were moist and seasoned well and combined with Saffron Rice and the saltiness of the Feta, worked extremely well together....never tasted all of these flavors before at once. I really like tasting new flavors for the first time and Zoko provided this.
Walking into Zoko you may think that this place is pricey because this place looks elegant and inviting. Meals plus appetizer and drinks ran around $48. Really impressed with this restaurant and any restaurant that has Pink Martini playing on their website is awesome in my books.