FRAMINGHAM – In early October Wayland resident Laurette Ndukwe opened Nzuko, a new Caribbean-Mediterranean-African fusion restaurant in Framingham.
Last Friday, the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 341 Cochituate Road restaurant, which is located across the street from Framingham Beer Works.
Ndukwe, who has Haitian roots, opened the restaurant with her husband Obiora.
The name of the restaurant means “gathering” in Nigerian, and inside the cozy restaurant is a “friendship gathering” table, where individuals can dine with others at a long community table. There are also tables of two and four for customers.
Ndukwe immigrated to the United States at age 13. And although she always was interested in food and cuisine, she studied psychology at Simmons College, and was working to help women in children as a social worker, before moving to a culinary career.
Ndukwe, besides operating the the Framingham restaurant, is the founder and co-pastor of the the non-denominational Christian church Stepping Stones Global Ministries in Wellesley with her husband.
Before raising her three children, the Wayland resident, once operated L’Afrique in the South End of Boston, which served cuisine from Haiti and West Africa.
This new Framingham restaurant also has global influences.
But Nzuko also emphasizes “the importance of fresh, seasonal ingredients,” said Ndukwe.
Her philosophy – “health ingredients promote a healthy body. A healthy body promoted a healthy mind. And having a healthy body and mind gives you a healthy lifestyle,” said Ndukwe.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Individuals can dine in or take out. They also offer catering.
There are kale-based salads, whole wheat flatbread wraps featuring spicy and flavor-filled chicken, and vegan dishes.
One of the kale salads features sauteed veggies, almonds, mint and red cabbage.
The menu also features mixed green salads, including a tropical one, with cherry tomatoes, pineapples, mangoes served with a house lemon vinaigrette.
There is also a “detox” salad featuring mixed greens, red onions, sliced radishes, cranberries, sunflower seeds and served with the house lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Two specialties at Nzuko are the Coromantee Jerk Chicken, with Caribbean spices, and the Nzuko Chicken, in a tomato-spiced sauce.
Both chickens were served for the ribbon cutting ceremony, along with a pan-seared salmon, that featured a ginger-garlic spice. Served along with the chicken and salmon was fried plantains and rice & beans.
The restaurant also serves up chicken wings in four flavors – Buffalo, Jerk, Sassy and Fire Hot.
Nzuko makes a delicious ginger tea and a coconut-ginger cornbread with real corn.
The restaurant also offers a soup of the day for customers, as well as a handful of vegan offerings. There is a black bean burger, coconut lentils, a hummus wrap, a Falafel pocket, a quinoa bowl, and a vegan plate.
Most of the sides are $5. Wraps and most salads are under $9. There are lunch and dinner specials and everything on the menu is under $17.
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