Il Grillo has a small indoor seating space and a larger patio outdoor. The small light wood bare tables are set closely, but the night we were there most of the space was taken up by a giant party so I’m not sure what the normal spacing would be. On the end of the room is a service counter with foods for sale or to be used in meal preparation. Overhead are bottles of wine. The white ceiling has painted white beams, the floor is tile and the walls are decorated with art. Music plays in the background and service was friendly. The menu here changes daily to reflect the availability of local products.
We started with a glass of the Prosecco Brut and the Pane Misto, a selection of house made breads that included semolina, rye, flatbread, ciabatta, white bread and sticks. Breads change regularly. They were served with olive oil. Most of the breads were doughy with a slight crisp to the crust. Mostly good.
With the bread plate you can add Midollo Osseo or roasted bone marrow with parsley and capers for $9. The marrow was liberally covered with capers and parsley. It was lightly cooked but tender enough to spread on breads. It was mild in flavor but good.
The Caprese salad was local heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese and basil. The tomatoes were tasty and the piece of cheese was quite generous. Everything was covered with basil and basil oil. Some of the tomatoes were soft but all were tasty.
Ziti Carbonara was made with San Daniele ham, black pepper and grana padano. The housemade pasta was a perfect texture and dressed with a creamy, cheesy dressing and shreds of zucchini and then topped with thin slices of ham. It was also mild but mostly tasty. A good pepper component and cheese taste helped it but it had no essence of egg. While the ham was tasty, I missed the textural component of a crisp meat like guanciale.
The Pollo al Mattone was a roasted half chicken with lemon, arugula, croutons and raisins. It was really dry and the bread pieces were way overcooked. This was a disaster. Some bits were edible but mostly this was just not good.
Pollo al Mattone, roasted half chicken, lemon, arugula, croutons and raisins
As a side dish we had Cavolfiore al Forno or local cauliflower, fontina cheese and horseradish besciamella. The cauliflower was totally coated with stringy cheese with a cream cheese sauce and lots of horseradish. It was an interesting mix of things but they competed with each other too much to be successful. This one didn’t work.
We finished the meal with some dessert wine and they brought some biscotti to go with it.