Tuesday, February 17, 2009

grande maison graciani

On Friday the 13th, I met my host-mom for lunch in Kobe. She took me to a fancy restaurant inside of a historical home. She said that she found the restaurant through my foodie host-dad. Apparently, he went on his own and had lunch here, then told my host-mom about it.

Graciani is a French restaurant located in the Ijinkan area of Kobe. The Ijinkan area has homes of foreign consulate generals and commerce traders from the Meiji period which are located on the hillside of Kobe. Most are not used as homes anymore but have been transformed into museums or cafes. This particular restaurant was the home of the Gracianis, a french trader and his wife and is over 100 years old.
Our lunch started with some kanburi (winter yellowtail) carpaccio. And a sausage of gibier (I think this was a type of sausage made with wild game), all I know was that there was a LOT of black truffle shaved onto it...yum.

Next came a creamy cauliflower soup with crab in it. We though the bowl was deep but it was actually very shallow.
We chose two different main dishes, so we could taste everything--a grilled sawara (spanish mackrel) and a yuzu (citron) sauce and roasted pheasant with a shoyu sauce (soy sauce). We both agreed that the sawara was moist, tender and delicious.

Next came the palate cleanser, but this seemed more of a mini-dessert. Vanilla ice cream, mandarin oranges and gelatin at the bottom. Dessert was a slice of warm plum cake (more like a plum pudding), raspberry cake & gateau chocolat. My favorite was the plum cake.
We ordered some herb tea, I think it was either lemongrass or verbena. And at the end of our meal, they brought out mignardise (russian tea cookie, truffle & a piece of caramel cake).

Despite it being Friday the 13th, it was a great lunch, nice sized portions, and we had a nice time chatting.

Grande Maison Graciani UPDATE: this restaurant burned down in 2012
4-8-1 Kitano-cho
Chuo-ku, Kobe
Phone: 078.262.6650
Closed: Mondays

11 comments:

HanamiGallery said...

Wow! Looks like a very elegant dinner!

K and S said...

Thanks HanamiGallery, it was a nice lunch!

Take care.
Kat

Debinhawaii said...

What a beautiful and delicious sounding lunch. I love all the little bites and tastes of things--my favorite way to eat!

Rowena said...

Elegant dining room from what the pic shows, and a question popped into my head while I was reading this. In sitdown restaurants in Japan, do the waiters bring the bill automatically at the end of the meal or do you have to wave them down? I ask because in Italy you practically have to shout to get their attention. It's not like turn-n-burn in american restaurants where they just want you to leave already.

K and S said...

yes a little of this and that is a fun way to eat Deb :)

Rowena, some restaurants bring the bill along with the last dish and then you pay on your way out, or as this restaurant had it you pay at the table. We didn't have to flag anyone down, but in the izakaya (pubs) you usually have to flag someone down for the bill.

Take care you two.
Kat

Lynne said...

That looked scrumpcious! I need to ask one. How long does it normally take once you enter a resteraunt to be served and then eat before leaving? I was just curious.

Abigail said...

Oh wow, how decadent! I bet they wouldn't appreciate a family with a toddler and a baby, though. Bummer. (Not that our kids could handle a meal that long anyway!)

Looks like it was really tasty food! And beautiful to boot. I haven't been in a restaurant like that in a long time!

Abigail said...

I hope I didn't sound too whiny in my previous comment! I really do love my kiddos - it's just that we've turned into more of a Denny's family now that they're here! :)

K and S said...

Thanks Lynne, from the time we sat down we didn't have to wait long before being served and about 2 hours later we were done with lunch.

My host-brother's wife actually wanted to join us Abigail, but she has a 2 year old that wouldn't tolerate the waiting for the food, so she said she will try it when her friend comes from Tokyo and she can leave her 2 year old at home with his papa :) There are some places I know of that will tell you from the start whether they allow children or not.

Take care you two.
Kat

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - That looks like a very nice meal.

K and S said...

Thanks Kirkk :) it was!

Take care.
Kat