When Jamie Zelko packed up her knives from Bistro Lancaster after making a splash with her locally grown, meticulously-presented versions of American comfort food, she put all her efforts into creating Zelko Bistro. Zelko has taken a prototypical Heights bungalow and essentially hollowed it out, opening up the rafters to display the preserved wood surfaces. The homey but minimalist dining room has nostalgic Heights charm with details like the mason jar hanging lights and 1920s photographs from Houston. Zelko's menu focuses on the flavorful American standards she does best: root beer short ribs, crab cakes, burgers, meat loaf and chicken fried chicken. The wine list, which rotates in about 50 bottles from less-familiar locales, offers price points at $40 and below for experimentation and discovery.
Zelko seats about 50 people and has a no-reservations policy. We recommend grabbing a spot at the bar or coming in at off-peak times.