Earlier this month, Zucca moved from its South Ogden location of seven years to a newly remodeled home on Historic 25th Street.
Part of the renovations to the building include bringing back an iconic dragon of neon lights that hung for more than sixty years before a six-year hiatus.
It is fun to see the brightly colored sign at the entrance, but the dining room inside is even more impressive.
Kirk Dean has owned local restaurants for two decades, including Zucca, which he opened in 2008. He explained that the goal in designing the new space was to keep some original rustic components of the building, like exposed brick and wood ceiling beams alongside new additions, such as beautiful art deco woodwork.
This was one of the first sites Dean considered when he opened Zucca.
“It was tough to get a vision then,” he admits. Everything has now been gutted and refurbished from floor to ceiling.
An open kitchen lines the south wall. “Customers can see everything we are doing,” Dean said.
Executive chef Geraldine Sepulveda said diners get quite a show when the pasta noodles are made, measuring more than fifteen feet long at times.
“It is super fun to see. Everybody loves it. In a lot of restaurants, things are pre-made. We want our customers to see that we really cook everything from scratch,” Sepulveda said.
Using high quality ingredients and local products when possible is an important part of the philosophy at Zucca. This includes Beehive Cheese and Oscar’s Meats. Great Harvest bread baked across the street is used for French toast ($8.50) on the brunch menu.
Sepulveda has also taken to growing micro grains onsite for garnishes.
The restaurant opened in 2008, a difficult time for the economy when restaurants were especially hard hit. Despite this, Dean has maintained his commitment to high quality food and service.
“We always work on the presentation. People think we are fine dining, but we just do it because that is the way it should be done,” Sepulveda said of the artisan foods and elegant, yet casual atmosphere.
While Sepulveda did not want to introduce too many changes to the menu at the same time as the move, she did set her mind to creating what she says is the best brunch menu in Ogden, served 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays.
Crab, asparagus, fresh tomatoes, goat cheese and eggs ($12.50) are offered as an omelette or frittata-style, cooked very fast in the 700-degree pizza oven.
A montecristo ($8.50) comes with ham, turkey and Swiss fried in a light batter, served with blueberry compote. Crepes ($7.50) are accompanied by fresh fruit.
Eggs benedict include choice of meat ($9.50-$11.50) and choice of classic hollandaise sauce or spicy sun dried tomato, basil or wild mushroom hollandaise.
Brunch beverages include sangria pitchers to share, mimosas, bloody marys, sparkling floats made with champagne and fruity sorbets, or Café Ibis coffee.
Lunch specialties include raspberry chicken salad ($9.50), Zucca French dip ($10) and thin crust pizza such as the margherita ($9) with San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, parmesan and fresh mozzarella.
“Every weekend is not about the menu, it’s about the specials,” Sepulveda said.
Besides seasonal specials, the menu features many dinner entrees including oven roasted mahi-mahi ($17), buffalo tenderloin ($25), lamb chops ($28), and chicken marsala ($17).
Pastas made with homemade noodles and sauces include Zucca chicken fettuccini alfredo ($14), lobster ravioli ($28) and wild mushroom lasagna ($17). Many dishes are available in a gluten-free version.
Desserts ($6-$10) are house gelato, sorbet, tiramisu and French inspired pastries.
To the west of the dining room is a fully enclosed outdoor atrium where customers can look out over Historic 25th Street as they dine.
Sepulveda takes pride in listening to what patrons want and coming up with new recipes to meet their requests.
“People that work in this kitchen really care,” she said. “We are like a family. Every single employee wants to do a good job for the customer. We love Zucca and I think the customers feel this.”
- Address: 225 Historic 25th St., Ogden
- Phone: 801-475-7077
- Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
- Website: myzucca.com