Review By: Brittany McCombs -
On my first date with my now boyfriend, we met up for dinner and drinks. Somehow he had gotten over the speed bump of my tardiness (90 minutes late…I got lost!) and we were having an awesome time. So, he suggested we sit down to get dinner at the bar we were at but I didn’t like anything on the menu and was really craving chicken parm.
We went to the first restaurant that he thought would have it, Amina in Fort Greene. I enjoyed my dish but he insisted that there was another, better Italian place that had slipped his mind initially, called Graziella’s.
Four months and a new relationship later, we finally went on what I’m sure will be the first of many visits to the popular Fort Greene restaurant.
Once you get passed the bar (which unfortunately only serves wine and beer), you walk into the dimly lit, cozy dining room. Having already stalked the menu the whole week leading up to dinner (obviously), I knew exactly what I wanted as soon as we sat down.
RJ and I shared Tomato & Mozzarella and Fried Oysters to start and both were delicious. The oysters were perfectly seasoned and not chewy, like they can be at another popular Italian restaurant in the hood that shall go nameless. You know who you are!
Combine the appetizers, with our bottle of wine, and what seemed like a whole loaf of bread, and I was already pretty full. But being the trooper that I am, I rallied for our Entrées.
RJ got the Gnocchi Gorgonzola which is potato-filled pasta dumplings served with gorgonzola cream sauce and a side of meatballs. I went with the old faithful, meat covered in cheese and sauce. This time my meat of choice was veal.
RJ’s pasta was good but he did pour a gallon of parmesan on what was already a pretty cheesy dish so I don’t think I got to taste it the way the chef truly intended. The sauce was very rich and his meatball side was a tasty compliment to his cheese-drowned pasta.
My veal parm was truly the best that I have ever had. I guess RJ really did know what he was talking about when he said he needed to take me here! It was a big portion but not so big that I couldn’t finish it. I took a short intermission after my first piece and was right back at it!
There was just the right amount of cheese and sauce on the veal. Sometimes, usually when you get takeout Italian, it can seem like they just took all the mozzarella and marina they had in the store and melted it on your meat. I love mozzarella and marina just as much as the next person but I hate it when it’s so much that I can’t taste and enjoy my chicken or veal. Not the case here. I tasted every bit of flavor and seasoning on the veal, and the linguini and marina that I ordered with it was just as good.
Because I hadn’t eaten enough already, we decided to get desert. I couldn’t decide so I got two: One that I knew I would like and one that I would make RJ finish after I had a few spoonfuls.
First I had the lemon sorbet which was served in a frozen lemon rind. I’ve had a lot of sorbets before, but I have never had it served in the rind which was a nice touch. It was sweet and refreshing and left me wishing I had ordered the orange flavor as well instead of the strawberry gelato that was finished by my lovely dinner companion. The gelato was good but now I’m dying to know what the orange sorbet tastes like.
Ahh well…next time. And I know after that amazing veal parm, there will definitely be a next time!
Photo Credit: Graziella’s