Since we didn't get enough to eat at the Chow Fiesta (lol), we went to Il Grano to decompress Saturday night. I had the best single meal I've ever had there and it showed what the kitchen can do when Sal is on his game and flush with simple ingredients. One of the special starters was grilled Seppia and Santa Barbara prawns. The week before on the seafood crudo they had grilled fresh sardines with a light vinegrette, so I asked for a platter of grilled Seppia and some of those sardines (no prawns). The Seppia was tender with a good toothsome chew and nice char on the edges. The tentacles were deliciously charred and wonderfully crunchy. The sardines were tremendous, lightly grilled with a char flavor and oh so tender. The vinegarette was done with a light hand and really complimented the sweetness of the fish. Very satisfying.
They had a special white truffle tasting menu (forgot to ask the price) one course of which was a white truffle risotto. Of course I had to have that risotto as a main course. So few places (Valentino comes to mind) can execute a flawless risotto, and I've had some pretty bad ones at Il Grano. This one was perfectly done, the texture and creaminess in perfect balance. I got a surprisingly generous shave of truffle, covering the entire dish and then some. Ate the whole thing and mopped up the dregs with their rather unremarkable bread (made remarkable when soaked in risotto leavings). $65 for a bowl of rice, sure, but I've had the same thing at Valentino for $95 and this was every bit as good. A very, very simple meal but it soared. They'll be having a white truffle night in November, Tuesday the 16th iirc. Sal got so excited when he was describing it that he was positivly prancing around.