Friday, February 20, 2015

Graffiato & Co Co Sala

Presidents Day in Washington, D.C.  This should be the day to visit some historical landmarks which laid the foundation for the United States we see today.  But, instead, I had a girls day or I guess we should say ‘Galentine’s Day,’ has anyone else heard this phrase?  It’s from Amy Pohler’s character on Parks and Recreation, probably one of my favorite shows right now.  If you haven’t seen it, it is pretty funny! 

Anyway, I hadn't spent some time lately with two of my friends, B and M, so the three of us decided to have a day together full of fun stuff, and by ‘fun,’ I really mean eating.  We started off at Graffiato for a brunch/lunch.  Graffiato has been pretty high on my list of D.C. restaurants to try.  A friend of mine discouraged that thought, by telling me the food wasn’t very good and that she was unimpressed.  But, I thought I’d still try it out, and boy was she wrong!  We ordered a variety of dishes (and cocktails) and I feel comfortable saying that this was some solid, hands down good food.  We shared a pizza and each ordered our own smaller dish.  My favorite was B’s order, the delicious, creamy and robust gnocchi with a lamb ragu.  The flavors were smoky, but topped with some crispy rosemary and whipped ricotta this dish received some serious accolades from me, in between bites of B’s dish.  Friends share! 

Like a handful of other D.C. restaurants did on Monday, Graffiato offered a few of their menu options of their much larger brunch menu.  The Hibiscus and Basil Mimosas were unique needless to say, but maybe a bit too sweet for my taste.  

The three of us shared the White House Pizza.  The pizza is made with three types of cheeses - tallegio, mozzarella and ricotta.  Then it's topped with thin ribbons of prosciutto and drizzled with black pepper honey!  The dish had me at 'black pepper honey.'  I thought this was such an interesting and unique combination I had to try it, sort of a play on a honey-glazed ham! 

I'm usually not a fan of white pizzas, only because I love red sauce so much, but I actually really enjoyed this one.

I ordered the Baked Eggs off the brunch menu.  The dish came in a personal sized cast iron pan.  The pan was filled with chunks of lamb shoulder, merguez ragu, and topped with two sunny side up eggs and foccacia croutons. Absolutely delicious.  My only one complaint was, the lamb could have been seasoned better.  I know I know, it's covered in ragu, who can tell the difference.  I guess, me?  Overall the dish was a great combination of flavors, and I loved the idea of topping the dish with croutons.

The star of the show, the delicious Potato Gnocchi, served with a pork ragu and topped with whipped ricotta and crispy rosemary.  Great combination of flavors and if they made a huge pot of this, I'm pretty sure I could down the whole thing in one sitting.  M ordered the Apple Pie Stuffed French Toast, which was equally amazing (sorry, I was too busy eating it to take a picture).  I prefer homemade french toast, and am always disappointed by dry french toasts that most restaurants offer. This one on the other hand was incredibly moist and was topped with a streusel crumble.

By the way, I posted these pictures on Mint and Mimosas Instagram account, and Chef Mike Isabella of Graffiato actually 'liked' my picture.  Gotta say that was the highlight of the week!

After our brunch/lunch we went to see "Fifty Shades of Gray," which I would not recommend.  The movie was a bit of a disappointment needless to say, but, I won't get into it too much.  Afterwards, we came out of the movie theater to snowfall!  It was beautiful in the city!  We decided to grab hot chocolate at Co Co Sala before heading home.  

I mean how beautiful is this Dark Chocolate  Hot Chocolate topped with a skewered homemade marshmallow.  I love the presentation and that you get quite a large glass of hot chocolate. Absolutely the best way to end our Presidents Day holiday, and get ready for the major snow and cold temperatures that we've been facing in D.C.  Hope everyone stays warm this weekend! We're anticipating another 3'-5' inches tomorrow, and I have brunch plans! But, don't worry...I'll press on with the eating!

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