I hate to say this, but I was disappointed by our meal at Graffiato tonight. The look of the place is great- you could wear shorts or a seersucker suit there and feel at home in both. It's hard to establish an ambiance that truly welcomes both, so I give Mike Isabella major kudos for that. As well, I like the stylistic choices like paint job, fonts, the herbs potted in old cans (look like tomato paste size as well as your regular 14 oz) that provide the greenery, and the hole-punched cleavers that delineate the kitchen space from the dining section. Love that feature. I also liked the 80s/90s music selections. The menu made my mouth water, and we ordered four dishes: Sweet Corn Agnolotti with Chanterelles and Pine Nuts; Shaved Fennel with Stone Fruit, Hazelnuts and Moscato; Wood-oven Cooked Octopus with Potato, Corn and Kalamata; and the Forager Pizza which utilized goat cheese, mushrooms and dates. Sounds fabulous, yes?
As I write this, I was surprised to recall that there were dates on the pizza. Never saw or tasted them, and I asked for salt as the pie needed a pick-me-up. Not bad, just kinda bland. And the fennel dish, while super fresh, was again just too muted to be memorable. I vote more stone fruit, fewer hazelnuts.
The octopus and pasta dishes were the best. Who knew mashed potatoes loved corn and kalamatas so much? Wow! And, let's talk about how you make a corn pasta that just screams, "I am the sweetest corn ever." The pasta sheets were lighter than air, and truly, the corn taste was so fresh and pronounced. Impressive.
My wine was fine, T had a good IPA. Graffiato has a lot going for it, but I wouldn't drive out of my way to get there until it picks it up a bit.