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Zeus Gallery Cafe; Frank's West Ristorante Italiano 

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Zeus Gallery Cafe is one of the handful of very good Richmond restaurants that have figured out their niche and stuck to their formula. In Zeus' case, the formula involves glamorous food and casual atmosphere. That's probably why it's been around for a dozen years. It's American, but it borrows heavily from Europe with tours through American low country and an occasional Asian jag.

How else to explain filet mignon with a sangiovese demi-glace and foie gras appearing on the menu beside Creole shrimp with andouille sausage, basil-corn tomatoes and garlic over rice, and alongside Asian duck breast with snow peas, plum sauce and basmati rice? It's eclectic. It's melting pot. It's American.

The menu is hard to read, handwritten and crammed on a slate board that makes the rounds on an as-needed basis. But the servers are pros — ours has been there for 10 years. They know the regularly changing menu very well and are happy to make recommendations if asked. — Patrick Getlein

Zeus Gallery Cafe
201 N. Belmont (Behind the museum)
359-3219
Open for dinner Sunday-Thursday 5-10 p.m.,
Friday & Saturday 5-11 p.m.
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday, 9a.m.-2 p.m.
Most entrees $17-$25



Frank's West Ristorante Italiano and Pizzaria is a great destination for a date or to just pick up a pizza. There were several appealing appetizers: artichoke alla Siciliana ($5.50), roasted peppers a la Frank ($5.50), and insalata di calamarie fagioli — squid and bean salad with fresh herbs ($6.00). For an entree, Frank's West offers the familiar selection of pastas, such as baked ziti ($9.25) and cannelloni ($9.25), gnocchi ($9.25), spinach ravioli ($9.25), to name only a few. Some specialties of the house include chicken rollatini — rolled with ham, mozzarella and topped with mushroom sauce ($12.25); veal pizziaole — sliced veal cooked with tomato garlic and oregano ($13.50); and shrimp fradiavalo made with a spicy marinara sauce ($14.25). The New York-style thin crust pizza was fresh with a distinct texture, unlike its often breadlike, airy counterparts. — Kevin Finucane

Frank's West Ristorante Italiano, New York Style Pizzaria
11238 Patterson Avenue
Tuckahoe Village Shopping Center
754-8380
Tuesday-Thursday 11a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday, Saturday 11a.m.-11p.m.
Sunday 12- 9 p.m.
Closed
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