For Zach’s birthday, I took him to Restaurant Zoe for the 25 for $25 deal. As I’ve said before, this rarely turns out to be that good of a deal because inevitably you order drinks and other things off the menu. But tonight, we were in the mood to splurge.

We started out with two fantastic drinks, the Private Danska for me and the Amalfi for Zach. As I’m writing this (two weeks later), I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what was in them. I think mine was made with Grapefruit Danska Vodka and Zach’s was made with Brandy? Maybe. Anyway, they were both really good.

We were torn about ordering off the regular menu because everything sounded delicious. As a compromise we chose from the 25 for $25 menu, but also ordered the Foie Gras ($15) with two glasses of Sauternes ($9 each) off the main menu.

The foie gras was meltingly tender and came with a sweet and tart caramelized mango sauce—kind of like a mango marmalade. It was incredibly delicious, especially with the Sauternes, but I thought it was served a little cold and wished it had come to the table piping hot.

Our first course choices were the Salad of Young Mixed Greens and the Pork Confit with Black Lentil Salad. The mixed green salad was nicely dressed, but it couldn’t compare to the pork confit. There were only a few small chunks of the flavorful confit in the pork dish, but the lentils were delicious. I always have lentils when I’m at Restaurant Zoe because they know how to prepare them right; tender, with just a hint of crunch and deeply flavored by their cooking liquid.

Zach’s main course was the Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin. It was perfectly cooked, but mild tasting when eaten alone. It came with a great with garnish of sweet currants and salty olives. Our only issue with Zach’s dish was that you had to work to get a perfect bite—a bite with just the right ratio of pork, sauce, currants and olives.

My main course was the Roasted Young Chicken. Sounds boring, right? It came with two perfectly cooked pieces of chicken stacked on top of each other, one white meat and one dark. The chicken was extremely juicy on the inside and crisp, crisp, crisp on the outside. It was great alone, but heavenly when paired with the amazing sauce (probably a veal reduction) and creamy, truffled potatoes.

I was positively stuffed after our entrees, but we still had dessert coming. Zach had the Pot de Chocolate, which we enjoyed but I can’t remember what it tasted like now. I had the Molten Cake, which was delicious and similar to the one I make.

As an extra birthday present I spared Zach the obnoxious flash and waiting-to-take-the-perfect-picture-while-your-food-gets-cold, but everything was beautifully presented. Dinner came to $100 with tip, which was considerably more than the $50 we were intending to spend, but for the quality and enjoyment of the meal we thought it was still a great deal.

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