Friday, June 14, 2013

Grateful for Gratzzi

Our celebratory meal for the Mister's birthday was at Gratzzi's Italian Grille.  We were quite lucky to get a table for his dinner, downtown St. Petersburg was beyond packed with movers and shakers.  It was a squeeze in reservation but the Maitre-d and hostess was most accommodating in getting us a booth along the wall.

We were greeted promptly by our server and our cocktails were quickly brought to the table.  Despite the bustle of many diners, we did not have to wait at any point in our evening.  Service was seamless, proficient and timed beautifully to match our pace.

The Mister had a fine appetizer of stuffed mushrooms, filled with fontina and parmesan.  My daughter and I chose two appetizers to share, the Carciofini ala Romana and the Calamari Steak Agrodolce.  The artichoke was delicately battered and dressed with a superior Asiago cream sauce.  The filling of mascarpone and goat cheese was light and deliciously oozing.  The grilled calamari steak was tender to the tooth and the slight smoke of the grill married beautifully with the hot cherry peppers. figs, garlic, honey and balsamic drizzle.
A very fine start to an outstanding meal!  My apologies for no glamour shots of the appetizers, we scarfed them down like wolves on the open plain.  Me, bad.  There is a distinct hint of heat in the grilled calamari steak that I adored!  Those hot cherry peppers made it yummy for me.

The Mister as the guest of honor was enamored with the option of the Chef's Mixed Grill as his entree.
He was thrilled when presented with a filet mignon, a strip steak and two lovely gorgeous lamb chops.  He was in carnivore heaven.  He ignored his finely made house salad to save room for every bite of meat and companion sauces and the smooth garlic mashed potatoes.

Our darling wee one chose the Zuppa Di Pesce.  A jam-packed bowl of mussels, shrimp, scallops, clams, calamari and the Chef's catch in a zesty marinara sauce over linguini noodles.  It was a bowl of steamy fresh seafood that was well appreciated by our girl.  And she ate her wonderful salad, clearly a girl who matches her mother's taste in a well made, well dressed green. There was a lovely assortment of goodies tucked into the fresh greens, including cucumber slices, marinated artichokes, ripe tomatoes, olives (be still my heart).
I tried the Chicken Isabella.  I love the idea of grilled chicken, proscuitto. sage, asparagus and goat cheese.  It was a nice enough combination but it was not mind blowing in execution.  I, too, enjoyed the house salad with the nice mix of greens, cici beans and tart house dressing.

Since it was The Mister's big birthday, he was treated to a lovely serenade of Buona Fortuna and a SLAB of chocolate cake!!  See the joy on his face. Um, he was unwilling to share.  Oh well, I found my favorite on the menu.  Darling Daughter was too full to try the Tiramisu.  Another time, perhaps?

I can not resist a lemon dessert and had a lovely piece of lemon cake.  Oh so wickedly good. Last special treat of the night was a shot of limoncello, a great end to a lovely meal.  We spent $220.00 for three appetizers, three entrees, bottle of wine, the lemon cake and 2 splits of champagne, including a generous tip for the most excellent service.  Darling daughter paid for cocktails and contributed to the tip.

A lovely time for the family.Gratzzi Italian Grille on Urbanspoon

Quote of the day:

Fettucini alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults.

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