Ultimately, we wound up going to Grace, since I'd been wanting to try there for some time now, and was willing to gamble on a relative unknown. To be brief, we had a wonderful meal and a great experience. I'd go back, perhaps when I sell 20,000 copies!
They were able to squeeze us in at 6:30, since I'd called that morning to make a reservation and the choices were limited. We arrived 20 minutes late but were shown right to our table. There were many empty tables when we arrived, but by the time we left, every table was full. As Fats Waller said, The joint is jumpin'.
We started with the black chickpea salad, and a rabbit pappardelle, which was a special. The pappardelle was nice and chewy, and the chunks of ground rabbit tasted of very finely seasoned sausage. The black chickpeas were smaller than ordinary chickpeas, and served slightly warm with tiny warm tomatoes. Even though the salad was served with some leaves of romaine and whole anchovy filets, I was happy that the anchovy flavor wasn't overwhelming.
I had a special grilled pork chop and the SO had the wild boar with spaetzle. The boar was tasty, but the one bite I had didn't linger in my memory nearly as long as the spaetzle. Oh, God, was that good. I could eat a bowlful right now and be a very happy authoress. My pork chop was a mountain of meat, and I wound up finishing the sides well before I had made a dent in the chop. (I would say that 80% of the pork chop is now residing in my fridge to be eaten for lunch or dinner tonight.) On top of the pork was a small chiffonade of cooked greens, and the accompaniment was a mixture of posole, black-eyed peas, corn, and smoky bits of pork. It was exceptionally delicious and rich, deeply flavored with a smoky perfume. I was happy with my selection.
For dessert, we couldn't resist the doughnuts. They came out on a glass plate, three small glazed doughnuts that we consumed rapidly. The big surprize was the milk--sweet and not too heavy. We tried to figure out what, exactly, made it so tasty. Ideas we batted around included melted ice cream or some kind of creme anglaise. When we asked our server, she said it was whole milk with a dollop of marshmallow creme on top, confirming one of my SO's hypotheses.
To drink, we had sparkling water, and I had a Chimay Red while he had a porter. I do drink wine, but it turns on me quickly to give awful headaches, something that doesn't happen with beer. So it was nice to see another upscale restaurant with a thoughtful beer selection.
I couldn't resist seeing the check, and saw that our meal came to around $120 before tip, a luxury but not an excessively expensive one.
The room was lovely and not too loud, even at capacity, the service warm and attentive without being overbearing, and even the other patrons were gracious and friendly. It was a special evening that, I hope, I'll get to repeat with my other books.
Thanks to all the Hounds for their advice, and a special thank you to a few that actually bought my book after my original posting! Your generosity is appreciated.
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