Top 50 Restaurants in the Tampa Bay Area 2016 | Zen Forrest

Top 50 Restaurants in the Tampa Bay Area 2016 | Zen Forrest

Reviews by Laura Reiley, Times Food Critic

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Zen Forrest is Named One of the Top Three Chinese Restaurants in the Tampa Bay Area for 2016

 

Number 3  –   Zen Forrest

4148 Rowan Road, New Port Richey, FL 34653

(727) 372-9545

3. Zen Forrest

Top 50 Restaurants in the Tampa Bay Area 2016 | Zen Forrest

So much of my job is leaping into the car when I get a lead, a little like Batman, but with less latex and a loaner car. On those occasions when I race to New Port Richey, often a restaurant that locals enthuse about wouldn’t pass muster in South Tampa or downtown St. Pete. This is one that has methodically served the area with aplomb for 10 years, Victor Wang pushing the envelope with sophisticated Chinese-dominated fusion while being early to accommodate dietary restrictions and alternative eating lifestyles. Last night he partnered with Barley Mow Brewing Co. for a beer-pairing dinner — not exactly a common trope for a strip-mall suburban Chinese spot.

Must eat: It had been some time since I’d made the trip, but he’s still making his own kimchee (Korean spicy fermented cabbage), yet there are accessible family-friendly dishes like zhajiangmian, China’s version of spaghetti with meat sauce (thick wheat noodles topped with stir-fried pork lent zest with fermented soybean paste) or these deep-fried Cuban rolls that defy all logic but are still hard to not love.

Read the review.

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