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Zola To Open Rebranded Restaurant On April 1, Wine Bar To Follow

The transformation of Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar is nearly complete. On April 1, the re-branded restaurant at 324 W. College Ave. will open its doors for the first time, although the last two words of its name will be missing.

Co-owner and executive chef Andrew Hufnagel said that Zola won’t have a liquor license in time for April 1. The restaurant will hold a soft opening until the license’s expected arrival in April, when it will have a grand opening.

“We’re going to be doing ingredient-driven, seasonal, New American cuisine,” Hufnagel said. “We’re going to be utilizing some more advanced techniques that the community doesn’t currently offer. We’re going to be doing foams, gelification, spherification, sponges, some more advanced culinary techniques.”

While that might sound like gibberish, Zola’s use of molecular gastronomy make it the first restaurant in town utilizing such cutting-edge culinary techniques.

“We’re going to do some traditional French and American techniques while incorporating some more avant garde type stuff,” Hufnagel said. “We’re going to keep it upscale with excellent service and certified wine professionals.”

And while the wine bar won’t be opening on April 1 without a license, Hufnagel emphasizes Zola’s focus on wine as one of the more exciting aspects added to the space. Zola will be holding wine courses for the community. Along with the new wine bar comes a new menu, which will rotate seasonally every three months.

“The menu is brand new. We’re going to be changing seasonally, so every three months we’re going to change up,” he said. “The point is to utilize the freshest ingredients of the season. When they’re fresh, they taste the best.”

The spring seasonal menu has some mouth-watering offerings. The beef tartare features waygu beef, truffle aioli, crostini, quail egg, and parmesan. There are unique options like the duck confit dumplings and foie gras parfait. Entree choices include a dry-aged rib eye steak, smoked rainbow trout, sous-vide short ribs, and a black truffle risotto, priced from $19 to $35.

“Hopefully everybody loves it and is excited for the changes to Zola,” Hufnagel said.

It may be a little expensive for the average student, but Zola will be the perfect choice for a free meal when your parents in town.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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