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August 29, 2007 / Tony

Dinner at Granite City

I had dinner at Granite City Food and Brewery (GCFB) last night with Katelyn.  GCFB, for full disclosure purposes, is one of my employers, so you’ll have to keep that in mind in my review of the food.  As a quick primer on GCFB, it is a brewery/restaurant.  Each location, of which there are 19 now, has a brewery on site as well as a “from-scratch” kitchen.  The menu is large and fairly varied.  There are a number of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and “signature” items.  If I had to choose, however, between the beer and the food, I would definitely take the beer.  It is simply outstanding.  I especially like the Brother Benedict’s Bock and the Northern Light; I even like them in a 2-pull, where the two are mixed 1/2 and 1/2.  The 2-pull is what I drank last night.  GCFB does one thing that is fairly unique: it has weekly food specials.  This offers a chance for diners and staff alike to have some variety in the GCFB experience. 

And, hence, Katelyn ordered the Ravioli with Mediterranean Vegetables.  It was four-cheese ravioli tossed with zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and artichokes in a red wine reduction, marinara sauce and just a bit of cream.  It was topped with Feta cheese and pine nuts.  Here’s what her half-eaten plate looked like:

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I tried it and found it to be a very nice dish.  The vegetables were perfectly tender and the ravioli were bland enough to be the perfect sop for a surprisingly rich tasting sauce.  I didn’t get to taste one but I imagine the artichokes were a nice wow ingredient that made the dish even more memorable. 

I ordered the Four Cheese Sausage Rigatoni but with some modifications.  Instead of sausage, I chose to substitute sauteed mushrooms and add some sauteed onions.  Obviously, I’ve tried this dish to “spec” and I found that my variation (by the way, GCFB is fabulous at accomodating diner’s differing dietary needs and desires.  If you want something different in a dish, just ask and the staff will do everything it can to accomodate you.)  was actually better than the original.  For one, I’m not overly fond of the sausage at GCFB.  Additionally, I love mushrooms and they add something called umami to a dish.  This flavor (on par with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) is described by the Japanese as meatiness or deliciousness.  It gives a wonderful full-flavor feeling to food.  So, in some respects, my variation on the dish was just as meaty as the original.  And the addition of sauteed onions added a bit of sharpness and some texture contrast.  Tossed with some al dente rigatoni noodles in a cream, parmesan, blue cheese, ricotta, jack, and mozzarella sauce, it was a pretty darn good dish.  Here’s my half-eaten plate:

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Katelyn / Aug 29 2007 4:19 pm

    super tasty!

  2. jeff / Sep 15 2009 2:35 pm

    I just love the four cheese sausage rigatoni at GC! However the catch is I don’t live near one, just when I am visiting a city with one. I would love to try making this at home and have been trying to find the recipe. Any chance you could pass that recipe my way??? Please!! 😉

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