ZEAL, free of the bad stuff and full of zeal

 Zeal CauliflowerZeal PearsZeal Cold-Pressed Juice On Tap

Written by Layne Lieberman, RD, Author of Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy

Zeal is the new Boulder place to eat with an easy conscience. It’s the kind of food you would only dream about cooking at home–healthy, wholesome, tasty without trade-offs! All of the preparation and cooking is done out in the open. Cold-pressed juice and kombucha are on tap and micro-greens are growing at the entry. The ingredients are organic unless noted and locally sourced in season. Meats are grass fed and pastured. The restaurant’s blackboard lists the farmers who provide the produce, meat, eggs and seafood. 

My starter was the Massaged Kale salad with crispy quinoa, pomegranate and chili lime pepitas with beet ginger dressing. My main entree was a “Hot Plate” of the Seared Cauliflower Chop with braised legumes and sautéed greens with blood orange preserves. My husband chose the Thai salad with cilantro, broccoli, shitake, mango, kelp noodles and napa with sweet chili carrot ginger dressing. His main entree was a “Build Your Own” of rice noodles, tempeh and lots of fresh veggies with chic pea miso. Everything was delicious and the service was surprisingly good considering that the restaurant recently opened. The two desserts were divine. The Spiced Poached Pear with red wine syrup, seasonal spices and whipped cream was satisfying and not overly sweet–thank you chef! The Spiced Apple Cake with preserves was a perfect ending to the meal. It tasted like the type of cake you would bake for your family–and not too oily.

The food preparations perfectly balance creativity with health consciousness. Chef Arik Marcus knows that food does not need to be over salted or dripping with sauce to satisfy. (We did order our salad dressings “on the side.”) Flavorful ingredients, balance of texture and subtle use of spices create harmony on the palette. It’s the kind of place you can enjoy anytime of the day and feel good about it. I hear that breakfast is a “must try”!


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