Live at the ‘Zino Theater’ in Edwards
EDWARDS – Zino Ristorante isn’t just a place to eat.
“It’s a concept, it’s a place,” said managing partner Giuseppe Bosco, waving his arms to encompass the whole restaurant. “There’s only one Zino.”
The newly reopened local eatery has a lively lounge, a river-side patio and a balcony with a bird’s-eye-view of the bustling dining room. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a limited time, that same balcony is used for Vino at Zino and Mussels and Music, respectively.
There’s nobody who can dish on wine like a master sommelier. Eagle County’s only master som, Sean Razee, leads an intimate group through one or two Italian wine regions each Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m.
“We want people to discover more Italian wines,” Bosco said. “Nobody knows the grapes in Italy, but there are thousands of them. And even if the same grapes are grown in France and America, they taste different in Italy.”
Bosco grew up drinking wine in Naples the way all Italians do: with his family. His practical approach to drinking wine you like with food you like makes an excellent foil for Razee’s precise and encompassing knowledge of all things wine-related.
“I love the diversity of Italian wine,” Bosco said. “Italians don’t want their wine to taste like someone else’s wine. Each wine has a different soul – the taste and personality are different.”
This week they’re exploring the wines of Tuscany. Two or three whites and three or four reds will be uncorked and poured. Attendees (while noshing on pizzas and other appetizers) will learn about several different styles of Tuscan wines.
When Zino closed its door in 2002, people lost more than a restaurant. It was a gathering place, a neighborhood – and the creator of the original Monday Mussel Madness. The restaurant is still famous for its mussels, which are dry roasted with only a bit of salt and served steaming with a side of buerre blanc. They’re also available every day of the week, but Wednesdays are special. The mussels are only $8 for a platter, and they’re served with a side of live music, straight up.
“Mussels are our number-one seller because that’s what people remember,” Bosco said. “You open up a shell and it tastes like the sea.”
Bosco is a big fan of the pizzas, as well as the house-made burratta, a fresh mozzarella served with crostini. He also likes the live music.
“It’s always nice and mellow,” Bosco said. “It’s rhythmic jazz with some energy. It’s not going to be disco.”
Musicians rotate through every week. Last week, Heidi Schmitt and Mike Schneider played sultry jazz with a bit of a Brazilian undertone. This week, Steve Hoppen plays to the crowd. Next week, it’s Justin Allison, follwed by Tony Gulizia the week after.
“It’s off season, and we want to throw somehting out there for the locals,” Bosco said about the music series. “People love to come in and start singing with the music. It’s the Zino Theater.”