Grappa ‘Monday Madness’ Review – The Best Value in Park City
Casey and I visited Grappa on Main Street recently to check out their amazing Monday Madness dinner special. For a limited time this summer, one of the most famous restaurants in Park City is offering a special dinner menu on Monday nights with amazing prices on appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks. I had heard great things all summer about this special menu and was curious to see if it could live up to the hype.
I made a reservation a few days in advance because Grappa has been absolutely slammed on Monday nights. We’re talking middle of the winter, almost Sundance Film Festival busy. While we waited for our table with a few other groups, Casey and I took a seat out on the front porch to enjoy the views of Main Street at sunset. The weather was perfect, but cooling off rapidly. Cool nights are one of my favorite parts of Park City summers. After drifting off for 5 minutes or so, the host came outside to bring us upstairs to our table.
If you’ve never been to Grappa before, it is truly unlike any other restaurant in Park City, or probably anywhere else in the country. Dining is set on 3 different levels in a historic boarding house from Park City’s mining days. The interior of the restaurant is warm, with original and historic pieces throughout. The second level is open in the center, looking down on the main level. New floor-to-ceiling windows face their multiple outdoor terraces and gardens, with views of Main Street behind, make Grappa a memorable Park City experience. Be forewarned of the cramped table spacing, however. Many table locations cozy right up next to your neighbors, so don’t be afraid to get to know the people around you. Grappa is not the place for a secluded meal, alone with someone special (at least not on busy nights). In the warmer months, outdoor dining is available among the terraced herb and flower gardens.
This particular Monday, we were seated next to the windows on the second floor. We had a spectacular view looking down Main Street as the sun set. Casey and I were very close to two other tables, which both had dinner guests already seated. It is a little awkward at first being so close to your neighbors, but we got over it fairly quickly. Despite the packed house, our waiter appeared quickly and we got our first glimpse of the Monday Madness menu.
On Monday nights the regular Grappa menu is not available. This speeds up the kitchen and keeps things simple for the waitstaff. Normal prices for entrees at Grappa are in the $30-$40 range, with separate charges for salads and soups. Most of the time you could expect to spend about $100 per person at Grappa, with drinks and dessert. Tonight would be much less expensive. The Monday menu features a selection of $5 tapas items, $10 entrees, $5 desserts, and wine by the glass for $5. Incredible!
After looking the menu over, we decided to start with the Calamari Fritti ($5) and a pair of Grappa’s famous Mushroom Soup ($5). For our entrees, Casey selected the Horseradish Encrusted Salmon and I went with the Petite Filet Mignon. Casey also ordered a glass of house Chianti ($5), which was Gabbiano. After our order was taken, we were served homemade breads with a dark, creamy dipping sauce with a balsamic vinegar flavor.
The calamari arrived shortly thereafter and was a very generous portion for the price. It was served with citrus fruits and a well balanced lemon aioli for dipping. A great way to start the meal. However, after we had finished the calamari and the bread basket, we sat at our table for a while and contemplated what was next. Right, the soups! That must have been what our waiter yelled to himself after about 15 minutes of sitting at our table without any food in front of us. We tried to flag him down a couple times, but the restaurant was busy and so was our waiter. Ah well. When the soups did finally make it out, they were at the perfect temperature and worth the wait. The 3 types of mushrooms were pureed into a creamy soup with plenty of flavor, topped with fried shallots. Smooth and a little thick, it would be excellent on a cold winter night. Our waiter even brought out more bread to go with the soup to make up for the delay.
I had heard that Grappa’s entrees were very small on Monday nights, so I wasn’t worried that I was beginning to feel slightly full from all that bread. When the entrees arrived however, I knew I was going to fill myself up to the brim. The petite filet was about 6-7 ounces, and served with homemade raviolis. Casey’s salmon was an even more generous portion. My filet was incredibly tender and perfectly cooked, like any good filet should. The raviolis were a great compliment to the steak with a peppercorn cognac sauce. Casey’s commented that her salmon had a mild horseradish flavor that wasn’t overpowering. It was served on a bed of pasta with a sherry butter sauce.
The total bill for stuffing ourselves at one of the more exclusive restaurants in Park City was just over $40. Not bad at all. The food lived up to the Bill White reputation and was full of flavor. This isn’t some bargain menu with cheap ingredients. Grappa pulled out all the stops this summer with their Monday menu that keeps locals happy, the restaurant full, and gives the staff their jobs all summer long. In this economy I can’t think of a better way to make a great name for your restaurant in Park City. Go check out Monday Madness at Grappa before it’s too late…
For reservations, call 435-645-0636. 151 Main Street in Park City.