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Reviews of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area by Carol and Joe Davis - the Dining Detectives. From Sushi to Prime Rib, the Detectives dine their way across the spectum of fine food. ©2006 Carol and Joe Davis

Graziano’s Ristorante
Authentic Italian Cuisine in the heart of Petaluma

Graziano’s Ristorante has been a welcome sight in Petaluma since the mid 1980’s.We had dined here many times before including a festive New Year’s Eve a few years ago. (That was a great party!) It was not surprising to see most of the tables full on this Sunday night in January. Graziano’s is a meeting place where one feels comfortable and can always expect the highest quality and a warm ambiance.

Graziano, or Graz as he is known in Petaluma, has spent his life in the pursuit of pleasing customers with Contidina style dishes which he prepares with his own "tocco"(touch) , offering them in a manner that would make his mother proud. His success has been due to both outstanding authentic Italian Cuisine with elegant presentation and the attitude that each customer must leave with a smile on their face.

We were warmly greeted by Gianluca Casini the Matre D’ and whisked to a comfortable table with a great view of this well decorated spacious restaurant. The atmosphere was superb including tables with white tablecloths, interesting art on the walls, and Italian Opera serenading us in the background. We felt as if we were in Italy!

Ah, now it was time to start our dining experience.

Antipasti
Artichoke-with garlic, butter, parsley and wonderful olive oil! This was a special antipasti this evening and we can’t wait to enjoy it again!!

Fresh Mozzerella,alla Graziano---Roasted Eggplant, fresh tomato & basil.
This is a great way to start your meal .At first glance we knew we were in for a treat. Tasty and light.

Portabella Mushrooms—Sauté’ in garlic & sherry- These large juicy mushrooms were actually served in a Marsalla wine sauce, arriving at our table piping hot.

Ravioli Special ---Large Raviolis stuffed with asparagus-A zesty tomato sauce made this true Italian dish enjoyable.

Caesar Salad--- This was prepared in the classic Caesar tradition with anchovies. We always enjoy a salad before the main course although some prefer it after to cleanse the pallet before dessert- either way it was worthy.

Graziano’s Specialties-Main Course

Scaloppini Marsala—served in mushrooms and marsalla wine-the tender range-fed veal was perfectly surrounded by the richness of the mushrooms and the sweetness of the sauce-an excellent choice.

Chicken Graziano—leg and thigh with roasted red bell pepper pancetta and rosemary-. Served boneless.
The sweet aroma of the herbs and garlic and the crispness of the carrots on the side made for a chicken lover’s delight-just right.

Linguini Vongole---With fresh clams in a white or red sauce.
Tonight we had the white sauce that has always been our favorite and we were not disappointed with that choice enjoying the tenderness of the clams, zestiness of the sauce and pasta cooked to perfection.

Rack Of Lamb---Braised with brandy & zinfandel demi-glaze
Best of Show!!! We have enjoyed this in a number of other restaurants but this was truly outrageous. From Presentation to taste to generosity of the portion .For the Lamb fan a must-we‘d have it again.

Desserts

Our dessert came as a medley sampler and we were happy to try a number of Graziano’s finest

Milano Peach Sorbet---this was served in a frozen peach- a special presentation that we had only seen once before. True peach taste and very refreshing

Tiramisu- Light cake as it is meant to be and chocolatety to perfection

Graziano’s Paradiso-A specialty that we had never experienced before-A chocolate "Pate’" with Italian Cream on a Butter and Raspberry Sauce with strawberries and fresh cream dollops-subtle for a dessert which we thought might be too rich. Worth the calories.

Wines

For the 7th consecutive year Graziano’s has earned The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the wines served.
We were happy to enjoy a number of wines by the glass - each accenting a different course perfectly.

Our favorites included:

Cakebread Cellars-Napa valley Sauvignon Blanc
Stag’s leap cellars-Reserve 1995 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
We are more and more impressed with the taste of the better Sauvignon Blancs of which these are two good examples. Chardonnay drinkers who break out and take some chances will learn the joy of these white wines.
Rodney Strong Merlot-Sonoma County-This is a perfect compliment to Veal. Dishes
B.R.Cohn Olive Hill Vineyard 1996 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon – An excellent choice with the Rack of Lamb

Service

We really enjoyed the excellent service we received from our waiter, Mauro. His family was from Italy and they met Graziano when they first came to this country. Mauro’s suggestions for the evening added to our dinning pleasure along with his warm personality.

We also received a warm and truly friendly hello from Graziano who spent most of the evening watching after his capable chefs

Graziano’s was a totally pleasurable dining experience. From the atmosphere to the food to the service we could not have been treated better. As we left with smiles on our faces we knew that Graz had made his mother proud.

Graziano’s Ristorante

170 Petaluma Blvd. N
Petaluma,California

Phone
707-762-5997

Hours-Dinner only
Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday
5:30 pm-9:30 pm
Friday-Saturday
5:30pm-10:00pm
Sunday
5:00pm-9:00 pm

Reservations Recommended
Banquet Facility for 100 available
Major credit cards accepted