Mon, Jan. 27

In the flavor of Zen<br>New bistro opens in VOC

About two weeks ago, restaurant owners Danielle Rochelle and Brian Gordon opened the Zen Bistro.

The husband-and-wife team once owned an eatery in Canada and now serve fine vegetarian cuisine made with organic, unrefined ingredients in the Verde Valley.

Rochelle explained that she and her husband chose the Village of Oak Creek location because many of the residents are vegetarians.

They hope to expand the business into a chain of fine vegan restaurants. Currently, the bistro serves residents from Cottonwood, Sedona, Cornville, Flagstaff and many Phoenix tourists.

"We’ve even seen mothers come in with their children and teenagers" said Rochelle.

The feng shui is good here. That means the Zen Bistro offers the perfect environment for relaxing.

Customers can choose to dine in the comfortable indoors amidst stone tiles, soft, muted earth tone walls, or eat outside in the large patio dining area.

Amidst the hungry lunch-time bustle, Rochelle ensures that every appetite finds solace, be it the vegetarian Zen burger made with lentils and brown rice or the Sea Caesar salad with tempeh croutons served with a creamy soy-balsamic dressing. All meals, including the desserts are made with natural and organic products.

Another of the more popular items on the lunch menu is the rice paper spring roll with fresh, organic vegetables served with hoisin and homemade peanut sauce.

Head Chef Jean Gove studied at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School and uses only organic cow’s milk as a dairy product and soy cheeses.

Zen receives produce from a local distributor. "In the future, we want to develop relationships with local farmers," said Rochelle.

Beginning Dec. 15, Zen will serve dinners every day and close at 9 p.m.

Zen Bistro is located at 25 Bell Rock Plaza, Suite C in the Village of Oak Creek.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

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