At a time when everything seems to be rushed, it’s a joy to enter the new and stunning Z Prime Italian Steakhouse, to enjoy an upscale meal served with care in a luxurious setting. This corner of East Post Road has housed many restaurants through the years. The latest reincarnation is striking. Enter its doors. Are you in Dubai, Las Vegas or perhaps in one of Manhattan’s upscale dining emporiums? No, you are right here in White Plains and as you step inside you are transported to a past era, where lavish surroundings were an integral part of the dining experience.
The mastermind behind this new and elegant dining spot is Scarsdale resident Zef Perlleshi. His creative talents are many. He created a palace like atmosphere with love. General manager Duge Perlleshi keeps things running smoothly. Everything here is top of the line, from the fully equipped kitchen to the beef aging box to the fine quality food and service. The capable wait staff offers professional service dressed in black pants, crisp white shirts, black suspenders and bow ties. Zef Perlleshi said, “a visit to our restaurant makes you feel like royalty with quality in food, service and ambiance. We offer the best of all worlds. Our location is convenient for the residents of the surrounding communities who wish to enjoy an upscale dining experience. Perhaps a chain of restaurants is in our future.” Perlleshi would have loved to serve Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie O, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.
To set the scene, the bar and lounge area is quite comfortable. My eye immediately focused on a gold sculpture of a woman above the bar, formed from small gold mosaic tiles.
We proceeded to the breathtaking dining room, a vision in gold and black. Sparkling Swarovski crystal chandeliers light the room. The banquettes are upholstered in black and gold leather, walls are covered in tile mosaic patterns and the gold ceiling and flaming fireplaces cast a warm glow on the room and on the guests. Glass doors at the far end of the dining room lead to several private dining areas. What a lovely venue for a celebration. The tables are set with crisp white linens and gold rimmed china monogrammed with a Z.
The carefully designed menu has several raw bar choices to start. Oysters, seafood towers, shrimp cocktail, tuna tartare and wagyu carpaccio are offered. We enjoyed a truly colossal crabmeat cocktail The oversized portion, certainly enough for 2, arrived on a large crushed ice filled container. The crabmeat sat atop it with a sprinkling of radicchio. A tangy cocktail sauce and spicy white horseradish and fresh lemon completed this fresh and abundant starter. On future visits, I might try sautéed mussels, Wagyu meatballs, grilled octopus, slab bacon or crabcake. For a lighter starter, several soups and salads are available. The Z prime arugula and cranberry salad with pine nuts, manchego and parmesan cheeses with a champagne vinaigrette would be a fine beginning.
On to the main event. Filet mignon, black and blue, perfectly cooked, was my steak of choice. It was succulent, tender and divine. Future visits might include New York strip, bone in rib eye, porterhouse or perhaps a veal chop, Colorado lamb or Berkshire pork chop. Z has its own aging box, in house, where the beef is dry aged for up to 35 days. Side dishes include traditional steakhouse choices of creamed spinach and hash browned potatoes and much more. There are Brussels sprouts with pancetta, caramelized onions and lemon, broccoli rabe with sautéed cherry peppers, loaded potatoes au gratin with bacon, cheddar and smoked gouda which each sounded great. We were blown away by the lobster creamed corn. This generous dish of corn off the cob, with large chunks of lobster meat, bacon, mascarpone and parmesan cheese was a creative and outstanding dish. Savoring this unique side dish with my tender filet mignon was a taste of heaven. Several sauces were offered to accompany the steak from hollandaise to béarnaise, red wine and au poivre but for me it would have been a pity to mask the texture and taste of my filet with any sauce.
There are several seafood entrees, each with interesting preparations. Would it be branzino with cherry tomatoes, nicoise olives and capers, sesame encrusted ahi tuna with a soy ginger glaze or perhaps a whole lobster with infused drawn butter? We chose the salmon which arrived on a cedar plank topped with a crabmeat and sun dried tomato cream sauce. The topping enhanced the fish without overpowering its fresh taste.
Since Z is a prime Italian steakhouse, several Italian inspired dishes are offered. Here is pollo parmesan, piccata di vitello, black truffle gnocchi and a delightful sounding lobster arrabiata with capelllini, butter poached lobster, San Marzano tomatoes and a touch of chili flakes.
Several dolci sounded excellent, but I passed on dessert so I could keep the memory of my superb steak and side dishes with me. Perhaps my next visit will include ricotta donuts, tartuffo, big apple pie, or gelato or sorbetto. An international wine list has many selections to accompany your meal.
At lunch you may start with soup or an arugula salad. Follow that with an entrée salad of lobster Cobb, seared tuna, steakhouse salad or Cajun salmon. You may choose from a selection of burgers and sandwiches. There is a brunch burger with wagyu beef, avocado, smoked bacon, cheddar and fried egg, wagyu meatball sandwich, Philly cheese steak, crab cake or an extravagant millionaire burger with Wagyu beef of the finest quality, shaved black truffles, foie gras and pink Himalayan salt.(Check the price on that burger before ordering it.)
With Frank Sinatra melodies in the background, singing “My Way”, I concluded that Zef Perlleshi created the new upscale Z prime Italian Steakhouse “his way”. From ambiance to food and service it is a fine addition to the Westchester dining scene. Enjoy a special lunch or dinner at Z where fine food, and a lush setting combine for a lovely dining experience.
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