Happy Monday, folks! For those of you who celebrated them, I hope that you had a wonderful Easter and Passover weekend! In addition to a family-filled Easter Sunday (complete with an epic post-church brunch!), this weekend also included an amazing birthday dinner! Since my birthday falls on a Wednesday this year (ZOMG! TWO MORE DAYS!), and my Mama’s going out of town next weekend, we decided to have Part I of my epic 24th birthday celebration a little early. (You should all really prepare yourselves for how many times you’re going to hear about my birthday over the next week. Heh. Hehe.) It’s become kind of a birthday tradition go out to dinner at a be-still-my-foodie-heart type of restaurant, and this year was no different. Where did this wondrous event take place, you ask?
Why, Graffiato! (Photo cred for most of the pics in this post, save for a few food ones, goes to my brother Ben!) I’ve been wanting to try out Top Chef All-Star Mike Isabella’s restaurant ever since it opened. Finally, I had an opportunity to do with my whole family (minus Taylor, plus Sean) in tow!
General consensus of the restaurant? Awesome! Both experience- and food-wise, it was SO much better than our experience at Founding Farmers last year.
Graffiato has prosecco on tap!
The restaurant itself is pretty tiny – it’s a narrow rectangle with a long bar and maybe like eight (if that!) booths lining the wall. The 7 of us occupied the biggest table in the place, which was next to the prep/serve area of the kitchen — always fun for me. The decor is kind of dark and industrial, and the general feel is pretty casual. There was loud 90s rock music playing over the speakers (Smashing Pumpkins, etc) and the service was a little on the slow side at first. That said, the quality of the food MORE than made up for that in my opinion! OMG THE FOOD.
Flatbread with pepperoni dipping sauce
Potatoes with lemon and parmesan; brussels sprouts with maple, pancetta, and egg; burrata with cipollini onions; wild mushroom soup with smoked mozzarella arancini (!)
Graffiato serves Italian small plates and pizzas, so between the seven of us, we got to try a little of almost everything on the menu. It was glorious.
Crispy pig head; lamb fettucine; lobster risotto; marinated octopus (!!)
Sucking pig lasagna; “Papa Smurf” pizza with potatoes, prosciutto, caramelized onion, and gorgonzola; “Countryman” pizza with black truffle, fontina, and a soft egg
Ben also got a delicious hanger steak, and Dan got a caesar salad that had cream cheese-filled croutons (I KNOW.), neither of which I got pictures of. The highlights of the meal for me were the brussels sprouts (duh), mushroom soup (so creamy and delicious), the lobster risotto (incredible!), and the grilled octopus (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!). I also LOVED the soft egg on Jenny’s pizza, it was so creamy and took on an almost cheesy consistency!
Since it was tapas-style all the plates came out at different times, so in between noshing, I got to open a few presents too!
And before I knew it, it was time for dessert!
Did you want some cake with that cleavage? Bahahahaha.
We ordered the warm chocolate cake, which came with a candle in it and salted caramel gelato on the side (epic), and the blood orange cheesecake.
OM NOM NOM.
An amazing (and decadent!) start to the most awesome week of the year! I’m going to really have to reel it in the rest of the week, since Sean’s also taking me out on my actual birthday (Wednesday), and then I’ll be drinking my weight in Butterbeer come Saturday! AUGH I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY! 😀
Are you a birthday person?