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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dinner @ The Grand

The Grand is another one of those places we've somehow managed never to visit regardless of the fact that it's a place we've wanted to try. It may have taken a few years but we finally got there.

Finding a parking spot around here isn't that easy so come early in case you have to drive around hunting for one.

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It's the revenge of those uncomfortable bentwood chairs again.

bread and olives

Between the menu and the daily specials it took a while to settle on something to eat - way too many things sounded delcious.

Picking a wine was a little easier - we settled for this 2001 Strozzi Sodole from San Gimigiano

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For starters:

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I have the Pizzoccheri - the traditional Valtellina style buckwheat pasta with savoy cabbage, potato and taleggio served with brown butter, garlic and sage ($18)

I loved this dish - The taleggio has melted to just glaze the pasta, there's a light studding of just boiled cubes of potato and barely braised cabbage. Crisp sage and brown butter round the dish off wonderfully.

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Paalo has the Vitello Tonnato - poached baby veal with tuna and anchovy sauce

It's hard to make this dish look "pretty" but it certainly was very tasty.


For Mains:

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I have one of the specials - half boned pigeon with a pork and veal stuffing served with parmesan risotto and blackberries.

The risotto was excellent - beautifully creamy and the rice was actually cooked correctly. None of those crunchy grains or chalky texture that you get in so many faux risottos.
The pigeon meat was excellent - strongly flavoured yet tender, some almost pate like. The stuffing was moist with a surprisingly light texture.

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Paalo had the Rabbit of the Day - rabbit wrapped in pancetta and grilled served with a panzanella salad.

The only complaint was that the bread in the panzanella was just way too hard - they hadn't been allowed to soak enough in the dressing so were more like jawbreakers.

Dessert was easy - we both ordered this

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Italian Doughnuts filled with pistachio ice cream served with baked oranges ($12) - an extremely satisfying end to the meal.

We've both been suitably impressed and look forward to returning.

The details:
The Grand
335 Burnley Street, Richmond
Phone: 9429 2530


Open: 7 days, noon-3pm and 6pm-10pm

web: www.grandrichmond.com.au

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