Friday, June 21, 2013

#11: Garces Trading Company

As I was going through my posts and doing some calculating, I realized that I have only gone to 10 restaurants in 14 weeks. This does not accurately portray my blog title: 52 Restaurants in 52 weeks. I decided I had two options. Either I change my blog title, or I start going out to eat more. I chose the latter.

My gift card was eligible at any of Jose Garces restaurants, so I had a really hard time choosing between Amada, Village Whiskey, Distrito, and Graces Trading Co. But,  Brendan and I were looking for a different BYOB spot to try & we've both heard amazing things about Garces Trading Company- so we went with that.

Garces Trading Company also has a market inside the restaurant. You could buy & take home a variety of different things from a counter such as pastries, olive oils, breads, coffee, etc. There was also a small wine store in the restaurant. Although we brought wine with us, we also bought a bottle there because we could and for some reason thought we might drink 2 bottles of red at dinner (we're ambitious).

We had an 8:15 reservation and sat down right away which was great. We knew prior to going that we wanted to get the deep dish pizza and that it took about an hour to cook, so we put that in right away with our waiter. Someone recommended it to Brendan and I was intrigued. I also wanted to compare it to the authentic deep dish pizzas that I've had while visiting my sister in Chicago during college. While we waited for the pizza we drank our wine and put in some appetizers. I wanted to try the baby artichokes. After I ordered, Brendan asked "What are artichokes?" This is what I have to work with. The artichokes were good- probably could have had more flavor but I really enjoyed them. They were served in a preserved lemon sauce with honey and roasted walnuts.It was the perfect light appetizer to preface our 4lb stuffed pizza.

Garces Trading Company had a pretty extensive cheese menu as well. Since we know absolutely nothing about cheese, we went with the Chef's Selection Cheeses paired with condiments. I couldn't tell you what type of cheese we ate but I liked it. Each cheese was paired with a sweet sauce. My favorite was the middle cheese in the picture (again, my lack of detail is embarrassing). It had the texture of a mozzarella but much more flavor. The grape jelly dipping sauce was a great addition, too. 

 Then, the pizza came. Although it took an hour, it really didn't feel like we were waiting too long. The flow was nice and they spaced out our apps pretty well. Welp, I can't eat cheese for a month. This 4lb deep dish pizza was amazing. Definitely comparable to Chicago's pizza. We ordered spinach in the pizza because I felt like having some sort of vegetable in it would somehow make me feel better about myself. The most obvious way this pizza differed from a traditional deep dish would definitely be the cheese. It was a mix between Gruy√®re and fresh mozzarella. It was heavy but it still didn't stop me from eating 2 slices.

 I loved Garces Trading Company. Somehow they were able to transform a gourmet deli into a classy restaurant. Plus I got to hang out with this guy...

I think we will definitely be venturing back to try some of the other menu items (Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu, Scallop Risotto, Pistachio Pesto Pizza anyone?). And the prices didn't shock me. Brendan and I always play the "guess the bill game" and he guessed too high at least 3 times. $60 & no corkage fee!

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