gracecheung604 | write on time: Set Menu at Cioppinos

Monday, October 08, 2012

Set Menu at Cioppinos

Though I've been to Cioppino's many times for a simple dinner, I had never been there for a "set dinner". But a while ago, I was given the chance when a friend decided to celebrate a birthday there. We were booked into a private room and given a set menu to choose from. 
I thought I was being artistic with this photo, but epic fail since I didn't notice that I had actually covered up the restaurant name with my napkin. 
Once seated, the Fresh Bread that they brought was eagerly gobbled up, as we had already started sipping wine and cocktails.

The first course was a choice between a Mushroom & Chestnut soup and a Crab Meat Salad. Deciding to go with the salad, we were delivered an Organic Greens and Pacific Crab Salad. The dressing was light and there was just a delicate sprinkling of it. Nothing too heavy, thank goodness, and the crab meat on top was sweet and juicy. I liked how it was shredded nicely so everything fit into one bite. Give me crab over mushrooms any day. 
Here was our Primi, no choices here. This is the Paccheri di Gragnano with Salt Spring lamb ragoût. I have always liked the Paccheri pasta, a thick tube of pasta that is really hard to overcook. As a result, it's almost always served al dente. You really have to try to overcook this pasta. The lamb ragout was rich and the shape of the pasta really helps to grab onto every little morsel.  
Yes, I like lamb, so much I had it twice this dinner. For my main, I got the Roasted Alberta Rack of Lamb with confit garlic-lemon sauce. The accompaniments were a little boring, sliced carrots, peas and a mashed potato puree. Fortunately, the lamb was stellar. Just a bit fatty and cooked to a medium rare. The sauce was a bit thin, but the sear on the lamb more than made up for it. The portion was big too, so much so I had to share mine.
In exchange for sharing the Lamb, I also go to try this Grilled Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin with red wine jus. The grill marks on this piece of meaty goodness was perfectly done, and the inside was a warm medium. Searing it the way they do on such high heat means that the meat inside stays moist and juicy too!
There were two desserts being offered, and I chose the Limoncello Cheesecake with a Citrus Crust. I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake, but I do love limoncello! And lucky for me, the tartness beat out the cream cheese on this dessert. The added citrus from the crust was also much appreciated!
And the other dessert, a Warm “soft heart” Chocolate Cake with vanilla sauce. As promised, the gooey center oozed out when you cut into the cake and blended excellently with the ice cream. A sweet ending to a very excellent meal.

Take note:

  • Various group dinners are available, this was the Boccaccio menu for $90/person
  • Their wine list if 62 pages long
  • The Grilled Veal Chop is the best I've ever had

Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill on Urbanspoon

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