Popular for its catering, Zazou’s brings back dinners

Published 1:20 am Saturday, April 12, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Closed for dinner since June 2002, Zazou Restaurant is gradually opening its doors for people to once again come in and taste its dinners.
Liz Drew, who runs Dragonfly Catering based at Zazou, and who also ran Zazou Restaurant before it closed for dinners, said she decided to close the restaurant because of the workload that came with running both a catering business and a restaurant.
Things are different this time around, though, and Drew has been able to snatch up a chef-friend who recently worked for the La Salle Grill in South Bend Ind.
Kent Buell, who has owned restaurants in New Buffalo and Kalamazoo, as well as having worked at Charlie Trotter and Cafe Renaissance in Chicago, Ill. will take over the responsibility for running the restaurant.
That means Drew can concentrate on the catering business.
Zazou is currently open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m., but will expand its opening hours this September, Drew said.
She said then, in addition to Friday and Saturday, dinner will also be available on Thursdays, with brunch on Sundays.
With the re-opening of a restaurant usually comes refurbishing, and Drew said a few changes have been made to the restaurant's interior since it was last open for dinners, and there is more wood on the walls now.
But Drew said it will still be a place for casual dining, although the food will, as usual, be up-scale.
The food will be modern American with a mix of Latin and Asian influence, she said.
Different from last time Zazou was open is the introduction of more 'tapas' style dining.
And there should be something for all taste buds, based on the wide variety of choices on the restaurant menu.
Drew said she has done little advertising to make people aware the business is open again.
Drew also wants to let her new chef have time to get familiar with the new kitchen before the opening is properly advertised.
But the combination of restaurant and catering is good, especially when there are enough people to share the workload, Drew said. "When the restaurant is slow the catering is usually up, and vice versa," she said.
The restaurant, which is non-smoking, can host 175 people and is open for private parties as well as wedding receptions.