It’s Thursday. 7:13pm. The group chat is active. You and the girls are trying to decide what’s the plan for tomorrow night. Babysitters have been booked and outfits semi-chosen, the only problem now is deciding what to do.
The days of drinking tequila until 4am aren’t over, just limited. Dinner and drinks sound more doable - for this week, at least. But it’s cold, covid is still roaming the streets, and you have no interest in calling every restaurant in Manhattan to see if they miraculously have a last-minute reservation for six. Of course, ordering pizza and watching The Bachelor sounds like a fun time, but you girls are a little more adventurous than that. Your standards are high, and you expect a certain caliber for your Friday night. What if you and your girlfriends could dress up and experience luxury without the extra fees of going out? We’ve got you covered… Let the girls know - tomorrow is Gradito night!
After many thumbs up and celebratory emojis, you quickly open the Gradito app in hopes of finding a chef for tomorrow. After spending nine minutes intensely staring at your phone trying to decide on a cuisine, you finally decide: Mediterranean. A few minutes later, you get a notification - you’re just in luck! Chef Sean is available for your fine dining experience tomorrow evening. Woohoo! As you go to confirm your Gradito experience, you notice Sean’s specialty is Spanish cuisine. What better way to surprise the girls than to commemorate the legendary Barcelona trip you all did to celebrate your 30s? At your request, Sean has happily agreed to create a 5-course Mediterranean menu with a Spanish flair. Everything is set - you let the girls know and Kate texts, “What should we bring to drink?”. You message Chef Sean to see what would pair best with the meal, and he suggests booking a sommelier to make the evening extra special. You quickly try adding a sommelier to your reservation and look at that - Sommelier Eric is free and more than excited to create an elevated wine tasting experience to compliment your unique menu. Now you’re all set, and better yet, no one has to worry about bringing anything!
An easy, quick, and personalized Michelin-starred experience for a total of $1,860 ($185 per person for 5-course menu + $300 for the sommelier + $75 per person for 5-course elevated wine menu) Who knew reservations could be this fun? And in a few simple clicks, you just booked your most memorable ‘Ladies Night In’.
It’s Gradito o’Clock!
The time has come… Say bye to the office, and hello to a night of elegance. You hear a knock at your door, and Chef Sean and Sommelier Eric greet you with a smile, a selection of high-quality ingredients, and some of the best wines you will ever try. They thank you for graciously inviting them into your home and start preparing for the night of fine dining that awaits you and your squad.
As the seductive smell of sizzling black garlic starts to fill your apartment, your beloved besties start arriving ready for your night of delicious food and great company. You soon realize there’s nothing for you to do but to be with your girls, so you all move into the dining room as Chef Sean starts plating your first course and Sommelier Eric begins pouring the bubbly. You all take your seats and look at each other in jittery excitement. Let the carnival of flavors commence…
Round 1: Chilled Spanish Prawn Tartare with Persimmon, Cucumber, and Native Mint
Cava Leopardi Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2011
In order to awaken your taste buds, you begin your meal with a refreshing dish that will transport you all to the sparkling coasts of the Mediterranean. With your first bite, you sense the beautifully delicate flavor of the persimmon and how it brings out the sweetness of the fresh prawn tartare. Then, you take a sip of the Cava, and realize how its lovely apple & pear citrus freshness goes hand in hand with the shellfish. With the Cava’s perfect amount of fizz and toasted brioche finish, it makes you taste spring on this cold December evening. There is flavor-filled silence until Ana says, “Eric, can we have more?”. A wave of laughter ensues.
Round 2: Sautéed Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Toasted Brioche, Black Truffle - Celeriac Marmalade, and Garden Mâche
Gewürztraminer Clos Gaensbroennel Grand Cru 2014
Now that you’ve experienced a bright taste, it’s time for decadence. Chef Sean comes out with a beautifully plated foie gras surrounded by the faint earthly notes of the celeriac marmalade and black truffle. But the real highlight of this round is the almost melodious accompaniment of this gold-colored wine from France. You taste heaven once you feel the unexpected tropical flavors of pineapple, lychee, and mango dance with the rich and buttery taste of the foie gras. Carmen and Lily agree this is a step up from the cheap (probably illegal) pineapple vodka they would buy in college.
Round 3: Whole Mediterranean Dorada and Maine Lobster Tail, bound in their own Mousse and Pastry, Served with Truffled Sabayon
Vino de Autor Ribeiro Blanco 2015
From decadence, we move onto adventure. Although the fish and lobster might catch your eye first, you soon find that the star of the show is the truffled sabayon. Chef Sean knows you are all truffle fans and has invited you to expand your truffle experience with this frothy savory custard. Eric soon serves a light white wine that brings harmony to the whole dish. You look at the wine bottle, and you and Claudia remember you had this wine when you went to Barcelona. Kate then says it might’ve been a different one. More memories arise as you continue to sip and celebrate…
Round 4: Charcoal Grilled Galician Ribeye with Diamond Shell Clam Relish and ‘Pommes Anna’ Gnocchi
Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
You’re enjoying yourselves so much that you forget you have two more courses left. You cheer in unison when Chef Sean comes out with the most spectacular ribeye steak you’ve ever seen. Eric brings out a full-bodied red wine with an addictive aroma of oak, cherry & cola, and you all agree this is better than the tomahawk steak at your favorite steakhouse. You look at each other in amazement and keep drinking and reminiscing about the time you decided going out in Murray Hill was a good idea.
Round 5: Roasted Chestnut Crepe Mille Feuille with 72% Chocolate Mousse and Lavazza Crema e Gusto Syrup
Tokaji Aszú 3 Puttonyos
Finally… a taste of divine simplicity to end the night on the sweetest of notes. Not wanting this night of luxury to end, you take a bite hesitantly and soon feel the taste of cacao and coffee hug your senses. Then you take a sip of your first Hungarian wine, and experience the splendor of its honey, apricot & orange peel notes that perfectly accompany the subtle nuttiness of the Mille Feuille. You all savor your spoons as you look at each other with loving appreciation and gratitude.
Cheers to A Night of Luxury, Ladies!
From a night filled with beautiful dishes to sophisticated wine pairings to endless laughter, you and your friends feel like the queens you are. But wait, we haven’t gotten to the best part. This is the moment where you realize Sean and Eric are the ones who take care of the dishes and cleanup too - so you and your expensive manicure can relax and keep enjoying the company of your besties. You raise a toast to the years of friendship, and all agree that this night is one for the books.
Cheers to many more nights of friendship, memories & Gradito!