Three forkfuls into a plate of bone-in short ribs set atop rigatoni pasta with house-smoked mushrooms, and I was ready to declare the dish one of the best Ive ordered in 2014.
In fact, it was second only to the supple prime rib at the newly opened Smoke + Cedar.
Like Smoke + Cedar, Grassis Ristorante in University Place has a chef who produces terrific results using the slow-and-low cooking technique for beef. But more on that in a moment.
The Italian eatery that opened April 1 is a solid addition to a city short on independently owned restaurants. Besides Chambers Bay Grill at the golf course, Grassis is the sole semi-upscale dining venue in University Place which probably sounds as odd to you as it does to me considering its a city with top-dollar-view homes. I have no clear answer for the dearth of restaurants (fine dining or otherwise, actually), but what I do know is that University Place residents support high-quality food by shopping for it. The city is home to a Trader Joes, a Harbor Greens and soon will have a Whole Foods Market.
A packed parking lot on three visits indicated the locals already have discovered Grassis, which is why reservations are a good idea.