Saturday, July 4, 2015

Il Grillo: Carpaccio Plates and Pasta Mix-and-Match

Click to read my blogpost for Edible Monterey Bay about Carmel's newest restaurant, Il Grillo. We headed back there last night for a prix fixe dinner. It was a fantastic way to end a truly maddening week.

For the dinner, we could choose one of the carpaccio plates, a soup or salad, one of their mix-and-match pasta combinations, and a dessert. Making a choice was agonizing. See! The boys read the menu over and over and over before deciding.

We started with wine and Italian sodas. In very authentic enoteca style, you just pick red or white. There are no labels, there is no talk of varietals. Just red. Or white. Naturally, I picked red. 

For our carpaccio selections, we had two plates of the octopus, watermelon, onion, chili oil, lemon, and mint.

We tried the porchetta, summer melon, padron peppers, onion, anchovy, and colatura aioli.

D ordered the halibut, cucumber, pole beans, capers, basil, and Schoch yogurt.

Last time all we had were the carpaccio plates. This time we tried Chef Brad's pork bone broth with pork liver Toscano agnolotti and two salads, one with an egg yolk vinaigrette and one with a gorgonzola vinaigrette.

For the third course, Chef Brad had mix-and-match pasta. We could choose between his ricotta gnocchi, tagliatelle, pappardelle, and gluten-free. Then we could choose between Chianti-braised lamb ragu, braised rabbit and guanciale ragu, beef and pork bolognese, wild boar pancetta sugo, wild mushroom & cavolo nero, and pollen pork sausage and early girl tomatoes.

Both boys opted for the wild boar. R had it atop the gnocchi while D opted for the tagliatelle. 

Jake tried the pollen sausage over tagliatelle.

But the lamb ragu - I had it over the gnocchi - won my heart and Jake's. He kept sneaking bites from my plate.

Though we were stuffed, dessert came with the dinner, so we tried their cream puff with a marscapone filling, a nutella crostata, an apricot crostata, and their tiramisu.

It was another delicious evening with food from our favorite culinary team. Can't wait to go back. They'll be offering those pasta combinations as to-go in a couple of weeks. Jake said, "Whenever you don't feel like cooking, you can come get whatever pasta with the lamb. Okay?" Okay.

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