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Complimentary admission and the meal was provided. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
I was invited to this event and unfortunately could not attend. Fellow Tristate Bloggers member Krista of The NYC Talon was kind enough to stand in for me. This is a guest post written by Krista. All of the photos are hers and used with permission.
When you think of an Italian restaurant I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is spaghetti and meatballs, tiramisu, candlelight and a checkered tablecloth. Dinner at Grace’s Trattoria is not so much Italian in the Disney sense but rather about honoring the Italian affinity for knowing what flavors are timeless, which are trendy, and how to present those flavors to diners. I was recently invited to a press tasting at Grace’s to sample what they’ll be dishing up this season.
Paired with wine from Whiskey and Wine off 69, our starter was Tuna & Avocado Tartare with Mango Mole and Lotus Root – the avocado was delightfully creamy, the tuna was delicious, and the mango mole was an exciting addition to the dish.
Next was Grace’s Trattoria’s Signature Tagliatelle with Maine Lobster, Morels, and Spring Herbs – it was easily the best pasta dish that I’ve had in a while, the sort of dish that makes you wonder where it’s been your whole life. We were joined by owner Grace Balducci Doria, of the well-known Balducci’s and the ‘First Lady of Gourmet Food Retail’ in her own right, shared my enjoyment of this particular dish. “The lobster is just so sweet and tender. See, I would never serve anything that I wouldn’t eat myself” she commented with conviction.
The next dish that followed was a Pan Seared Arctic Char served with Asparagus Tips, Israeli Couscous, and Meyer-Lemon Pistachio Vinaigrette. The Arctic Char sort of resembled salmon but was much milder. The flavors were really on point, I have to admit I’m dying for some more of the Meyer-Lemon Pistachio Vinaigrette!
I have to give it to my dining companions, when a waiter arrived to offer freshly ground pepper, one of the gentlemen I was seated with turned him away saying “I will not insult the chef by doing so – after eating here I can tell you, he knows what he’s doing.” I absolutely agree. Executive Chef Joe Trama’s Roasted Rack of Colorado Lamb served with fingerling potatoes and root vegetables was a thing to behold. I loved it.
For dessert we were served Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic – the vanilla beans popped in my mouth and the addition of strawberries and balsamic reduction made this Italian dessert an extra special ending to my evening. I can’t wait to return.
Grace’s is moving to a newer (larger) home – you’ll soon find them occupying 7,700 square feet of retail space over on 68th street!