By: Leah Sycoff
My early 5:00 pm dinner began with my squished family of five driving on snow-covered roads. Upon arrival at Grasso’s, a restaurant touting new American cuisine, we were greeted immediately, our coats were collected, and we were escorted to our table. One of the first things I noticed in this notable restaurant was the well-prepared staff, joyous but frugal, that accompanied my family’s exquisite meal. Due to the current weather conditions of snow and impending rain, the restaurant was pretty empty besides the two couples sitting at opposite sides of the dimly-lit room. As I read the nicely organized menu, a singer and her husband, a pianist, walked out and introduced themselves. Their kind encounter and introduction created this warm and friendly environment. They made sure to note that they were open to suggestions for what songs or artists they should perform, but I knew at that moment that I had no need to make any suggestions; anything the inviting couple performed would be great. The room was soon encapsulated with familiar melodies and graceful voices.
The aroma of sweet and savory made my mouth water with excitement; even the water seemed silkier than usual with hints of orange. Although the appetizers haunted our minds, we forewent the enticement as a result of our eagerness for dessert to have a spot in our stomachs’ and looked onto the entree section to order the perfect dish for the particular palette of each person. The waitress re-entered our realm of reality after we had all dove into the details of the menu. My mother ordered zucchini linguine, my father and one of my brothers ordered incredible halibut, my other brother ordered duck, and I ordered a chicken dish. We had a great conversation along with many laughs with our lovely waitress while she was taking our order.
While my family and I eagerly waited for our dishes to arrive, the waitress brought over a basket of bread and a platter of delicious topping for the bread including olive tapenade. This was the perfect start to an absolutely perfect meal. After listening to the lovely music and enjoying the time spent with family, the food came. The thinly spiralized zucchini linguine was a palette of beautiful greens, accompanied with red cherry tomatoes, colorful swiss chard, little kernels of roasted corn, nutty farro, tasty garlic, and, my favorite, white truffle essence. I tried this dish, along with the others, and its flavors were spectacular. The Halibut dish that both my father and brother enjoyed was just as mouth-watering, if not more, than the zucchini linguine. The fish was drizzled with sauce and served over fluffy mashed potatoes and spinach. I, of course, tried this dish as well, and it was astounding; the fish was light and tasty with a perfectly cooked interior and exterior, both crunchy and soft. Along with these dishes was my other brother’s extraordinary duck into which I dived as well. It was roasted not once, but twice and served with roasted butternut squash and mushrooms swirled into brown wild rice. The aesthetically pleasing dish was drizzled with a heavenly cherry brandy sauce. My chicken dish was, in my opinion, worthy of the highest praise. Even just as a simple chicken dish, it was clear the hard work that was put into it. Roasted Brussel sprouts, blissful roasted butternut squash, and a scrumptious cranberry plum sauce all took part in creating my dish, making it rapturous. These dishes were composed of flavors that easily made my family and me beyond happy. The components were obviously well thought out and above expectations.
After the main course, we all shared a few dessert dishes. Knowing how delicious the meal already was, I was ecstatic for the new flavors to come. The chocolatey flavor of the Tiramisu along with the sweet ladyfingers made this dessert ravishing. The warm white chocolate bread pudding was accompanied by a Crème Anglaise and a delightful scoop of vanilla ice cream and in addition to these rhapsodic delicacies was banana’s foster. The waitress wheeled out a roll-out stove and prepared it right in front of us. This was not only fun to watch and incredible to inhale, but also great to learn! This was also served with the ravishing vanilla ice cream. Overall, I would say this was a wonderful restaurant for both unforgettable food and beatific entertainment!
Photo courtesy of coldspringharborvillage.org and Leah Sycoff