Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ketchum Eats: Ketchum Grill, Ciro, and Christina's

Ketchum Grill:
With the ebulent and clearly underage server, I knew that we were on our own with KG's Northwest-focused wine list. Given the impending lack of guidance, I opt for a familiar summertime fave...a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Sancerre. Of our dinners, the handmade lemon noodles with shrimp, lemon black pepper and light cream was the clear winner; although my grilled salmon was finished with a delightfully perfect orange-saffron gastrique. The not-too-sweet strawberry rhubarb crisp with home made vanilla ice cream was a perfect summer-y finish to dinner. This place reminded us of the restaurant at Deetjen's Big Sur Inn with its homey, locals-who-all-seem-to-know-each-other kind of way. It also helped that it was raining - as we ducked the huge pines to enter the small home that is the KG.

Every town should be so lucky to have a place like Ciro. A clean but casual space with an Ikea design ethic is both stylish and welcoming. Classic rustic Italian food with high-quality ingredients and an extensive Italian-heavy wine list make this place comfort food of the highest order. Our truffled home-made potato chips and Caprese salad were on point. Although the lack of even a touch of balsamic vinegar on the salad seemed curious. The thin-crust pizza had a good balance of crust-chew that I appreciate; not to mention the toppings that had been applied with restraint: plum tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, arugula, and white anchovies. The wine was a Gattinara 2003 from the Piedmont; a beautiful deep pomegranate color - with a slight brown edge. Nice! Earthy fruit on the nose lead to a clean tannic finsh that was the best buddy of my truffled chips and later the anchovy-pizza goodness.

Chef/Owner Cristina Ceccatelli Cook grew up in Tuscany. That should just about say it all. Go ahead and just let your fantasies run wild about Tuscan food. Yep...you are just about there.

This place is a real gem. If you don't stop by here for nothing more than an espresso and a $6 cookie each day you are in Ketchum, you are a fool. Sunday brunch is everything it should be. You'll pay dearly ($13) for that perfect bowl of fruit; but jeez, it looks like a page out of the owner's nicely photographed cookbook. We eat with our eyes....and this tasted great. The Benedict and savory crepes were perfectly examples of what each should be. The deli and baked goods cases were achingly beautiful. If only my stomach and gold card could handle all of it ($89 for brunch and some afternoon snacks to go!). Selections are forced, everything is enjoyed. For the price of it all, they even take the time wrap up our little cookies in cellophane bags with ribbon.

Too Fabulous? I don't know, I am still working on that.

Going back for more? You'd better believe it.

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Ketchum Grill on Urbanspoon

Ciro Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Cristina's on Urbanspoon


katie woods said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......I will be eating tough mutton in mongolia for the next month. I'm sure I would happily pay for that fruit salad.

Tom said...

That fruit salad ain't got nutton' on tough mutton!