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Il Grano tasting menu

kevin | Aug 18, 2004 04:50 AM

Went to Il Grano for lunch today after much incessant hallyballoo about this corner italian joint. asked for the tasting menu and they had it, i also asked for the price on it so that there would be no confusion when the check arrived (esp. since a previous poster mentioned how they didn't tell him that they were going to charge a lot more for splitting up the appetizers). anyways, service was pretty good.

1st course:

The Crudo of raw Italian sashimi - it was very interesting good stuff, a lot of the fish supposedly imported in from Italy, a couple of tartares one tuna, the other salmon, and slices of various different fishes slicked with olive oil and maybe a smidgen of salt.

2nd course:

Grilled large Santa Barbara spot prawns - the meat in these were quite tiny but oh so delicious, really great stuff and it came cooked in a little bit of butter, and was served with some fresh tomatoes and greens dressed lightly in olive oil.

3rd course:

Celery root and mashed potato ravioli topped with shaved black truffes and served in a mushroomy cream sauce - very very good, delicious stuff, esp. the sauce. nice almost sweetness to the ravioli. but alas only two ravioli present could have definitely eaten quite a few more.

4th course:

Three pieces of cooked fish: whitefish, a sturgeon, and a salmon with a drizzled reduction of Riesling wine surrounding the plate. The sauce was great on this but the cooked pieces of fish were slightly boring, esp. the salmon.

5th course; dessert

A peach sorbet and carmelized apples in crepes. The peach sorbet had the delicious pure essence of peachyness, this is one sorbet that is actually thankfully made from real fruit, if you can believe it. I'm not usually taken with apple pies and apple tarts, etc. but the crepes were actually pretty good for what it's worth if a little too sweet on the downside.

All in all, a pretty darn good meal. I think the tasting menu may be the way to go here, the server also mentioned that in the evening they sometimes serve tasting of up to 12 courses. Maybe will try that in the future. A look at the actual lunch menu though did not prove to be terribly exciting.

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