In a town where attention is often galvanized by temporary things -- pop-up restaurants, the small explosions of sudden food trends, your dinner as Instagram -- it's far too easy to forget that there are some restaurants that have been going, and going strong, for years. Then they have anniversaries, and you stop and quickly correlate the date with what you and Los Angeles were doing in, say, 1997. (See: The Full Monty or, possibly, Titanic.)
In 1997 Salvatore Marino opened Il Grano, an ode to his native Italy, or perhaps more accurately, its seafood and wine and small universe of tomatoes. Marino has been cooking -- or not cooking, in the case of the fish -- lovely things ever since, notably his crudo, the Italian reading of sushi, which he first put on the menu shortly after Il Grano opened. So to celebrate this decade-and-a-half of fun, Marino is throwing a party. Because wouldn't you? Turn the page for the details, including free oysters and caviar.
Il Grano's anniversary schedule. With complimentary oysters and caviar! White truffle surprises! Special guests! You could order the branzino while you're at it, or some squid ink pasta (right); maybe lots of things -- there's a nine-course tasting menu if you're really committed -- to match all this lovely wine. Happy Birthday.
October 15: Chrystal Clifton of Brewer Clifton pouring some of the Central Coast's most acclaimed pinot noirs and chardonnays.
October 16: Giovanni Cordero di Montezemolo in person pouring 3 different 1997 Barolo from his family's estates.
October 17: Cleo Pahlmeyer will be pouring 1997 Pahlmeyer in magnums.
October 18: Paul Wasserman will be representing his family's portfolio of top champagne and Burgundy's most famous estates, Vilmart Champagne, JF Mugnier, Bachelet, Lafarge, etc.
October 19: 1997 Dal Forno Recioto di Valpolicella.
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October 20: Gran Finale and a "surprise."
And because there are still tomatoes in the markets, see: Il Grano's Tomato Wednesdays + A Recipe for Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
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