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THE EATBEAT: Zest offers more than the old luncheon fare

The sign at the entry said, "Welcome to Zest." Then, it showed the special of smoked gouda and sweet pea risotto ($10). It also listed soups as sausage potato, arugula and vegetable chili.

Marilyn Hagerty
Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

The sign at the entry said, "Welcome to Zest." Then, it showed the special of smoked gouda and sweet pea risotto ($10). It also listed soups as sausage potato, arugula and vegetable chili.

I was lunching in Fargo with Ann Porter (AP) and Darlene Peterson (DP) of West Fargo. And we were in the recently redecorated dining area of the downtown Radisson Hotel.

The hotel's dining area and lobby have had a complete refurbished. The look is very sleek, very black, grey and white.

Zest is the name of the restaurant at the top of a circular stairway and also reachable by elevator. We were seated at a table with a view overlooking downtown Fargo.

A smoked, pulled chicken salad was the choice of AP ($10). Minnesota wild rice and red bean falafel got the nod from DP.

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Along with the salads and wraps, the lunch menu includes starters, sliders and sushi rolls.

Our food was delivered on attractive white, square plates. It was interesting and good. My risotto was good enough, but it could have been more interesting with a garnish of greens or with fruit.

The restaurant is quiet, and it is easy to carry on a conversation. AP and DP were pleased with their salads wrapped in chipotle tortillas. We agreed the restaurant offers more than the same, old luncheon fare.

The breakfast menu is also inviting. And the dinner menu includes popular sushi rolls, soups and salads. There's an 8-ounce filet mignon ($32) on the dinner menu along with other steaks and chicken. Among the choices are gnocchi and butter poached lobster ($27) and a truffle and wild mushroom lasagna ($20).

Tom Olson is executive chef at Zest and created a new menu for the Radisson. This is a place where around the clock there are 20 people at work. After the traditional meals, they are creating pizzas for room service until midnight. And there is work to be done before breakfast service begins. There's a late-night buffet from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Sunday buffet is one of the busiest times of the week.

Zest

Radisson Hotel, 201 Fifth St. N., Fargo

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Executive Chef: Tom Olson

Reservations: (701) 293-6717

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Sunday brunch

Seating: 150

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or (701) 772-1055.

Related Topics: FOOD
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