Monday, May 31, 2010

Wine Tasting at Chan's & Dinner at Graffiti

To start off, this evening was a date night for Joe and I, which was great. We got to go out with Sarah and Kelly Jones. Thanks to Mom and Dad Brown for watching Georgia and Elliott for us!

We started the evening off at Chan's Wine World in Uptown Station. Every Friday night they have a
$10 wine tasting from 5 -7 pm. You get to taste 10 wines accompanied by some light snacks. Each week they feature a different theme of wines. This week they featured 5 whites, including a sparkling, and 5 reds. We had a fun time tasting and pairing with the food. My only complaint was there weren't any tables set up to stand around, so it was a little akward to try and hold your glass, food and try and write any comments down about each wine. It was also disappointing that the guy pouring the wine wasn't very knowledgeable about the wines. I asked a couple of simple questions and he wasn't able to answer them. Overall, if you're looking for a fun thing to do on a Friday night to start your evening off I highly suggest this.

From Chan's we headed to Graffiti in Destin for dinner. We'd never eaten there before and had a 2 for 1 coupon courtesy of 89.1 FM NPR. :) Graffiti is the dining side of the Funky Blues Shack, which we've heard is a good place to go and hangout, drink some good beer and listen to music. While we were there the music hadn't started yet, so I don't have first hand knowledge on it. As for Graffiti, I give it a thumbs up. As you walk in you are greeted with a colorful array of eclectic paintings and works of art covering the walls. The restaurant is lit with multi colored strings of lights adding to the funky vibe of the place. By far the atmosphere is what sets this place apart. The menu consists of pasta, seafood, meats and pizza. The entrees averaged about $15, which is a good price for the amount of food you get. The Jones ordered the crab cakes off of the appetizer menu. They said they were good with lots of good crab and not much filler. The salads that came with our meals were the house and caesar. The house salad was great. It came with mixed greens, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and feta. I got the balsamic dressing which I thought was really good. Joe got the Italian which he likes. The Caesar salad had good greens and homemade croutons, but the rest of it was only average. The bread served was freshly baked and filled with grains you could actually see and taste. It was delicious. The bread was served with a very garlicy olive oil dip. The Bernardoni's would love it. :)
Joe ordered the Balsamic Pork Chops. The chop itself was a generous portion and well grilled. The mashed potatoes that came with it were described as garlic, but didn't taste like it. They were kind of on the dry side as well.
I ordered the Braised Veal and Beef Totellacci. It was not at all what I was expecting and was a strange pairing. The beef and veal filling was amazing. It melted in your mouth with a very good texture. But the sauce that was paired with it didn't go at all. It was a very salty, beef broth. A tomato sauce would've complemen
ted the rich meat filling much better. It was really disappointing.

The Jones ordered the Almond crusted Halibut with a hazlenut butter sauce. The fish was flaky and well cooked. However, the breading was a bit soggy as if it had been sitting on the plate a bit. The sauce was really good. The veggies that came with their meal and with Joe's were well cooked, still crisp.

Overall the food was decent. We all thought next time we would try the pizza. It does seem more like a pizza type place than the food we ordered.
'Mom' comment. I appreciated that on the kids menu they offered fruit as an option instead of fries with their meals. The bathroom also has a changing station, which I wouldn't have guessed. There were a couple of other families there with their kids and I would've have felt comfortable bringing Georgia with us.
My tip, if you're in Destin and in the mood to try out a casual dinning place with character stop by Graffiti.

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