Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Grape and Grain-

Grape and Grain ( is cozy laid back wine and tapas bar tucked into the east village on 6th street between Avenue B and C. This dark dimly lit restaurant gives off very relaxing vibe, with brick walls and dim lighting provided by old fashion chandeliers, you can’t help but pop in, at least for a drink. Inside of our table was a drawer filled with secret notes and poems from past diners. Have a great time reading this hilarious hidden messages, especially the one about the Jewish transvestite going to McDonalds (really funny and includes a picture). Don’t forget to add your own message to the drawer before you leave.

Grape and Grain offers a nice and reasonably priced wine selection, so pop open a bottle or have a glass before deciding which delicious item on the menu to try. The presentation of the dishes was beautiful. We started with the tuna Carpaccio which was sliced into very thick pieces of tuna, and accompanied by a jalapeƱo infused citrus vinaigrette and pickled avocados, a very bold dish. The meatballs did not disappoint, they were cooked perfectly and the roasted chicken salad was filled with flavor. Known for the pizza’s, we tried the margarita and Portobello. They were both wonderful , and made on a delicious foccacia bread. We capped off our meal with the apple dessert. It consisted of a warm apple tart with apple sauce covering the top (that was a little weird, could have left off the apple sauce- was never a fan of adding it to things), but the cinnamon ice cream truly made up for the extra sauce. A wonderful way to kick off the week, would recommend this place for a group of friends or for a cute date night.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cozy up at Perbacco

Perbacco( ) Is an adorable, cozy romantic Italian restaurant tucked away in the East Village. The brick walls are lit by soft candles and there is light music playing in the background making this restaurant great for any occasion. There are a few long tables in the middle of the restaurant, so it would be great for groups too. Our waiter was very helpful with selecting a wine from the impressive wine list. We went with a Gavi (always works for us).

We toasted to the New Year and then our cheese plate arrived. It was beautiful (see picture below), an 18 month aged parmigiano reggiano, sweet gorgonzola, d.o.p, birro valtellina and castelmagno. Each cheese was paired to perfection with a honey, mustard, pepper spread and celery spread. The salad was very refreshing, the touch of honey really completed it. Then the meatballs arrived… they were delectable, absolutely cooked to perfection they melted in your mouth. Definitely one of the best meatballs we have had yet.

For our main course we had the Risotto al Tartufo and the seared tuna. There were so many truffles on top of and mixed in to the risotto it was a wonderful delicious surprise. The tuna was sliced into thin curls resting on top of a bed of chopped endive. It was cooked to perfection and paired beautifully with the endive.

Since it was early we fired we would have another bottle of wine with our dessert (good move!), the Hamburger Di Cioccolata (homemade chocolate slider) was not only the most adorable delicious dessert, and it was perfectly disguised! It literally looked like a burger and fries! The “bun” was angel food cake; the “lettuce/onions/tomato” was made up of caramelized apples with a light caramel sauce and the “meat” was a thick chocolate mousse. Next to this mini sweet slider were “fries and ketchup”. The “fries” were thinly sliced pears and the “ketchup” was a warm raspberry sauce, truly a beautiful presentation.

Whether you are looking for a quite cozy date night, dinner with your friends or just authentic excellent Italian food, head to Perbacco, you won’t be disappointed.