One night my Bride and I met some friends for dinner at Gratzi Restaurant in Ann Arbor. The restaurant is a rehabbing of an old cinema palace from the thirties. It is a beautiful building and interesting décor. Ann Arbor is a major university city with an abundance of students on the streets and in the restaurant trade as they work to achieve their diplomas. I found this restaurant had a big following of students, and the staff seemed to be students as well. It was lively, though a bit loud to my liking, but then sometimes I become an old curmudgeon in new settings. There was also a bell somewhere, that was constantly ringing, which I found disconcerting.
Be that as it may, we all enjoyed our meal, which was the reason we were out. From the appetizers and ending with desserts, the dishes were appealing and delicious. I remember having a veal dish, and was very pleased, as I tend to be fussy about veal, if it is not prepared correctly. I had no complaints, which kept my Bride happy. My Bride had a seafood dish, and the other couple had beef dishes.
We were there, during the Merlot “craze” and I saw an Italian Merlot wine. I thought that it would be popular with the ladies and still be agreeable with the Italian cuisine that we were having. This bottle of Merlot was from the Friuli area of Italy in the North East near the borders of Austria and Yugoslavia. Merlot is a popular varietal of this area, and continues on into Trieste and Yugoslavia. It was not as polished and full as a Saint Emilion from France, but had a more earthy or rustic flavor to it. It was an interesting choice and a wine that I have not noticed on other wine lists, but sometimes I have not looked for something different.