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Zuni Café Review
After one bite of chef Judy Rodgers' succulent brick-oven-roasted whole chicken with Tuscan bread salad, you'll understand why she's a national star (and why it's the most-well-known chicken dish in town). Food is served here on two floors; the rabbit warren of rooms on the second level includes a balcony overlooking the main dining room. Mingle among a disparate mix that reflects the makeup of the city—casual and dressy, young and old, hip and staid—at the long copper bar where trays of briny, fresh oysters on the half shell are dispensed along with cocktails and wine. The southern French-Italian menu changes daily, though the signature chicken, prepared for two, is a fixture (and, alas, its cost reflects its popularity). Rotating dishes are simple but made with excellent ingredients, like house-cured anchovies with Parmigiano-Reggiano, deep-fried squid and lemons, ricotta gnocchi with seasonal vegetables, and brick-oven squab with polenta. Nearly as famous as the chicken is the chocolatey flourless gâteau Victoire, served here since the '80s. The most cheerful spot to sit is at the tip of the "pyramid window" near the bar, easier to score if you plan a late lunch—the restaurant serves straight through.
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