Our usual style at Il Grano is to say to Sal, chef/owner, you cook and we’ll eat. We are right in the middle of tomato season and many of the dishes featured tomatoes, all from Sal’s garden. This menu was an ode to summer.
Before we started our meal, Sal came out with a huge piece of Kobe, letting us know what he had in mind toward the end of our meal. He was like a proud papa and made sure that we saw that the markings said Japan. This was not Wagyu.
First Course – Anchovies, yellow bell peppers, Heirloom tomatoes and red onion slices – light, fresh, ingredient-driven
Second Course – Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Dungeness Crab and Micro Celery – Again summer in a bowl
Third Course – Japanese Snapper served sashimi style and topped with oven-dried tomatoes, Burrata cheese and basil puree – It is so obvious that Sal goes to the Japanese fish market every morning – absolutely sashimi quality fish.
Fourth Course – Lightly Grilled Maine Scallops, Lightly Grilled Blue Fun Tuna with arugala and black truffle sauce – This was an A dish and that black truffle sauce was perfect with the tuna and scallops.
Fifth Course – Heirloom Tomato Salad – I hope that I got the varieties correctly as Sal was rattling off the names very quickly. Starting at the 1:00 o’clock position –Green Zebra, Early Girl, Moonglow and Cherokee, Sunrise, Sweet 1000 with Burrata. (As an aside, the woman at the table next to us ordered a green salad and insisted that there be no tomatoes. Boy, did her eyes open wide when this was served.) Delicious
Sixth Course – Candy-shaped Ravioli with buttara. The ravioli was filled with mozzarella and mozzarella cream. The saucing was a tomato and basil sauce.
Inside of the ravioli
Seventh Course – Wild Japanese Snapper that Sal picked up that morning at the Fish Market.
Snapper – simply grilled
Sal “works” on the presentation tableside.
Plated – I honestly don’t remember the accompaniments – I just got so excited seeing the fish that I forgot to take any notes.
Eighth Course Grilled Albacore Tuna with Spinach. I can’t read my notes re the saucing.
Ninth course – Dover Sole from Japan with fingerling potatoes
Tenth course – Kobe Beef from Japan with matsutake mushrooms, cauliflower and truffle sauce
Eleventh course – Peach Filo with Gelato and Raspberry sauce
An excellent meal – completely ingredient-driven. This is not haute cuisine, just delicious food presented simply.