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February 23, 2006

Comments

Ann Arbor Foodie

But my experience was just as real as anyone who had a good experience. The V-Day dinner consisted of a sorbet starter, an overdone poorly flavored chicken dish with rice and rose petals (note, no vegetable), and chocolate fondue and hot chocolate. We had to send the fondue back to be heated because it was served cold.

The desserts were the best part of the meal, so if all you had were the dessert specials you might feel like you got both good food and a decent deal. As it was, the service was awful (friendly, but incompetent). They'd plopped cups and plates and silverware wherever convenient instead of placing them in front of the clients who'd be eating the food, causing us to reach across the table and each other for our food and silverware. We paid $30/person (a $60 dinner plus tax and tip) to be served a paltry meal that consisted of three sugar courses on a dirty table with tiny paper napkins more suited to a coney island than a $30/person "somewhat fancy" dinner.

Ann Arbor Foodie

But my experience was just as real as anyone who had a good experience. The V-Day dinner consisted of a sorbet starter, an overdone poorly flavored chicken dish with rice and rose petals (note, no vegetable), and chocolate fondue and hot chocolate. We had to send the fondue back to be heated because it was served cold.

The desserts were the best part of the meal, so if all you had were the dessert specials you might feel like you got both good food and a decent deal. As it was, the service was awful (friendly, but incompetent). They'd plopped cups and plates and silverware wherever convenient instead of placing them in front of the clients who'd be eating the food, causing us to reach across the table and each other for our food and silverware. We paid $30/person (a $60 dinner plus tax and tip) to be served a paltry meal that consisted of three sugar courses on a dirty table with tiny paper napkins more suited to a coney island than a $30/person "somewhat fancy" dinner.

Darcy

I am not just surprised, but somewhat disconcerted by this review and the comments of Brianna and Ann Arbor Foodie, because they appear as not just the polar opposite of my experience at the cafe, but they are so in an unreal, even, surreal way. I am a frequent visitor at the cafe, and never have I found the food or the service to be anything but wonderful. The food - the various chocolate drinks, each for a different mood, are delicious, smooth, comforting, zesty; the fondues are exquisite, always accompanied with just the right amount and assortment of fruits, biscuits, and goodies; and the myriad desserts, of which I personally recommend their Dessert Cigar, are quite on par with anything you can get in Soho in London, where I am from. The ambience is quite simply sublime - cozy corners, charming, yet comfortable furniture; and always a great selection of music. I have often had occasion to talk with the owner, as she mills amongst the guests making sure everyone is doing well, having a good time. She is a pleasure to talk to, has a wonderful grace and flair about her, but who is at the same time, warm and welcoming. And, I think, the cafe reflects her in this way - it is her creativity in motion. Which is why I think that the review has a certain level of vile and vindictive mendacity about it. I definitely agree with Chris - I think Ann Arbor would be at a loss, a great one, without Zenaida.

sidi

Smooth hot chocolates with chili peppers, beautiful belgian waffles with Grand Marnier, truffles with spices in a romantic atmosphere unrivalled in this city...I couldn't ask for more...and I doubt anyone else will either. Enjoy it...I did, and will continue to.

maria

A review is when an impartial part with knowledge of food and its preparation walks into a restaurant without making their presence known and conveys their experience to the public. A blog is when a bunch of kids with no knowledge of food but a hugely immature attitude problem trash a place for public gratification. I come to Zenaida Chocolate Lounge about once or twice a month with my book club. We come because it is cozy, the owner clearly chose not to have a restaurant designer create a corporate style space because it looks and feels like a living room. Everywhere you look people are relaxed, comfortable, feet up, sprawled out on couches and beds. I believe that the goal in a place like this is exactly that, to provide a place that doesn't look like a corporate restaurant. Our group always shares a fondue and we are always delighted with how rich the chocolate is with our pile of marshmallows and fruits. Some of us have tea, the rest of us have hot chocolate, and none of us have ever had anything to say but it is completely and consistently, excellent. Bravo for someone with the courage to show Ann Arbor that their charm is still alive and well. I used to come to this site because I thought it had something to offer, but after seeing that any idiot can just post a review rather than just a comment, I think I will go elsewhere.

Annika

I was in that group too and found out about this site from my friend. It sucks so bad that first two reviews you see for this beautiful place are the same angry and immature jerks. Food review indeed. We love this place, I love this place. It is one of the first places I felt really welcome and cozy without a waiter breathing down my neck to give me the bill! I am going to make it my mission that everyone in our group keeps posting reviews until these mean people's are obselete! Chocolate lover's unite!

EUSA

When I read this terrible and inaccurate review I was shocked! I was part of the large group seated behind these angry reviewers who were merely upset that they couldn't get alcoholic drinks! If you want alcohol, go to a bar...not a chocolate lounge! Nobody was evicted, that was me and my friend! We came ahead of the rest of our party at 7:00, our party didn't start until 9:00. By 9:00 the seat yourself sign was gone as with most restaurants I have been to, they don't have a hostess until peak time. The guy did tell us that the couch was reserved at 9:00 because they didn't plan on our party being their for two hours when the space had previously been reserved at 9pm. It was fine anyways because our party was sitting in a different section in 15 minutes anyways. I had the "non-existent" truffles, one Wasabi and one Viola. The viola was nice and pretty standard chocolate fare, but the Wasabi was an awesome combination of ginger and spice in smooth dark chocolate. The review above is already laughable because it bothers to trying and take down Vosges, one of the most innovative chocolate houses in the United States and a Parisian-trained chocolatier...I order their stuff from their website all the time. Three of my friends had the chocolate carmens that they complained about and they were all excellent. Hot chocolate is not meant to be served in freakin steaming hot portions! Its cream and melted chocolate, it would scorch for heaven's sake! The taste of chili pepper is very slight...that same kind of spice that the truffle had when I took a sip, if I was expecting full-blown salsa in a cup, I would have gone to a mexican restaurant. By the time these people start throwing brand label insults around they must just be getting malicious and hoping that no one even gets in the place before they can see its total bull. There is a an Italian brand gelato case right when you walk in (the label on the bottom says Carpaigiani or something...so I doubt they have that at the gas station next door)houses their gelato...so next time these people go one thinking that they are getting Edy's maybe they should just watch their food being prepared. Ah and then we come to the infamous Hershey's syrup on the Bailey's waffle. Our EUSA group comes to Zenaida about every two or three weeks and the owner always comes over to greet us and thank us for coming in. I would be willing to bet she was wearing pretty high heels...because she is a business owner, and its part of her charm. If she was the chef she wouldn't be hanging around talking to us on a Friday night, she would be in the kitchen... she wouldn't be serving Vosges, she would be making the truffles. As Europeans we have all talked to her about the different european influences in the cafe and she legitamately cares that we come back even though not all of us order food all the time...one time a guy didn't like his rose icicle because he didn't like the rose taste, so she just took it off the bill and replaced it with the pina colada for him (which he enjoyed). Anyways, on our third (or second) visit she was interrupted from talking to our group leader because these people were causing a scene because the syrup had no bailey's. She politely tried to explain to them to the ratio of chocolate syrup to bailey's is obviously enough to provide a hint, and then the alcohol is boiled down or that wouldn't be a sauce, it would be an alcoholic beverage. Then the belligerent alcohol discussion began and these people apparently made it their mission in life to coat the internet with bull about the place. But whatever, I came to this site to write a positive review and wound up writing a defensive one... that sucks and is a disappoint. In the future I hope that sites will have their own reviewers go places rather than rely on bloggers who have evil missions in life. But anyways, EUSAs will continue to go to Zenaida, and enjoy it.

chris

I came to this establishment for Valentine's day as well, and I am really sorry to see the above views posted to an establishment that definitely was worth the trip. I am not from this area and am not sure what the standards are, but coming from Chicago where food is pretty good, I have to say I had a very pleasant time for Valentine's day, and so did my boyfriend. I am really hoping that as a "date" place, these people aren't placing the poor quality of their dates on the quality of their food. I came because they use one of Chicago's favorite chocolate places, Vosges, and I couldn't think of any better use for it than the key ingredient, and it was great. My boyfriend is not as in love with chocolate as I am, but he loved the chocolate carmen that he had, just enough spice to excite us both. We also had the fondue for two, and I saw the same gourmet French chocolate that I bake with at home on their countertops where they madet the food, it was Valhrona. I might have made it a teeny bit hotter, but I didn't even noticed since the quality of the chocolate was so velvety and enrobed the strawberries and orange peels so nicely. On the way out we bought some of the exotic caramel collections and brought it to our friend's dinner party at home, and I have to say it didn't last even thirty minutes before everyone was happily stuffing their mouths and describing the flavors they were experiencing. And as far as the decor, I was complete enthralled with how romantic it was! I had a little loveseat in a quiet corner where we could even escape from the waiter's view (who was a really nice guy if he read's this!). I saw several people snuggled up from start to finish of their meal and everyone seemed pleased, full, and reluctant to leave their own cozy corner. This place is one of the few refuges we find in a world full of chains, and I hope their success continues for them until the next time we visit!

Laura

As I can tell from your postings you all lack intelligence and resort to ignorance as an alternative to make up for the lack of neurons firing. I can assure you Hershey's is not used, neither is Edy's ice cream so please, stop in, I emplore you. Even though your ignorance seems to be bliss it would be my pleasure to show you exactly what ingredients are used in making the food. It's really sad to see that you have nothing better to do with your lives.

Ann Arbor Foodie

We went there for the Valentine's Day dinner special and it was the worst dining experience I've had in ages. Food and service were both awful. The setting wasn't much better -- there were crumbs on the table when we sat down and we were one of the first tables seated so there was no excuse.

We wanted to be generous and say it was because they weren't experienced at planning, cooking, and serving savory meals; but clearly the confusion and ineptness extends to their normal non-holiday operations too.

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