I went here for my birthday with eight wonderful friends who bought me brunch. The conversation, involving trivia, old cats, and roller derby, was lively, and the food was fabulous.
The seating was a little strange, though. They put us in a cozy hallway, all the way to the back, but at the head of the table was an outdoor loveseat. I naturally commandeered that post, being the birthday girl, when my friend, Lindsay, pointed out that there were two place settings there. It wasn't a problem sharing the seat with my friend, Scott, but it was just weird. I thought maybe they'd done that on purpose as some sort of birthday joke, but I never mentioned my birthday when I made the reservation. It wasn't a bad fit; it was just strange.
Everyone seemed to enjoy their food, and we each stuffed ourselves to a pants-unbuttoning point. I can't remember what everyone else got, but I ordered the Smoked Salmon Benedict. It was easily the best-tasting Benedict meal I've ever had. The salmon was fresh; the hollandaise sauce was perfectly complementary; and the eggs were poached to perfection. The accompanying bacon wasn't as crispy as I like it, but it was greasy and yummy.
To drink I got coffee, which I didn't think was very good. A couple of my friends got bloody marys, which they liked but weren't crazy about. On past trips I've tried some of the coffee drinks, which I didn't much like, but I've also had a few delectable martinis here.
My friend, Colin, told the waiter it was my birthday. Thank God no one sang to me, but the waiter did bring out a brownie with a candle in it. I took a bite, and it was lava-hot. I immediately fanned my mouth and swigged some water. Lindsay commented, "Ah, fresh out of the oven!" to which I replied, "More like fresh out of Chernobyl. It's good and all, but it was nuked." I passed the dessert around, and everyone agreed that it tasted microwaved. It was a good brownie, but I wasn't expecting a nuke job from a place that specializes in desserts. At least, I wasn't expecting them to OVER-nuke it like they did.
I had a good time with good friends, and I'll definitely come back to Chez Zee. I'll probably come for Happy Hour so I can try some more martinis and clumsily work the jigsaw puzzles atop the piano in the main room.
Merci, Chez Zee, de l'aide pour rendre mon anniversaire merveilleux!