New Hope, Pennsylvania is a great spot for people looking for a relaxing dining experience. A row of bars and restaurants forms a long line overlooking the river. Prices, as you may gather, soar through the roof. That’s one thing to be expected, especially if you are planning on have a few drinks. Food can range from sub-par to spectacular. This restaurant review is from last year—the first of many dining experiences in this town. Will and I went for a visit and decided to try something off the beaten path, with no view of the river. Prices were still high, but the experience was worth it. We landed at Zoubi, which has an area outside built to look like an old ruin: tables surrounded by crumbling walls, with a garden-like atmosphere. The setting was so incredible that I asked the bartender, who happened to be the owner, if the area was original or built to look that way. He responded with the latter.
It was a mildly hot day, the perfect temperature to relax with a bottle of Innis & Gunn oak-aged beer, which is actually stored in rum barrels for a few months prior to bottling. I had this once before and loved it. Because it is normally pricey and not readily available, I was okay in paying the $7 for a bottle of it. All prices for drinks were listed on the menu, a far-cry from a previous experience at Dublin House in Red Bank, where I was shockingly charged $7 for a pint of Harp Lager. Will had a Mango Mojito, carefully prepared to order, and included fresh mango. That was $11, but he said he loved it.
Though we were starving, we elected not to go for the $19 cheese plate (which included three cheeses I have never heard of, and I consider cheese to be one of the main food groups). For my entrée, I went with the duck tacos and my friend had a duck confeit omelette, which were $14 and $13 respectively. When it came, I was really surprised to see how small my portion was. The three tacos were minuscule, maybe three inches long (and the same number of bites to devour it!). His omelette was heartier than my dish, but not by much. However, what mine lacked in size it made up for in flavor. The duck was soft tender, and the pineapple salsa and homemade sour cream that topped it was a nice touch. It was the first time I ever had duck. So, they are forgiven. I was told that the menu changes daily, depending on what fresh items they get in, but I suggested they keep those tacos. Maybe if they added one more or kept the portion the same and and sold it as an appetizer, it would have been a better deal. My friend also enjoyed his meal, but we both left hungry.
Still, I would return to Zoubi. The atmosphere was relaxed, they did not rush us, and the service was very knowledgeable and friendly. The bartender delivers the drinks personally, and judging by how he talked, really knew his stuff. There is also indoor seating in case the weather does not cooperate. 4 out of 5 stars.
Zoubi is located at 7 West Mechanic Street in New Hope, Pennsylvania.