Zazu is a restaurant on the outskirts of Santa Rosa that captures Sonoma County’s essence, with many ingredients plucked right from the backyard garden. The owners’ commitment to seasonal cooking is hardly limited to lettuces, vegetables and herbs. “Salumist” John Stewart operates out of Bovolo, a sister restaurant on Healdsburg’s main square, and his efforts reverberate to Zazu. Stewart makes bacon and salumi using heirloom black pigs that are antibiotic and hormone free. Their provenance was in evidence on our three-salumi “butcher’s plate” ($22). We bypassed Tartufo Nero (black truffle), but still scored glistening rows of well-marbled salumi flavored with spicy Moroccan-influenced Harissa, Genoa (white wine + black pepper) and Felino (red wine + black pepper). The salumi is always different, depending Stewart’s whim. He’s also been known to spike his salumi with Ginger and Fennel Pollen.
No matter what ingredients Stewart uses, the pairing is always pickled grapes, cut in half and tossed on top of the meat. The tangy grapes are pickled with ingredients like apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and clove and cut the pork’s richness.
Dose of Vitamin P is a new feature that spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.