>Special Dinner, Great Food

>Every year on a Friday in December, my mom, my sister and I go to a Christmastime dinner with just the three of us.  This year we went to the Grange. 

What a great restaurant for a special occasion.  We sat upstairs where the tables are set for cozy couples, but we squeezed in a 3rd very nicely.  As we walked in my first thought was, “If a guy wants to score major points, he’ll bring his gal here on a date.”  It’s dark and quiet even though you could hear the din from the bar downstairs.

But be warned, the wine list is intimidating. 

It’s nice that they have such a large wine selection, but trying to figure out what to pick gave my sister a headache.  Seriously, how many people order the $900 bottle of wine in Sacramento?  Either one of my friends came up with this suggestion or I read it somewhere, but fancy restaurants need to get smart and have a short list of reasonably priced vintages as a supplement to their wine library. People are lazy (and cheap) these days, so if they get overwhelmed by a tome of wines, there is a good chance they will opt out of the whole situation.

Picking out a meal was much easier.  The Tuscan white bean soup was good, but nothing to write home about.  For the main course, I had the lemon & black pepper gnocchi with short rib ragout.  All I can say is…Wow.  That was one of the best dishes I’ve had.  Rich, lemony, beefy, and every bite was heavenly. 

My mom and my sister’s dessert was a plate of cookies, which were too chocolate-free for my taste.  I had the chocolate and peanut butter decadence.  Holy crap that was good and that wasn’t just the Bailey’s talking either.

The only truly disturbing thing about the night was the picture on the ladies’ room wall.  It was of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Speedo surrounded by women dressed in Victorian era clothing.  Just weird.

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