If you live in the Orange County area chances are you already know about Zov’s Bistro.
Zovs has always been one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County. The original location is located in Tustin, Ca. off the 55 fwy (17th Street exit). Zovs Bistro features a cafe side & bakery where you will find the MOST INCREDIBLE pastry case .
My favorite (when in season) is the Chocolate Strawberry Tart and if I go there in the morning I will treat myself to a mouth watering zucchini cocount muffin (heaven). Pssst you can’t see the HUGE bite missing on the other side. I was weak.
The patio dining on the cafe side is my secret hangout. I love to grab the mixed greens salad (the BEST feta in the world) with a piece of grilled salmon thrown on top and I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest you grab a pastry on your way out the door, they are by far the best I have found in OC (and trust me I am a baker and my bar is very high) and well worth the extra $. My son’s favorite are the chocolate dipped rice krispy treats.
In the last few months I have been to several different events hosted at ZOVs including a cooking demonstration by Chef Dave Martin (Bravo’s Top Chef Season One), he served up his famous mac n’cheese and the tenderest pork roast… oh and the pumpkin panna cotta. I die.
Mother’s Day Brunch
and recently The Lowly and Lovely Eggplant Recipe Contest.
Featuring 4 local finalists and their eggplant dishes judged by well know locals.
from Zov Karamardian’s blog:
“Tustin resident Jihan Assi of Tustin edged out three other contenders in the Eggplant Recipe Contest held today at the Bistro. Assi’s stuffed eggplant took top honors over other dishes prepared by Yuko Graham of Orange, Huntington Beach resident Priscilla Willis of She’s Cookin and Costa Mesa resident Mirna Bard.
All of the finalists’ dishes were tasty, and it was so hard for me to choose a winner! But Jihan’s stuffed eggplant really captured all of the criteria that we were looking for – taste, texture, presentation and originality.
Here is her winning recipe which will also be featured as the “Special of the Day” at Zov’s Cafe in Tustin on Friday, May 28th. Come and try her award-winning eggplant dish!”
Zov took a moment to explain a little background on the eggplant and how it all started with her famous eggplant sandwich (that is still on the menu today) how to choose an eggplant and simple tips that included, always cook it thoroughly, never al dente.
I am anxious to try some of these recipes, I actually favored Pricillas’ Eggplant Parmesean and Mirna’s Eggplant Salad, it was like eggplant meets guacamole, very refreashing!
I had the pleasure of being seated at the event with a few of my favorite OC Bloggers (Kathleen Enge, Marcie Taylor, Suz Broughton and Kelly Von Hemert) we were treated to this spicy little pasta number for lunch
and of course dessert..yum!
I’m loving food photography lately, can you tell? Special thanks to Todd and Diane of The White on Rice Couple for the food styling help!
Here are all the finalists recipes for you to try. If you want to try something simple with eggplant click here to see how easy it is to grill on the BBQ.
disclosure: this post was not sponsored by Zovs I was invited to the recipe event for which I was not compensated (unless you consider being paid in cupcakes is compensation) I have been a long time patron of Zovs (over 10 years) <– I think that speaks for itself.