Closed Middletown restaurant to offer reservation-only events with special meals

Gracie’s restaurant is now open on Central Avenue in Middletown. The menu is described as big city comfort food with items such as seared salmon, fried chicken, Berkshire pork chop and meatloaf. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Gracie’s restaurant is now open on Central Avenue in Middletown. The menu is described as big city comfort food with items such as seared salmon, fried chicken, Berkshire pork chop and meatloaf. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Although Gracie’s recently closed for the remainder of the year, the restaurant will offer a special five-course dinner and wine experience two Saturday’s a month.

Tickets for the first event on Sept. 12 are on sale now for $95. Limited seating is available.

Gracie’s will continue to offer private events, and customers can rent out the space for special events. The owners continue to operate Vitori’s Market as well.

“I just didn’t see how I could make the numbers work between now and the end of the year,” said Ami Vitori, owner of Gracie’s. “I really want to stay open for the long haul, so I thought it was better to reserve my capital, and focus on the market, and these special events, while we wait for, hopefully, a vaccine, or more normalized numbers, and people going out regularly. We have a lot of our really good customers who still aren’t going out to eat.”

For the first event, each course will include a specially selected natural wine from Soroca Imports. Wines will also be available for purchase by the bottle following the dinner.

“I think the people that really love and will miss Gracie’s are excited about the opportunity to still be able to come for these smaller, ticketed dinners,” she said.

These dinners will be held on the second and fourth Saturday’s of each month. Gracie’s Executive Chef Brian Clark will work with a lead bartender to plan the pairings for each event. Each course will have a different pairing. These events will be held inside Gracie’s (on the floor of the restaurant,) or on Gracie’s patio, depending on the weather.

“We hope to bring the same type of cuisine we’ve always done, but there will also be some new and different items that aren’t on the menu,” Vitori said.

September’s events will be held on Sept. 12 and Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. On Sept. 12, the theme will be a natural wine and a local, organic paired dinner and on Sept. 26, there will be an Italian dinner with wine pairings from across the region. Courses will include an amuse- bouche (a bite-sized hors d'œuvre,) soup, salad, main course/entrée, and a dessert. Customers can expect to have some interesting, new experiences.

The five-course menu is designed to pair each course with a unique wine. For the first event, Brandon Snell from Soroca Imports will be pouring a diverse group of natural wines and sharing about each of their distinct characteristics, as well as talking about the natural wine movement.

“I think people enjoy going out and having a nicer, fine dining experience with great service and higher-end, upscale food, and with Gracie’s closed, guests are still going to want to have that opportunity to have a nice meal with wine, and great service, and that’s what we can provide them twice a month,” Vitori said.

Tickets for Gracie’s 5-Course/Natural Wine Pairing Dinner are available on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gracies-5-course-dinner-featuring-natural-wine-pairings-tickets-117557209779. In October, the dinner/wine themed events will be held on Saturday, October 10 and Saturday, October 24. Ticket costs may vary for each event.

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