We'd read cryptic press releases about a new restaurant being developed in the Woodlands, and wondered what was behind all the mystery. Called Zunum, it's a new concept being launched on Research Forest within the city of Shenandoah. The team behind Zunum isn't new to the restaurant business, owning Russo's Pizzeria.
The concept is a unique one. Zunum is a place for families, catering to both children and adults while not expecting either to compromise. For the adults, Zunum offers them a place to "relax and enjoy a gourmet meal in an adult environment", while the kids can "play, be active, and behave as kids in a safe environment".
That's the promise. Short of attaching a Chuck E. Cheese to Tony's, how would you pull this off? On a drizzly Tuesday, we went to find out.
Zunum's execution is tasteful, and shows a clear vision. The front of the house is a modern, airy restaurant, featuring dishes aimed at an adult palate. It's a bright, attractive space, featuring modern decor and muted earth tones.
|The dining room at Zunum|
|Little kids' play area at Zunum|
|Big kids' play area at Zunum|
Unlike other places that cater to kids, Zunum has a wide variety of inventive dishes that won't make the grown-ups think they're in the penalty box. Beer and wine are available. From seafood to salads, panini, burgers, crepes and pastas, there are dishes to appeal to almost anyone. There is, of course, a dedicated kids' menu with the usual suspects and also a variety of healthier options.
On their recent soft opening, we sampled several of their dishes, and management graciously picked up the tab. Since the restaurant isn't officially open, this isn't a full review, but rather a preview of what's to be offered when the doors open.
We started with a couple of appetizers. Our favorite was Zunum's unique spin on the traditional Italian bruschetta. The crunchy Italian bread was topped with a generous portion of marinated tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese, but the flavor profile was more southwestern than Italian, a surprise that we found delightful.
|Bruschetta at Zunum|
Next up was Zunum's tuna tartare. Chunks of fresh tuna were bound in a creamy dill sauce with avocado, with wasabi drizzles on the plate to spice things up.
|Tuna Tartare at Zunum|
|Parmesan Crusted Chicken at Zunum|
|Inside the Zunum Burger|
All in all, we're intrigued by Zunum's unique concept. We believe that a restaurant that offers to delight both kids and parents has a bright future in the Woodlands, and we look forward to the grand opening and seeing how crowds react to this unique restaurant.
Zunum | 1620 Research Forest Drive | The Woodlands, Texas 77381 | 281-419-5400