I stopped into the Grant Grill a few days ago for drinks and apps (that became dinner) before the Martha Graham performance at the Civic Theater. I always forget how much I like this place until I go. And then I vow to come back more frequently, which, of course, usually doesn’t happen
We started with their signature Centennial Manhattan, which for my money is one of the best in town. Their version of the drink was created for the Gant’s 100th anniversary and uses High West Rye Whiskey that has been barrel aged for 100 days. It’s a drink that goes down far too easily, just ask me. My friend and I had 3 drinks…EACH!
We ordered 4 appetizers, which is way too much food for 2 people but a 3rd friend joined us and we managed to polish off most of it. Here’s what we ordered:
Crab & Artichoke Dip 2 of us liked it, 1 didn’t. It was an impossibly light and fluffy dip with decent sized chunks of lump crab and distince piecees of marinated artichokes. It came with fat slices of Texas toast and seeded crackers. The friend that didn’t like it thought it was bland and flavorless. While I could see her point, I liked the overall flavor and found it satisfying, probably because of it was somewhat fatty
Patatas Bravas 3 thumbs up for this one. The roasted, then deep fried potato halves were tossed in a harissa aioli with just the right amount of heat. For more kick there were slices of red Fresno chiles scattered throughout. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, spicy and salty these hit a lot of right notes as an accompaniment to drinks.
Cheese Curds hands down, the sleeper hit of the evening. The deep friend curds rested on some kind of creme fraiche sauce which was good with them, but the housemade bread and butter pickles on the side were even better. It was hard to resist not scarfing them straight down.
Applewood Smoke Ruby Trout The trout was lightly smoked and was set off with fingerling potato chips, green beans (cooked) and an assertive horseradish creme fraiche sauce that kind of pulled everything together. The presentation, and the dish itself, was beautiful, elegant and rather dainty.
I would order any of these again. Each one is a well crafted plate. During Happy Hour (4-7 pm), appetizers are $2 off the regular bar menu price. Happy Hour wine is $7.
To be sure, the Grant is not a cheap ticket but it’s worth a splurge. 6 signature drinks and 4 apps set us back $160 not including tip.
Did you know, that you can valet park your car at the U.S. Grant for 3 hours for $18 to attend events at the Civic or Balboa Theaters, or $20 for 4 hours or more. Downtown parking isn’t cheap anywhere, and this isn’t particularly inexpensive either, but it is easy.