In my last post about Il Grano I made the comment that this was a “must go” restaurant. That comment absolutely still holds true – Chef/Owner Sal Marino is amazing! We invited good friends to join us for a meal at Il Grano and a 4 hour meal felt like 4 minutes – amazing company and extraordinary food.
A table just for our wines! John forgot to take a picture of each wine but this is some of what we had.
Not too shabby!
Now to Sal’s wonderful food. We just let Sal devise a tasting menu.
On the left a purple carrot tart, lemon, mascarpone and on the right wild big eye tuna toro, blood orange sauce
Sal’s crudo plate – nobody does crudo better than Sal. Starting from the right: Scallop with saffron aioli, Tuna with schezwan pepper sauce, Japanese red snapper with squid ink sauce and not pictured (my photographer wasn’t great) Luna oyster with mandarin sauce
Grilled Santa Barbara prawns, prawn roe, arugala salad, horseradish jelly on the far right – absolutely spectacular
Razor clams, Japanese yuzu kosho – “Yuzu Kosho (aka yuzugosho) is a Japanese seasoning paste made by blending together yuzu fruit zest, chile peppers and salt.”
Pea soup, olive oil, salt, pepper, edible flower – Sal uses no dairy just the pristine ingredient handled brilliantly
Grilled Spanish mackerel, needle sauce, bluesde spinach – look at the pristine quality of that fish handled with a deft hand
Maine lobster, julienne of zucchini, lobster reduction, tagliatelle
Ravioli stuffed with capon and beef, eggplant sauce, sautéed radicchio, pine nuts
Rabbit loin, sausage, brussel sprouts
Apple strudel, raisin, pineapple, caramel sauce, vanilla gelato
This was an A+ meal – Sal is an incredible chef who features the best ingredients and knows how to use those ingredients that brings out their best qualities. He is not a chef that throws 30 ingredients on a plate and hopes that something will catch your fancy. This is a chef’s chef.