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Zeal Modern Eatery in East Cobb

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Zeal restaurant in East Cobb has had a bit of a rough start since opening. Now with a revised menu, new chef and owner, they’ve had a chance to sort out some of their hiccups and start anew. Zeal invited some of the Association of Food Bloggers in for a menu tasting.

To start, I was pretty impressed by their cocktails. Normally, I would dismiss a cocktail menu for a restaurant in the burbs, but the two I sampled were quite good. The Moscow Mule, served in copper mugs, was refreshing and lighter on the booze than the second, the East Cobb Harvest, another vodka based cocktail with basil and cucumber.

cocktails in east cobb

Zeal Moscow Mule

Not a cocktail drinker? Not to worry. Zeal has an extensive wine and beer list as well. They gave us a bottle of white and red for the table that were lovely. They aren’t on the menu anymore, but they do a good job of offering quality wines both by the glass and the bottle.

Zeal Modern Eatery Marietta

Zeal Chicken Lollipops

We had a trio of appetizers to begin our meal: Fried Green Tomatoes, Duck Poutine and Chicken Lollipops. The large fried tomatoes seemed to be quite popular at our table, but they were my least favorite, the coating falling off as soon as they were cut into, the taste was nothing special. I was surprised to enjoy the Chicken Lollipops so much. Crispy on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside, I could have eaten them without the Mango Chili sauce.

Zeal in East Cobb

Zeal Duck Poutine

Lastly, the Duck Poutine was just glorious. Duck confit, gravy, Mozzarella, and fries? What’s not to love? This could easily work as an entree, and you might wish you had ordered  your own once you have a bite or two.

For mains, Zeal divides their menu into both Entrees and what they refer to as “Share Plates.” These are smaller than the entree size portions but work well as an meal if you had a couple appetizers. One of these, the Pistachio Crusted Lamb Loin, the chef’s favorite menu item, was the most artfully presented dish and a hit at our table. It comes on a be of pearl cous cous with a beat puree.

zeal restaurant, marietta

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Loin

Our table then sampled entrees which included and Airline Chicken Breast, Kansas City Steak and Red Snapper. Though I rarely ever order chicken at a restaurant (it seems so unexciting), this was nicely done and it is good to note this entree is Gluten Free. The steak, the most ordered entree for our table, was prepared to everyone’s liking (mine a delicious medium) and the charcoal flavoring was obvious yet the steak was still tender and juicy. However, the best entree to hit the table was the Snapper. Topped with Seaweed Salad, it was lightly fried and served over bok choy. The sauce, a Wasabi Vinaigrette was a subtle addition, but really added to the overall flavor.

Red Snapper with Seaweed Salad

Red Snapper with Seaweed Salad

Desserts at Zeal seem to be hit or miss. The desserts in a jar trio was bland (key lime), mediocre (chocolate) and terrific (strawberry). The cheesecake was average, but nothing our of the ordinary. However, the blueberry cake was phenomenal. I’d go back to Zeal for that dessert alone.

Zeal in east cobb restaurant

Zeal cheesecake, blueberry cake and jar trio.

While I wouldn’t categorize Zeal as a destination restaurant, it is one of the nicer fine dining restaurants in East Cobb.

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Here are some other fantastic Marietta / Cobb restaurants:

Andretti Karting

Beni’s Cubano

Butcher the Baker

Come-n-Get It

Kiosko Restaurant

Marietta Fish Market

Mountain Biscuits


Pier 213

Red Sky Tapas


Siam Square

Snowville Shavery

Tofu Village

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About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!