By Pamela Brownstein
Riccardo Bonino, owner of Griffin Market, treated the Lunch Bunch to an absolutely incredibly tasting of the best that his Italian restaurant has to offer.
The six-course meal was an education in cuisine from northern Italian, where Bonino is from, as well as an appreciation of all the details that go into preparing fresh, authentic, yet inventive, dishes.
The Cold Antipasti featured four amazing items: Vitello Tonnato, rare veal roast thinly sliced, served cold and topped with a tuna and capers sauce; Melone con Culatello, cantaloupe slices wrapped in Culatello, the best part of Prosciuttos; Caprese, fresh, hand-pulled Mozzarella with ripe heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil from the Griffin Garden and extra virgin olive oil; and Alici, anchovies in gribiche vinaigrette with sieved eggs and capers, served with Ciabatta bread. The dish also featured homemade breadsticks that were thin and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, so tasty.
The Hot Antipasti course had three small, yet exquisite, items: Arancini, crispy saffron risotto balls stuffed with Bolognese sauce and Mozzarella; Fiori di Zucca, Griffin’s Garden zucchini blossoms filled with fresh Mozzarella and anchovies; and then our favorite of the entire lunch, a shot of the Zuppa, a sweet corn and blue crab bisque topped with
crispy pancetta and chives. We all agreed it was an absolute must-have.
The first pasta course included Tagliatelle Verdi, handmade spinach pasta in a sage butter and early spring
vegetable sauce, and Ravioli, handmade pasta stuffed with veal roast and served in a sage butter and veal jus sauce. Bonino emphasized that their ravioli is handmade and cut out and this elevates it above other frozen pastas.
The second pasta course had two amazing dishes. The Carbonara made with artisanal Abruzzo spaghetti in an Evelyn’s Acres Farm Eggs, Pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce. And also Griffin’s signature dish, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese: handmade tagliatelle egg pasta in a slow cooked three meats and imported San Marzano D.O.P. tomato sauce. Served on small plates, both were so delectable and satisfying.
For dessert, we all fell in love with the Budino, butterscotch budino topped with salted caramel sauce. And even though we were all so full, we enjoyed the plate of various biscotti.
I cannot say enough about this fabulous restaurant, but don’t take my word for it, it’s a favorite of Pat Conroy, who dines there often.
Griffin Market is located at 403 Carteret Street, Beaufort. For more information, call 843-524-0240 or visit www.griffinmarket.blogspot.com.