I used to love Enid Blyton, and her Faraway Tree series were some of my favorite books growing up. And I particularly remember the mouth-watering descriptions of the pop biscuits that one of the characters, a fairy named Silky, would treat the kids to whenever they visited her in her home on the Faraway Tree. When one bit into such a biscuit, it would well, pop, filling one’s mouth full of warm honey.
I was reminded of those pop biscuits again Tuesday evening, when, at the end of a particularly satisfying and filling meal at Grace, we were presented with a chocolate ball each. I couldn’t possibly eat any more by then, but I couldn’t possibly let such a beautiful piece of work go to waste could I? The chocolate shell was delicately thin, and yielded to the tinniest pressure. Its chilled caramel liquid center exploded and flooded my mouth, and I couldn’t help but let out a yelp of surprise.
The other dishes that preceded the chocolate ball were similarly inspired. Plate after plate of profound flavors. There was the amuse bouche consisting of a slice of kamquat coated with a thin veneer of smoked caramel that I wished I could eat an entire fruit platter of.
Grace serves up two different tasting menus – a predominantly vegetarian one, “Flora”, and one that has plenty to satisfy the carnivore, “Fauna”. No surprises which one I picked. Our server could see that the two boys, Jeff and Eric, were clearly tempted by some of the dishes on the Flora menu, so she generously sent out two of the dishes for us to try. The cranberry meringue on pine ice, from the Flora menu, was my other favorite dessert of the evening.
The service was great too – not flippant like Next or Alinea sometimes can be, but attentive. Eric didn’t feel well as the evening progressed – he thought he might be coming down with the nasty cold that’s been going around, and our server noticed. At the end of the evening, she sent him back with a bag of chamomile tea. Given the price tag though (especially when including the wine pairing), this is not a restaurant that we ought to sensibly frequent.