My wife and I love to try new and unique restaurants whenever possible, especially when we travel. During a recent stop in Louisville KY, Sarah found Grassa Gramma online, and even though it looked pretty amazing, we had no idea what to expect until we arrived. Grassa Gramma loosely translated means “plump grandmother”.
The front of the restaurant is donned with vibrant colors with a fitting Italian style. Considering that this is part of the Holiday Manor Shopping Center, this makes it very easy to find.
The exterior may be nice, but the interior is an experience that transports you to another place and time.
Immediately to the left from the beautiful entryway is the bar, which quickly gives you a sample of the majestic decor yet to follow throughout the restaurant.
As we checked in for our reservation, we were asked if we’d like some complimentary Champagne as we are being seated. Of course, this was a definite affirmative!
From there we were led to the main dining area that follows the Italian bistro style with beautiful statues, wall hangings, and furniture. We were just a few steps down to the main floor, where a partial view of the kitchen is visible. Surrounding this floor were several levels of dining spaces, that included multiple balconies and semi-private booths and table arrangements.
Once seated, our server, Justin, and the other staff were extremely friendly and helpful. One of the first orders of business was to offer us now a complimentary small serving of Chianti with which Justin provided a bit of history of the wine and made a toast. Loving this already!
The menu includes authentic recipes, some with unique twists, from both Northern and Southern Italy, and is sourced as much as possible from local farms; the fish is wild and the game/meat is organic or prime.
The portions are very generous. There was a young boy seated with his family near us who was having the lasagna. When you hear serving as big as your head, this was close for him. I’m sure if he is like me at that age, not a bite went to waste!
We started with the Beef Carpaccio, “thinly-sliced beef tenderloin, roasted mushroom, toasted pine nuts, pickled shallot, yuzu vinaigrette, shaved parmesan, citrus salt; grilled house-made focaccia.” The beef was tender and married well with the other ingredients, especially the yuzu vinaigrette.
We both selected the same entrée, Seafood Imperial Pasta, “baked jumbo lump crab, lobster, fresh fish, bay scallops and wild shrimp with cream, pecorino, Chesapeake spice, fresh pasta and bread crumbs.” This was truly amazing. The seafood was definitely the star of this dish with the pasta taking a winning supporting role. Usually similar dishes tend to be heavy on pasta and not so much the seafood. Not the case here. The pasta was excellent though and tasted fresh and perfect tenderness.
Of course, I enjoyed a glass of Vigna del Lauro Sauvignon Blanc with dinner. They have a very nice wine, as well as bourbon, list by the bottle or glass.
When visiting Louisville, take some time to visit Grassa Gramma, and escape the real world for a bit. You’ll not be disappointed.