Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fine Dining, CoolSprings Style, at Criallo's

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:01 AM

click to enlarge criallos_mussels.jpg

Report from the recession: things look pretty good in Williamson County. We tried three different restaurants one night last week and all were heaving with customers. By the time we landed at Criallo's, 1935 Mallory Lane, we were ready for whatever they happened to be serving.

Happily, they had Kim Crawford Marlborough sauvignon blanc, for just $10 a glass, and generous starters of crunchety calamari and mussels luxuriating in a butter-soaked brew of white wine and broth that I'm pretty sure is illegal in Utah.

We could have stopped there, but when there's skewered shrimp wrapped in bacon and stacked teepee-style, on a carb-friendly modest layer of highly seasoned cheese grits--well, someone has to stimulate the economy. And if not me, then who?

The waiter/bartender and his wife were culinary professionals as well as servers, so they could answer all our questions. If the occasion had called for it, and if I weren't driving, there's a "Captain's List" wine selection. A piano player who could well and truly sing was playing softly in the corner. It was a very F. Scott's experience, in food, wine, atmosphere and music.

It gave me reason to feel, you know, hopeful, a little, for independent restaurateuring, which right now seems like a pretty scary place to be.

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