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Ristorante Zebra

/ Updated on July 14, 2014

My first few experiences with Zebra were OK, though one of them stood out as a major disaster in the service department. It actually resulted with our sending the entire food order back after we waited 90 minutes for it. My main gripe (as if that were not enough) was the total lack of response from the management until we finally made a scene (our server was great and was very embarrassed by it all). Mistakes will happen, but the bad attitude and total disinterest by management angered us all.

But that was a couple of years ago, and Zebra is still there, and I still get numerous emails about the high quality of the food. So it’s time to clear the slate and let Zebra redeem itself through new customer comments and a few new visits from us. There are many good things to tell you about this place, and hopefully the attitude problem has been resolved. Time will tell.

The menu at Zebra is interestingly arranged, with pasta plates and salad-based goodies on the left, and more elaborate meat/fish dishes on the right. One of the things I like about the left side of the menu is that they offer the pasta plates in half and whole portions. I had the half-portion of the tortellini with peas and prosciutto in a rich, creamy sauce. Though my main course was OK (more about that later), images of those little peas and the crispy, thin-as-air slices of prosciutto still haunt me. I’m getting the whole portion of the tortellini next time.

Not that the veal wasn’t good! Pounded out bigger and thinner than any scallopini I’ve ever seen, I could only conclude that the sous chef had some anger issues to work out. I’m glad he took it out on that thin, crispy, lean piece of veal. The version I ordered was lightly breaded and topped with a salad mixture. I know this is a traditional Italian presentation (with the salad on top of the protein), but it must have spent a little too much time under the lights or under the warmer, as the lettuce was hot, slippery and soggy. What were they thinking!?! Well, On another visit, I complained about the warm lettuce debacle and the server brought the salad portion of the dish in a cool stainless steel ramekin that kept the salad cold. I combined bites of the veal and the greens and the counterpoint of the cool salad against the warm veal was perfect. So, if you order any of the things that are topped with the salad, be sure to ask for the salad on the side, unless, of course, you like warm, slippery lettuce.

Others at the table got a veal dish with cheese and sauce (the closest they come to veal Parmesan without actually calling it that), and a rib eye steak dish that reminded me of steak pizzaiola. Next time I’m getting that veal dish–any veal dish. They were delicious.

Downscale it is not. Even on that humid evening, patrons were in long pants and collared shirts. Note that they also have a wonderful wraparound porch where patrons can enjoy dining al fresco with a panoramic view of Stingray across the street. Word around town is that if you want a quiet dining experience, especially in the high season, you reserve a table close to the bar toward the front. Apparently, people who can’t control their children are relegated toward the back. If that is indeed the case, I admire Zebra for doing it. The price point is too high to dine as if you are in a kindergarten.

Zebra is at 32 Lake Avenue. Click here to see their menu. They are closed in the off-season. Follow them on Facebook here. You can call them at 302-226-1160. (D., Bar) Price Range: Expensive +.

(By the way, click here for reservations at Zebra through OpenTable.com.)

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

32 Lake Ave.
(302) 226-1160

OPEN TABLE logo copycrenh for specials


Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Special prix fixe dinner $35 from 5p
Open for the 2018 season 3/23
Special prix fixe dinner $35 from 5p
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Barbara says:

    service poor except for the young girl at the desk — she was wonderful should have been our waitress — our waiter no personality- didn’t really care .. Brought out wrong entree .. When he figured it out and brought the correct one , he asked us if we wanted 2 take it home .. Excuse me we don’t live here — our waiter needs 2 retire

  2. brian king says:

    wow ..surprised to read that so many have had the same experience that we had! there were four of use,appetizers were good nothing outstanding other than the watermelon salad which was worth ordering again. When all four entrees arrive they were plated half hazard,wrong meat selection, and luke warm, but the topper was that the vegetable was ice cold!!! I had to go and find the host to take them back and ask to speak to the chef!!! that never showed up!! our waiter never came back to the table, but when he did arrive in the room he went and sat with some friends across the room and had a nice long chat and wine?? the hostess was great at trying to save the evening, and even took a bottle of wine off the bill we told here that wasn’t necessary, as the wine was good, it was the entrees that were bad!! We would never suggest this place to anyone, and if I’m a restaurant and get the same server I would ask for another or leave!

  3. Scott Kessler says:

    Nothing has changed. Six of us had a reservation to eat dinner here on a special occasion for us but they had service issues and sent us across the street for drinks which we had to pay for. In the mean time they sat other people at our table. Do not risk your time here.

  4. KEAD says:

    Our group went to Ristorante Zebra for the Restaurant Week promotion of 3 courses for $35.00. Received a very friendly greeting by the hostess and courteous, professional service throughout the night. Hot rolls were served and raved about. Three types of salads were offered with the Mediterranean Style getting the best reviews. A very nice amount of entrees were offered to choose from. Our table received Pork Chops, Steak, Veal, Snapper, Clams and Salmon. The meat dishes shined. Salmon not cooked all the way through as requested. Dessert was rum cake with vanilla ice cream. Very good but would have enjoyed a choice of at least two different desserts. Very impressive job by this restaurant that definitely wants us to return!

  5. mike a. says:

    ate here saturday July 14th, 2012.

    Food was flawless. This is our absolute favorite place intown and at least for us, rarely misses the bullseye in the many years we have been eating here.

    Service is slipping a little. For years we received service as flawless as the food. We realize our waiter was relatively new and we wanted to be patient but still, we had to almost beg for bread and a second round of drinks.

    P.S. The Saturday bartender makes the best Cosmos.

  6. Edd ie K. says:

    My party of four dined at Zebra Friday night. I have been vacationing in Rehoboth for over fifty years and somehow this was my first experience there.
    To be brief, the Caesar salad could have been one of those packaged salads from the local food chain. The entree (swordfish) was delicious and well presented.
    The service…what service? We had to beg the wait staff for additional water.
    Overall, the rather expensive experience was lackluster missing any passion within the dining event. Next time, I will skip Zebra because there are so many other great choices within the city limits.
    PS- The decor is beautiful and sets the tone for an intimate and “high fashion” evening, but……

  7. Cranky Gourmet says:

    For once I agree with the foodie! Our last visit at Zebra was a disappointment. I was assuming during restaurant week Zebra would try to put their best foot forward. Alas, the only bright spot was our server who was delightful and apologetic for the situation. The food was uninspired and it took forever to get the food out of the kitchen, even though our table was an early seating. As the foodie described the salad was warm and dry, the entre was bland and the only dessert was a sorbet. At a price point of $30 + they certainly have lost my business and can, and have done much better in the past.

  8. Joanne Basar says:

    Ristorante Zebra did a 50th wedding anniversary for my parents and did a great job serving 12 of us a delicious dinner with a beautiful zebra cake to celebrate the occasion. I still dream about the eggplant appetizer, the asparagus appetizer, and the pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil. I’ve eaten everywhere in Rehoboth and I’d give Zebra a high rating!

  9. Alisa and Bob says:

    What can I say! We went there for dinner and were rudely greeted at the door. Questioned if we had a reservation (the restaurant was more than half empty). We were rudely told that they didn’t feel they could accommodate us. Well with that attitude I fully agree: They can’t accommodate us, and I doubt we will be back to try!

  10. Bill at the Beach says:

    Sadly, this restaurant used to be one of the best in town. Over the past 3-4 years, I have seen it go way down hill. Frankly, I don’t even waste my time eating there anymore. (The bar is still great) It is way too expensive for what you get (terrible service from the kitchen)and there are way too many wonderful alternatives available. You can test it out yourself, but DON’T DO IT!!

  11. Jim says:

    The comments here strongly reinforce my impression the last time at the restaurant. The food is really pretty good but not great. The wine service and selection is really very bad. The total service experience is the worst, and I will not go back. I don’t really know what they think they are doing at the prices they charge.

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