Zak's Place

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This upscale contemporary American restaurant opened in October 2007 in the former Washington Street Grill address. Owner Yamandu Perez spent half a decade at renowned Gabriel's in Highwood before starting this new venture. Marc Stein, who Perez met at Gabriel's, serves as executive chef. Lunch, featuring salads, soups and upscale sandwiches like sliced prime rib, starts at 11:30 a.m. and extends until 3 p.m., when an abbreviated bar menu debuts until close. The full dinner menu kicks in at 5 p.m. Gourmet-tinged dishes like veal skirt steak with orange-cilantro chimichurri arrive with a bonus not revealed on the menu: deep-fried sweet peppers stuffed with orange-scented goat cheese, while free-range chicken is stuffed with prosciutto, goat cheese, spinach and roasted red pepper. "I hate places that make you feel like it's time to go," says Perez, so though the kitchen is usually winding down around 10 p.m., if you want to hang out late or stop in at 9:59 for a bowl of mussels, he's game.