Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Special Valentine's Day Post

Since my boyfriend Greg and I both work on Valentine's Day (I sell flowers and he delivers them, though not from the same location), we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day a night early on Monday the 13th. We got all dressed up, me in a corset and Greg looking damn suave in a suit, and headed to downtown Ann Arbor. 

We initially intended to go to the Ravens Club, a very awesome-looking restaurant/bar that we noticed months ago and decided was right up our alley. They are apparently normally closed on Monday nights, though, which we didn't realize because that seems silly. So we ended up going to Palio, a Tuscan themed restaurant also downtown, instead, another place we'd been wanting to try for a bit, so the Ravens Club will have to wait for another day (that is not a Monday).

Palio is open seven days a week and named for the Palio di Siena (or simply Il Palio), a somewhat violent horse race held twice a year in Siena, Italy, that very much reminds me of the chariot races in ancient Rome, complete with jockeys sabotaging each other before and during the races. (A horse without a rider can still be declared victor.) The restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI is decorated with the many colorful flags used by the jockeys during the races. 

The Bruschetta Palio is phenomenal! Each serving comes with four good sized slices. I highly recommend this to start your meal. I ordered the Pollo Con Funghi Grigliati, or "chicken with grilled mushrooms" served over roasted potatoes and a fresh vegetable, which happened to be spinach for us. The chicken was so flavorful and tender, and I was very pleased with my choice. Greg also enjoyed the chef's favorite, Maiale En Agrodolce, "sweet and sour pork" served with deliciously creamy polenta and more spinach. (The spinach was wonderful, by the way.) 

We also ordered glasses of a pinot grigio that is unique to Palio that went beautifully with dinner, and was served to us in what I can only describe as juice glasses rather than wine glasses. For dessert, we split the pannacotta that was by far the best I have ever tasted and is a must-try if you ever visit Palio yourself. We actually finished our meals not with the dessert, but with cappuccino. That was possibly my favorite feature of meals in Italy; they always seemed to end with coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And that, I think, is where I will end this review. Palio gets an A+ from me, and if you want to make it a special night with authentic, delicious Tuscan food with a colorful atmosphere, head to the corner of William and Main in downtown Ann Arbor.

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