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Mick and Di 03.06.2010 16:02

Chic Mediterranean Fare

Located in the chic Woodlands Suites on Soi 22, Naklua Road, is the stylish contemporary restaurant named after Italy’s fragrant grape-based promace brandy, Grappa. The décor is chic minimalist with spacious seating on the terrace for al fresco meals or indoors in the elegant AC setting. The state of the art designer display kitchen is extremely attractive and allows for insider info into the labours of modern-day chefs.

At the entrance to the restaurant we were greeted, conducted to a table and presented with the menu. On Friday nights from 18.30 to 22.00 hrs they present a buffet extravaganza of Italian fare for B.590 (net), but it was a wet Wednesday the night we gathered at Grappa and were therefore presented with the a la carte menu. It has been kept laudably concise but contains all one would wish for in an all-day Italian bistro.

From the appetisers our table chose a cross-selection of dishes: double antipasto alla Grappa, bruschetta with smoked salmon and skewers of seafood wrapped in zucchini slivers. The bruschetta arrived generously piled with rosy smoked salmon and was pronounced excellent (B.180) and as a solo dish would make for a tasty snack lunch. The doppio antipasto was an eclectic affair of tossed salad leaves, a grilled king prawn, salami, Parma ham, small cheeses and fishy pieces (B.360). The items gathered together were diverse and acceptable but just one criticism, as it was offered as an hors d’oeuvre for two people, shouldn’t there have been two portions of each item? However, the winner of the appetiser selection was undoubtedly the seafood skewers adroitly wrapped in perfectly grilled and oiled zucchini.

For pasta buffs Grappa offers ten assorted pastas from spinach spaghetti through penne, rigatoni and fettuccine, to name a just a few. Sauces are then listed for your personal selection and they include the perennially popular bolognaise and carbonara to arriabbiata, funghi, salmon, puttanesca and other chef specials. Risotto lovers are also well catered for with a medley of this labour-intensive dish using diverse ingredients from saffron and Italian sausage (B.220) to gorgonzola or prawns with porcini mushrooms. Pizza enthusiasts do not fret there is a considerable list of assorted varieties from B.180 to B.280. A nice touch, not often seen, is that they come in two sizes.

Our table’s choice for main courses were spaghetti vongole with white wine, grilled snow fish medallions, pan fried prawns, scallops, squid and sea bass plus Australian lamb wrapped in proscuitto and served with duck liver. Presentation was picture-perfect, the snow fish especially. Pretty tranches of grilled fish rested on a potato base surrounded by a lemon cream sauce and were topped with fritto-misto inspired vegetables. This was my choice and it proved to be an excellent dish. Mick’s pick of lamb wrapped in proscuitto was also given the thumbs up and the lamb declared soft, tender and expertly prepared and lightly pan fried (B.680).

At the time of our visit there was an Australian wine promotion offering Westend Estate wine at B.1,100 by the bottle or by the glass B.220. We sampled both the Chardonnay and the Shiraz and thoroughly enjoyed both grape varieties.

Italian desserts are always delicious and at Grappa they include panna cotta, fruit carpaccio, chocolate moelleux (that chocolate pudding with the gooey centre) and of course the ever popular tiramisu (B.170). We passed on dessert but were treated to a glass of Grappa which most fittingly brought down the curtain on our dining out at this eponymous restaurant.

Grappa serves modern, contemporary Italian cuisine in an ambiance of up-to-the-minute sophistication. Come here to enjoy a stylish Mediterranean meal in chic surroundings with a just a soupcon of fashionable fusion.

Grappa Ristorante and Wine Bar, Woodlands Suites, Soi 22, Pattaya Naklua Road. Tel: 038 42 1707 or email Open seven days 11 a.m. through till last orders in the kitchen 11 p.m. Secure underground parking.

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