Grappa Italian Cafe
151 Main St, Park City, UT 84060
We dined with Grappa on 9/10/10 for our second wedding anniversary, wanting to try something new. I enjoy the restaurants in Park City, including affiliated restaurants Wahso and Chimayo, but I had never been to Grappa. As such, we made a reservation in spite of the somewhat ambivalent reviews. We were very impressed with the hospitality and the location: the restaurant is in a beautiful little historic multi-level building near the top of Main Street. We sat on the second floor looking down main, we were seated promptly, and the service was very attentive and friendly throughout our meal. We started with an assortment of Italian olives, marinated in olive oil herbs and citrus - it came with ""grissini"" which are breadsticks. As far as olives go, these were particularly tasty. We enjoyed a traditional Caprese (heirloom tomatoes, Mozarella, basil, Balsamic vinegar) - not very exciting, but very good. The Grape and Gorgonzola salad (Roasted Walnuts and a Red Wine Vinaigrette) was delicious - the grapes counterbalanced the slight bitterness of the salad perfectly. A tomato soup (with marinated cherry tomatoes) was unremarkable, but loyal to its chief ingredient. A mushroom soup could be described the same way - if you like mushroom, this is your ticket, but it wasn't anything to write home about. Ravioli (Braised veal, beef, and pork, basil, chives, parsley tomato sauce) was okay, not amazing, and the Risotto was a little strange - kind of like a stroganoff flavor with a piece of shrimp and a mussel. A lovely lemon-yogurt sorbet with a mint leaf cleansed our palates, and our main entrees followed: a Pork Chop (very good, best when a bite was paired with the golden raisins and pickled red onion) and a Grilled bavette steak (paired strangely with very bitter and salty brocollini and some kind of bean). The reduction served with each meat entree was delicious, but their accompaniments were lacking - the potatoes served with the pork were bland, and the beans/brocollini served with the beef were odd. The meat was delicious however. Dessert was a refreshing Panna Cotta (rasperries, strawberries, sauce, and the interesting addition of small cubes of raspberry gelatin) and a Chocolate Mousse cake with a refreshing hit of orange. \r
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Grappa, but something was missing. I wanted to be amazed by the food for the prices charged, but everything was just okay. It's the kind of place that I'm happy I patronized, but I won't be in a hurry to return. The ambience is lovely, the wine list is extensive, but the food needs a little more creativity - you can tell that the chef was striving for simple goodness, and he succeeded in a few areas, but could do with a little more creativity.