Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fallen from Grace.

Last year, when Grace Restaurant began to send out press releases, I looked forward to seeing what Fort Worth's newest downtown restaurant would be. My only concern with the publicity was the possibility of Grace over-promoting themselves, because if you are not what you have promoted, the bad news travels fast. And frankly, I want any new downtown business to do well.

When friends of mine, whose opinion I respect, visited Grace and sent in a review, I thought I would pass it on, though somewhat reluctantly, because I think it is safe to say that their feelings were mixed, and that overall, they were disappointed.

The following is the review from Sunni and her husband, Nick:

We went to Grace last night and had a nice evening, but had a mixed experience with the food. . . the service left much to be desired, very rough around the edges, not knowledgeable,
no polish . . . the bartender was friendly, which was a nice surprise from the usual "too cool to be nice" attitude . . . and mixed a good martini according to Nick's specifications.

Nick -- Cold Smoked Salmon. Should be called Salmon Sashimi- I have never been served sashimi masquerading as smoked. It had great flavor, but call it what it is!
Sunni -- Citrus Roasted Beets. Very disappointing. I love beets when they are treated right. The beets had no flavor . . . dressing was too sweet and had none of the advertised shallot flavor . . . . bummer of the evening. For a delicious beet salad, try the Vault's Roasted Beet and Pear.

We told the sommelier we loved Oregon wine, especially Williamette pinots, and she came up with the 2006 Gypsy Dancer Pinot Noir. It was great -- light and spicy. Nick said, "really clear" and I agree. Great "food" wine.

Nick -- Bone-in rib eye (medium - hot red center with pink edges). Not impressed, none of the richness expected with a rib eye, too charred on the outside (second miss of the night).
Sunni -- The 8 ounce filet (medium) was better than the last two steaks I have had at Del Frisco's, just a hint of fennel on the outside, velvety smooth and tender. Delicious.

Baby Spinach, with garlic and cured meat. Great, no bitterness, sauteed but still with a hint of crunch.
Roasted fingerling potatoes, with brussel sprouts. Delicious but extremely rich due to the bacon grease, potatoes tender and flavorful, sprouts roasty, and not bitter, with a slight crunch.

Hot fudge sundae -- vanilla bean ice cream, in house chocolate ganache and marshmallows, butterscotch. Great. We chose this because of the in-house marshmallows and were not disappointed. Evidently the ice cream (Henry's Organic) is made in Plano. I have been wanting to make marshmallows since the Star Telegram ran a recipe around the end of October.

The meal, with a $72 bottle of wine, came to about $200.

I included all the positive remarks from Sunni and edited, with her permission, the overall review. When I asked Sunni if they would return to Grace, given the experience, she replied, that if other diners reviewed Grace more positively than she had, that she would, but that Nick would need a lot more convincing.

So there you have it.

Thank you, Sunni. If others have visited Grace and would like to share an opinion please email me.


pete said...

Great write-up!

I think Grace has the potential to be a GREAT restaurant, but I came away from my last experience less than impressed.

Granted, I didn't sit in the dining room, but the appetizers being served in the lounge were mediocre at best. Certainly nothing special.

And don't get me started on the fact that when I ordered a martini, the bartender asked me what kind of Vodka I wanted...

Lynn said...

Wow, *way* out of my budget, even though I do not drink. Y'all will just have to go without me...