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'Hot Chip' taking over ZZest space

'Hot Chip' taking over ZZest space

Have you heard the rumors stirring? The Zubays and Co. are cooking up new plans for the former ZZest restaurant space. 

The concept, as it was explained to us, is a "chef-inspired burger bar." Like with ZZest, which closed in September, Hot Chip will have some character, both in the ambiance and menu pairings.

The restaurant will be run by brother and sister, Jason and Lindsay Zubay, along with executive chef Justin Schoville. Over the years, the trio has begun slowly taking over the family business — which also includes Porch and Cellar (more on that in a bit) — from longtime Rochester restaurateurs Jerry and LeeAnn Zubay.

With Hot Chip, don't expect your standard pub fare. The menu will feature 16 unique burger types, including some vegetarian options (such as the chickpea basil burger). For sides, you should find a few funky items, from parsnip fries to gobi pakora cauliflower.

"A lot of detail goes into something as simple as a really good quality burger," Schoville said in a recent interview. "We sampled 14 different grinds on burger until we got the one we picked, a chuck and brisket blend with local Minnesota beef."

Expect the restaurant to open in early winter. 

As for the big question: who's Hot Chip? Schoville explained: "Chip is the caricature for the business. He's the attitude. He gets to say and do whatever he wants. He's the bad boy. He runs the burger bar. What Chip says is what we do."

Cellar about to see daylight

Part two of the Porch and Cellar concept is set to open to the public within the next couple weeks.

While under the same building, Cellar will offer a different menu and environment than its upstairs neighbor, Porch, which has been serving up family-style comfort food for about a year now.

"The atmosphere downstairs is going to be dimly-lit, a little more intimate — but still have a casual vibe to it," said Jason Zubay.

For food, there will be everything from chef plates — changing weekly or sometimes daily — to salads and small cold plates. For a cocktail, make sure to check out one of Zubay's original creations, such as the seasonally-inspired aged port wine cocktail with maple syrup, angostura, cherry bark and mint.

"I'd say Cellar is craft in every essence of the word — craft beer, cocktails and food," said Zubay.

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