Friday, Mar 23, 2018
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Restaurant Reviews


Waterville eatery Zinful is sinfully delightful


Zinful, 7541 Dutch Rd. in Waterville,Ohio.

The Blade/Lisa Dutton
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The staff says about half the meals are created in the kitchen. But before you even look at the menu, heed this Dessert Alert: a) a talented in-house pastry chef makes killer desserts and b) you'll receive a chocolate truffle at meal's end.

It's a classy little joint, all silver, gray, and black inside, with nifty wine-bottle candle lamps on silver tables. It is a venture between a married couple and the wife's brother who dovetailed their three passions (wine, craft beers, cigars) and bought a foreclosed building that had been a restaurant. Two small dining rooms are separated by a bar/TV room in the middle, and in the back is a cigar boutique.

The menu includes filet mignon ($26), New York strip (10 oz./$24), and rack of lamb ($26), but generally, this isn't old-school dining: no soup, salad, baked potato, or green beans with dinner.

A delicious loaf of fresh-baked bread with an herbed butter was served. Our dinners were one large, deep dish full of the entree, and the four we ordered were excellent.


We had two appetizers on recent visits. The potato latkes (three for $7) seemed a bit overcooked and heavy, but home-made applesauce it came with had us asking for more. Goat cheese bruschetta ($8) was marvelous: a balsamic glaze, pine nuts, and carmelized onions topped slender slices of French bread, sun-dried tomatoes, and a mix of arugula.

Large, firm pieces of mahi mahi ($21) topped with cranberries were delicious in a superb sauce (mushroom thyme and a bit of spiced rum), and a few fingerling potatoes.

Oxtail stew ($15) is the house special (available Fridays and Saturdays). A tough cut of meat from the tail of a steer, oxtails are slow-cooked for hours. In this simple, mouth-watering recipe, the meat becomes shredded as it stews in a mild tomato base with carrots and onions. It's served over fluffy egg noodles. Mmm good.

If you love cut-with-a-fork-tender pork and fresh mushrooms, try the jaeger schnitzel ($16). Two boneless chops that taste like tenderloin in a creamy brown sauce, happy on a bed of thick, golden German spaetzle noodles.

Simple but tasty was the roasted tomato gnocchi ($13) with tomato cream sauce, parmesan, and basil on this pasta that's made as much with mashed potatoes as with flour.

Sandwiches we sampled included the crispy duck wrap ($10) and Tuscan chicken ($7).

The duck chunks were deep fried, served with onions, greens, and a sweet/tangy sesame dressing. The naan it was wrapped in, while perfectly fine, overpowered the filling.

Same case with the chicken breast's thick flat bread. And the filling sounded great -- roasted red pepper, fresh spinach, onions, pesto, and provolone -- but was way skimpy.

We added fresh-cut fries ($2) and a side of sauteed red cabbage sprinkled with vinegar ($2, not on the menu but the chef obliged).

We had excellent wines at our servers' suggestions, and loved the champagne-like hard cider and orange-clouded Rivertown Wit Ale (Cincinnati).

Two desserts were both fabulous, not too sweet and large enough to share. In a tall glass, the espresso mousse ($7) is a dark/milk chocolate/coffee blend with rich cream and biscotti. A huge slice of cheesecake ($6) with pecans, a vanilla-bean sauce, and a drizzle of caramel was creamy and light.

There are also burgers ($10 and $15), gourmet sliders ($7 to $12), soups, salads, pizzas (made here on Chardonnay flatbread), and a children's menu ($4 and $5).

Shout out to our excellent servers Carmen and Brianna.



* * * *

Address: 7541 Dutch Rd., Waterville.

Phone: 419-878-9463.

Category: Casual.

Menu: American and German.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are accepted.

Wheelchair access: Yes.

Average price: $$.

Credit cards: AE, D, MC, V. Debit cards: Yes.

Web site: and Facebook for specials.



Contact Bill of Fare at

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