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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.


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


For starters:

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.

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:

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.

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


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



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