Monday, June 20, 2011

Graffiato...makin' it from scratch

Paul Antolli, Mike Isabella, and me!

Congratulations Mike Isabella and team. You have a winner on your hands. I know that it didn't come without a lot of preparation, sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears.

Putting together a good restaurant is hard. Putting together a great restaurant is much harder. It's the details that make the difference. Mike and his team sweat the details.

The menu is mostly small plates. We started out with the king crab leg, which was kind of a King Crab Casino, with some crab salad to the side. This was the chicken thighs with pepperoni sauce. This is the one that made Gail all flush when she talked about it on Top Chef. I decided I liked it so much I threw it right on my shirt. Luckily, I saved a piece to taste and it was good. Sous vide the chicken then crisp it in the oven. Excellent preparation.

Mike gets his meats from a variety of sources, most of them local. Some were merely good, others were dynamite.

You talkin' to me?

I'm not sure what this is, but Jackie, who was sitting next to me at the pizza bar, ordered it. Obviously there are a couple of slices of lardo, or "white prosciutto" for the people who are uncomfortable with the notion that they are eating pure pig fat. It looked great.

This is the grilled octopus. Perfectly done. Nice char, good sauce, tender.

This is Paul and Mandy...good friends who drove us downtown and joined us for dinner. This is the head-on shrimp. It's served in a beautiful sauce that incorporates the ends and shavings from some of their meats from their charcuterie. Very tasty. Another one of Jackie's dishes...not sure what it was, but it looked great.

This was a slice of the truffled pie with a sunny-side duck egg. My favorite of the night.

A little seasoning...

Here is Mike's Agnolotti, made with sweet corn. Light, flavorful, gorgeous.

Another shot of that truffled pie. I could eat one of these every day....

Family friendly with good desserts? Who knew?

The prices are reasonable, the food is unexpectedly good, and it's a great looking place. Check it out when you're downtown. They open Thursday 6/23 to the public.

If you go, tell them where you read about it!

Until next time....

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