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Grace last night (long)

JC | Oct 8, 2004 02:05 PM

My friends and I had reservations at Grace last night, so I went despite being a little under the weather. I am not the most adventurous eater, and am particularly finicky about texture - for example, I tend not to like anything mushy. Combine that with the fact that I was sick, and this is perhaps one very unreliable review. Anyhow...

Here's everything we had, and what I or my friends thought of them:

Heirloom tomato salad: excellent, wish tomatoes that good were easier to come by (farmer's markets aren't always convenient for us).
Thai lobster soup: also excellent, though my friend didn't go into detail.
Foie gras two ways: the flavor of the foie gras was wonderful, but the rest of it was a little overpowering for my taste. Also, I've only had foie gras once before, and previously it was a little more firm, and I prefer it that way - the foie gras at Grace was extremely soft to me (keep in mind I really don't know what qualifies as "good" foie gras, I could very well be a moron who enjoys bad foie gras). Very interesting and rather complex flavors though, and I'm sure others would enjoy it more. The huckleberry compote was delicious, possibly better than the lingonberries at the defunct Gustaf Anders.

Salmon, medium rare: I didn't get a report on it, but it seemed like my friend enjoyed it. He sure finished it quickly. He did mention that he thought the appetizers were, in general, more interesting than the entrees, based on what he ordered and the menu descriptions.
Rack of elk special, medium rare: I got to try a piece, and I thought it was rather lacking in flavor (or perhaps overpowered by the char, which was VERY strong - I could easily smell it from where I was sitting, and my friend said he had to scrape a lot of it off). It was very tender though. I prefer the red deer I had at Restaurant & Cafe Nytorv in Copenhagen, or the venison at Gustaf Anders (though neither were racks). I will be going to Saddle Peak Lodge soon, so I can do some sort of elk comparison, even though they are from different parts of the animal.
Duck: the meat was soft and flavorful. The skin was a little hard to chew. The prosciutto wrapped fig was very good - I'm not a big fan of fig, but I thought it matched well with the smoky flavor of the prosciutto. The quince was also very good. I wasn't too fond of the baby turnips or the chestnuts (at least, that's what I think they were) - besides being a little too mushy for my tastes, I discovered I just don't really like turnips or chestnuts. I can't say they were poorly prepared or anything like that, just I happened not to like them.

Jelly doughnuts: my friends are in love. One of the best desserts ever.
Peach crisp: also a wonderful dessert. Everything about it was as good as it could be. Just the right amount of sweetness. I can't think of anything else to say, because I'm on meds and I suck at writing.

Total, with one cocktail and one glass of wine (two bottles of sparkling water were accidentally left off the bill (I was on medication, and one friend was extremely tired, so only one friend ordered alcohol)), was ~$162 before tax and tip (left a big tip partly to help cover the water). The service and decor were excellent, except our first bottle of water took a rather long time to come out. The noise level wasn't as low as I would have liked, but certainly acceptable (we sat along the wall, a few tables away from the wine racks).

When perusing the menu at a fine dining establishment, I tend to skip over the fish and chicken entrees immediately (I love red meat, game meat, and shellfish, and rarely will order anything else). At Grace, I found that the remaining entrees all had something about them that I feared I might not like. Based on that, my experience last night with what I ordered, and the fact that I can't afford to eat at such places often, I'm a little hesitant to return, unless I had a date who wanted to go. I think it is an excellent restaurant, and would expect most Chowhounds to enjoy it. But perhaps it just is not for me. (My friends feel the same way.)

Link: http://www.gracerestaurant.com/

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