Visitors to Grand Center are perpetually in search of dinner sites, places where they can park once for the entire evening. We're going to investigate a few new ones, starting with LoRusso's on Grand. At the northwest corner of Grand and Washington, Rich LoRusso is serving an all-you-can-eat buffet on nights when there's action in Grand Center, and for matinees at the Fox, too. Lunchtime also bring a sit-down option along with the (smaller) buffet.
Things get very busy, so reservations are a good idea. Yes, they take them at lunch, too. On the opening night of "Beautiful" walk-ins mostly managed to get seated fairly quickly but some ended up at the bar. Noise levels are not unreasonable, thankfully, so you can get that conversation taken care of before the curtain goes up. (Thanks for that, by the way.)
So what's to eat on that dinner buffet? Plenty of hot, fresh toasted raviolis, with a meaty sauce for dipping. Not that it's needed - these guys are plenty filling without the sauce, and nicely executed, no greasy drippage at all. Garlic cheese bread. Two salads, spinach and the della casa, LoRusso's house salad. I dote on the house salad, an un-sweet dressing, fresh greens that are crisp but not fibrous, a little cheese thrown in, and very popular with many diners.
Penne pasta in a tomato sauce, meatless, that hadn't died from its time in the chafing dish, sat next to garlic potatoes, slightly chunky and fragarant from the garlic. Some fresh green beans, tender but not sagging, finished off the vegetables.
Slices of beef tenderloin rested in a Chianti sauce. One can argue that the tenderloin should have been better trimmed, but the sauce was excellent and the slices of meat actually retained some pink inside. Tenderloin, by its nature, is not the most flavorful cut of cow, but in a sauce like this, that's unimportant. Chicken piccata didn't fare as well. There really is no way to keep boneless, skinless chicken breasts tender in a chafing dish, even ones changed out as frequently as these were. So the texture was expected - not deeply tough, certainly but firm. The sauce, which ought to be piquant, bright with some acidity, usually from lemon, was less than that. A polite sauce, but not anywhere near exciting.
Slices of cheesecake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and strawberries were the desserts - I tried the cheesecake, which was nicely traditional.
And do pay attention to when the show starts if you're going to the Fox. Some of the more family-friendly plays have an earlier curtain time.
LoRusso's on Grand
601 N Grand
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair access: Fair
Dinner buffet (adults): $25