Modern American Restaurant ZANA Opens in Downtown Birmingham

ZANA, a modern-American restaurant with a European flair that celebrates the fusion of art, aesthetics, and cuisine, has opened at 210 S. Old Woodward Ave. in downtown Birmingham.
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ZANA is now serving modern American cuisine in downtown Birmingham. // Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh
ZANA is now serving modern American cuisine in downtown Birmingham. // Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh

ZANA, a modern-American restaurant with a European flair that celebrates the fusion of art, aesthetics, and cuisine, has opened at 210 S. Old Woodward Ave. in downtown Birmingham.

The restaurant from the Tallulah Group is the third concept from Mario Camaj, who also operates Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro in downtown Birmingham and BESA in downtown Detroit.

ZANA’s 10,000-square-foot space (formerly the home of The Bird & The Bread) has undergone a complete renovation. The new interior features an exclusive bar area, a private dining room, and several dining sections created by local designers.

Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh
Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh

Décor elements include a gold leafed bar, while mosaic tile and custom glass work line the open floor plan. ZANA also features a full banquet and private dinning space for up to 135 guests designed to accommodate any kind of celebration.

Led by Chef Jason Bamford, ZANA’s menu offers signature dishes including a steak tartare with 12-hour tomato, shiitake, burnt onion, cress, and marrow toast, under smoke; octopus with fennel, potato, cured olive, celery, chicharron, nduja, and lemon; whole black bass with olive, citrus, herbs, potato tostones, and Shishito pepper zhoug; lamb chops with coco spice, shaved kohlrabi, apple, cress, black barley, mint, and pomegranate vinaigrette, and more.

Chef Bamford, who began his career at New York’s Culinary Institute of America, previously served as VIP chef at the flagship Waldorf Astoria. He also was executive chef at the Delano Hotel in Miami, where he put a global spin on Italian cuisine.

Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh
Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked all over the country but was waiting for the right opportunity to return home to Michigan,” says Bamford. “It’s an honor to now be part of the ZANA family.”

The restaurant’s cocktail program is led by mixologist Anthony Escalante, a recent recipient of the Best Cocktail in the Country award by Restaurant Hospitality magazine.

General Manager and Partner Johnny Prenci, who’s worked with Camaj for 13 years, will oversee day-to-day operations. “Guests should expect a dining experience that will transcend taste … through alluring ambiance, bold flavors, and unparalleled service,” says Prenci.

Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh
Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh

The restaurant was designed by Sabrina Buchanan of BASE Designs, Ian Hartwell of Oliver Max Inc., and architect John Gardner of Gardner & Associates. The trio infused the space with an intimate, warm, and inviting feel. Details include barreled ceilings, mosaic tile, custom glass work, and a hand-blown glass light fixture commissioned from the Czech Republic. The bar is trimmed in gold and lit from top to bottom.

“As we expand our restaurant group, our mission remains the same: our guests before ourselves, exceptional service, and a menu with the best locally sourced produce,” says Camaj. “ZANA exudes ambiance, flavor, and service like no other.”

Initial hours of operation are Tuesday-Thursday from 4 – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 – 11 p.m., and 4 – 8 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations, which can be made through OpenTable, are recommended.

Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh
Courtesy of Hayden Stinebaugh

The Tallulah Group restaurants have garnered three recent awards, including Tallulah being named one of the Top 100 Best Restaurants in the USA by Open Table and Forbes, and this year’s HOUR Detroit Top 3 Best Restaurants in Oakland County.

For more information, visit www.zanabham.com.

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