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11am- food orders until 9:30pm, Bar open 11am - 10pm
4/F, Galeria Mall, 99 Shengheyi Rd.
028 6597 9367
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
The Galeria Shopping Mall is turning into a worthy dining destination with notable local names and hot pot houses opening up shop, as well as some foreign restaurants. Grappa's on the fourth floor is a Hong Kong-based Italian restaurant with a growing number of locations in the mainland. Partnerships with importers mean that Grappa's has access to good raw materials and cheeses, wine, and seafood. MORE recently sat down with Benjamin Leib, the executive chef at Grappa's, and sampled a few of their dishes.

The first thing to land on the table was fragrant, chewy bread with a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Considerable self-control was needed to hold ourselves back from filling up on the bread, which was fantastic. A tyke in a high chair at the next table was working on a crust of it and we were cheered that he was developing a taste for the good stuff at such a tender age.

Salads are too often afterthought dishes of sad, overdressed greens in Chengdu's restaurants. We loved the spinach salad at Grappa's. It's hard to find salad-worthy tender baby spinach leaves locally, so Grappa's ships their spinach in and dresses it expertly with a tangy dressing, bacon, mushrooms, and nicely toasted pine nuts.

The spaghetti alla vognole came with a generous amount of fresh clams in a white wine sauce. We noted that the pasta was cooked softer than we are used to, but the chef says this is according to local taste. The pizza parma was topped with artichokes and thin pieces of parma ham. It was thin crust and made from imported flour. Grappa's tiramisu is unique in Chengdu, using Amaretto rather than the more traditional coffee liqueur.

We love that they serve wine by the glass, including a prosecco, in a decent quantity pour at a reasonable price. You could also stop in and buy a bottle at a discount from the menu to take home, and since Grappa's partners include a wine importer, many of their wines are only available at the restaurant. The prices at Grappa's reflect the quality of the offerings with most salads and pastas in the high double digits and pizzas and secondi (main courses) a bit more.

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