Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Grounds of Alexandria

The Grounds

Over the weekend I had the opportunity of another ‘fine dining’ experience, I love going out with my parents! This week we went to The Grounds in Alexandria.

The Grounds is a great place, the venue is set up beautifully making you dream of gorgeous summer parties and drinks with friends. The food is delicious, it’s inventive, simple, fresh, and gorgeous looking. One thing to note, however, is The Grounds is not a place to go hungry… it’s more of a “I’ll be hungry in 30-40 minutes” place.  Luckily for the ladies there is a great underwear warehouse next door, to null the pain.

The set-up is beautiful. In this gorgeous – hard to find – warehouse, The Grounds has played into the building but also freshened up the whole barn-yard atmosphere with the great outdoor area (the one where I will hold all my future dream parties). Unfortunately it was very rainy last weekend so there was no outdoor area, but I enjoyed checking out the chicken run anyway!

We got our coffees and beverages fairly quickly. The Grounds knows how to put a flare on the simple things, even hot chocolate! I was so excited when presented with this gorgeous “make your own” hot chocolate. I haven’t been so pleased to see one of these since my first ever visit to Le Pain de Quotidien! Plus it didn’t have any of that hazelnut infused business. The coffees had mixed reaction, mainly due to the strength of the brew.

Looking at the menu, there are a few amazing sounding dishes! It’s like a barn world wonderland – eggs rolled in crispy quinoa ?! What is this madness? Considering by the time we are eating it’s about 2.30 I decided against the eggs instead going for the Confit ocean trout with pearl barley. Mum and I decided we would share so the second half of my meal was Slow Cooked Lamb Salad with Yoghurt. Dad decided to get the wonderland dish.  Lucky me I got to taste them all!

The Confit Ocean Trout was Ah-mazing! There was a delightful crunch of fennel that was sooo finely chopped that they provided a nice fresh crunch. The pearl barley ‘s subtle flavour and smooth texture was the perfect accompaniment to the delicate trout.

The Slow Cooked Lamb Salad with Yoghurt was delicious and comforting. Although there were no real surprises, warm lamb, yoghurt, some chickpeas, sweet potatoe and salad greens, the salad was comfortable, definitely a dish I’d return to on any day.

I didn’t have much of the rolled eggs in quinoa but Dad demolished it all. But I hear the soft boiled egg was complemented by the crunch of the quinoa… that’s all he said. It is definitely an intriguing dish… one I wish to try.

The Grounds has become astoundingly popular in a very short time, but it truly is a great place. The food, atmosphere, and décor are all very exciting! A place that feels comfortable but provides nice surprises to make sure that you will come back… and I know I will.

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