Monday, May 27, 2024 May 27, 2024
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Restaurant Review: Dragonfly

The New American menu at the Hotel ZaZa restaurant does an OK job.
photography by Kevin Marple

Hotel restaurants serve many masters—guests, locals, weddings, and more. Dragonfly has an even more difficult task. Its location at boutique Hotel ZaZa means it must do all that with a smidgen of hipster cachet. Chef Dan Landsberg, who came to Dragonfly from Tillman’s Roadhouse in early 2011, does an okay job, seesawing between three square meals a day while giving the menu a little sex appeal. But he rarely wows at either—you can have your hip, but you can’t eat it, too. A recent Saturday night showed that times are good at ZaZa, with a wedding in the lobby and a crowded dining room. The young servers seemed blind to diner cues, and a clueless manager with bed head hair patrolled the room haughtily, avoiding eye contact with customers. Classic entrées like steak came out as ordered. But dishes that stepped outside the norm sounded better on the page. Tacos are hot now, but the tuna taco appetizer came off like Asian fast food. The tortillas were old-school crisp and shattered when bitten; the diced tuna was soft and raw, and obliterated by its spicy sauce. Potato and scallion won tons, half a dozen on a rectangular plate, were fun to share and a novel option, but the filling’s harsh flavor needed mellowing. The duck confit was a stunner and was accompanied by acorn squash with house-made spaetzle. Desserts included doughnuts with a pot of hot chocolate, enough for four to share, with a variety that included a chocolate-frosted and a powdered doughnut hole. But the doughnuts were cold and almost stale. It seemed like a cool idea; we should’ve known better.

For more information about Dragonfly, visit our restaurant guide.