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Grace review

patty | Feb 28, 2003 01:25 PM

I ate at Grace, in the old Muse space on Beverly last night, just the second night it was open. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe ate quietly with another couple in back. It was already packed on the second night! They have redone the chilly Muse space beautifully with lots of soft browns and nice design touches. It's a very comfortable room that did get noisier as the night wore on but not uncomfortably so. The owner, Richard, also has The Brentwood restaurant. The menu was vaguely similar to Opaline just down the block -- standard fishes and meats but with creative, Mediterranean-type touches, but less fussy than Opaline. I had a terrine of blue cheese wrapped in poached pears with romaine to start, similar flavors to the familiar blue cheese/pear/lettuce salad you get everywhere but stronger flavors and nicer presentation. My main course was sea bass with mussels, clams, pancetta and orzo -- flavorful and light but not transcendent. We tasted a few other things -- great nutty roasted parsnips, wild mushrooms, an amuse of scallops in citrus sauce, squash soup with soy puree which was loved by our vegan friends but tasted of soy to me. They plan to have a vegan starter and entree every night. There were some amazing deserts, my favorite was a pistachio kulfi ice cream with a tart sauce. Also a great cajeta bread pudding and several other imaginative choices. Sorry, I didn't get a look at the wine list as my friend brought wine. In interests of full disclosure, this was a press dinner, so I don't know if I'd feel exactly the same if I'd paid, but I'd say it's definitely worth a visit if you like comfortable, upscale places -- the atmosphere was really nice and there were enough interesting things on the menu to try again. Service was uniformly excellent.

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