Good food and cozy atmosphere are key to Grape and Grain's charm, but the local hidden gem also possesses a less easily definable quality. It's a warm, welcoming place, the kind you find yourself lingering in with lively conversations, adding your wine induced laughter to the spot's joyful din. It was only made more pleasant by the playing of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, and yes, the entire album, even the unfairly underplayed and excellent Never Going Back Again and I Don't Want to Know.
We booked a table for a Friday night out with a big group and were greeting by a very friendly and accommodating staff. We started with two orders of spicy pita chips and bean dip (a favorite of my friends who had been there before) and it set the tone of a yummy meal. Our cheese plate was great with the soft Vermont choice (sorry the specific name escapes me) being my favorite.
For a main course Jim and I shared a sandwich of salami, roasted red peppers, manchego and arugula – a nice flavor combination that would be worth trying at home too. We also split the ultimate comfort food for non health conscious people, a tasty meatball pizza. I know nothing about wine, but the red my friends chose for the table was good and affordable. They also have three Chimay options and other beers for non winos.
They accept reservations, which was a god send on a packed weekend evening, but it's a pretty laid back spot where you could probably snag a table for two without too much of a wait. It's a good place for groups or an inexpensive, but still intimate and romantic date. The lighting is dim enough to afford no really good photos with my camera, but on the plus side, the votive candles make everyone look attractive.