When you hear about a new place that serves American-style food you get curious. I was "kinda" looking forward to a real US-style hamburger and so that was the first disappointment on arrival – no hamburgers on the menu, an omission confirmed on inquiry.
Still, we disregarded that. Seeing as it was a nice summer evening we had three thirst-quenchers: a bottle of Tuborg beer (three leva), a mohito cocktail (seven leva) and a non-alcoholic lemonade (four leva), the last two well served and refreshing.
I ordered a Caesar salad (350g for eight leva), which was up to standard. My wife ordered calamari (230g for 12 leva), fried in batter with sesame and soy sauce, and that served as her main course too. She quite liked it but it was served with just a chilli dip that tasted like spicy lyutenitsa and minus the peppers mentioned on the menu.
I ordered chicken with goat's cheese and artichokes, dried tomatoes and wine. An old problem re-surfaced; it was not hot enough. It was tasty, however, if perhaps slightly pricey (260g for 15 leva). The menu offered a wide choice of garnishes, including – oh joy of joy – sweet potato and sweet mashed potato. I was really looking forward to that, but – foiled again – they did not have that either. Instead I made do with the Bulgarian traditional garnish of chips and cheese.
Our companion had Louisiana (500g for 10 leva) composed of spaghetti, battered chicken, mushrooms and red peppers and she was not especially impressed. The wine of our choice was unavailable so we shared a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (39 leva) followed by a half-bottle for 15 leva.
Thankfully, they did have the so-called New York cheesecake (seven leva) a very sweet concoction of cream and chocolate topped with creme brulee – very tasty but then again I have a sweet tooth. Our friend had panakota (five leva), with home-made cream and garnished with fig jam.
By then the heavens had opened and we retreated inside to the tastefully decorated and cosy interior. As 10.30pm approached it became clear that we were the only ones still left in the restaurant and the waitress kept making subtle interventions and glances. By 11pm she came over and told us they were closing, even though the stated closing time is midnight. The bill for three people (including three coffees and bearing in mind that my wife did not have a main course) came to 135.49 leva, steep for what was on offer.
Another grievance is that when you look at zavedenia.com they cite different prices for their so-called American brunch and then, when you click on the linked salads, the prices quoted are in some cases different from those we were given on the restaurant menu. For example, the seven-leva Mohito was billed as costing 4.99 leva on the website, the Caesar salad was supposed to be seven leva, not eight, and the Louisiana was 8.79 leva, not 10, to cite but a few examples.
One of those places striving to be authentic but somehow a gimmicky joint. However, once they sort out some teething problems, perhaps you will be luckier than us.
Overall rating: 3/6 Service: 3/6 Atmosphere: 4/6 Food: 3/6 Price: $$$$ ($ up to 12 leva a person for three courses; $$ 12 to 20 leva pp; $$$ 20 to 35 pp; $$$$ 35 and over pp)
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