Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone who reads this a very happy and healthy 2008 filled with many great meals.

I had a quiet New Year's Eve. Kevin and I stayed local and ate at Trinity Grill in Harrison.

Trinity Grill is a place with a history. The building that houses it was once the Harrison's first restaurant. It was called Risoli's. It was a classic bar and grill type place. It was a little seedy, a little dark, and very popular with Good Old Boys in town. It also hosted a lot of bands and parties. When the Risoli children and grandchildren grew tired of running it, they sold it to the Cahill family, who turned it into Trinity Grill.

The Cahills kept the bar and grill idea, but elevated it. They didn't change the wonderful historic aspect of the building. The original wood floors and wall panels and bar are all still there, but they lightened up the decor a bit. The place has a lovely, airy feel. The menu, however, is varied and original. There is really something on the menu for everyone (unless you're a strict vegetarian/vegan) and has some interesting spins on classic ideas. Prices are faily moderate too.

Although the Times was a bit critical of it, I don't know anyone who doesn't like Trinity. MOst people agree that their Penne Vodka is unrivaled.

In short, it's a real go-to restaurant when you don't have the money to spend on something seriously upscale, but are looking for a really nice meal with loved ones. We do a lot of family birthdays there. Kevin and I had both our engagement party and rehearsal dinner in their banquet room.

My meal began with their standard basket of warm focaccia and herb butter. I ordered a glass of pinot noir to drink.

My first course was a salad with arugula, mandarin oranges, fennel, pine nuts, and shave ricotta salata. The dressing was very light.

I ordered the duck in cherry sauce for my next course. I like ordering duck in restaurants as it's something I have never made myself (I think I should make a resolution in 2008 to try making duck at least once). The duck came with a side of tasty pineapple orzo and haricot verts and julienned carrots in butter sauce. My only complaint was that the duck was a little dry. It's been better other times I have been there. Kevin had a house salad and a bowl of smoked mozzarella and spinach ravioli with chicken.

For dessert I decided to keep things light (I guess working out with my personal trainer earlier that day made the guilt kick in a little). I had a crepe that enclosed a medley of fresh berries and bananas with whipped cream. The crepe sat on a bed of caramel flavored creme anglaise. I now am dying to find a recipe for caramel creme anglaise. I think it would be wonderful in a trifle. Kevin went with his classic favorite of the Toll House Cookie sundae.

Service, which is always friendly and efficient, was a little too quick last night. We had an 8:00 reservation and we were out of there at 8:55. Dishes just came flying out of the kitchen. We would have been out of there 15 minutes earlier if they hadn't slowed down so much for dessert. I guess my crepe took some time to prepare.

We went to bed not long after we got home. If I'm partying with friends I will stay up till midnight, but I'm not a night person, so I'm not going to make myself stay up that late just to watch a lit ball fall on TV. I'd never stay awake.

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