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Greystone The Steakhouse

The first thing you notice when you walk into Greystone is the grandeur of its interior. It almost literally takes your breath away as a three-leveled dining area presents itself. It feels as if you’ve just walked into a mansion of old with its spiraling staircases reaching for the sky. Not a bad start for a highly anticipated experience.

From the outside it falls into step with its restaurant peers along 5th avenue, with its patio seating. This makes the inside all the more of a surprise. A friendly, grand wooden bar greets you, beckoning you to sample a cocktail. There is a small dining area on this level but it’s what lies beyond that is so striking. A wrought-iron staircase invites you up to the top level while a grand marble staircase lead you down below which is where we were destined.

Lovely artwork adorns the walls of Greystones high ceilings and dimly lit interior while 70’s rock grooved our senses. The music made for an interesting contrast to what is clearly an upper cut steakhouse but it set the tone for the evening. You’re going to be spoiled, but relax and have a great time and leave the pretenses at the door.

Our party of three settled into one of the lower level impressive banquets that made our female companion feel like a queen. They also have sequestered deeply spacious booths for more seclusion. Beyond all of this lies the open kitchen, showcasing its myriad activities. After a little confusion on having the most current menu, we got down to the business of eating.

If you are a wine lover you’ll enjoy the offerings at Greystone, from the extreme high end to wines of a more moderate value. We relished the Elderton 2004 Shiraz that had a wonderful full-bodied, yet velvety smooth taste. We complimented the wine with excellent choices from the appetizer selection including Steak Tartare (traditional steak tartare, guacamole and mango salsa), Smoked Scottish Salmon (served with cherry tomatoes and cucumber over a bed of bagel chips and finished with dill creme fraiche) and Oysters Rockefeller (baked with sautéed spinach and crispy bacon and finished with a dill cream sauce).

All three were a tremendous success in presentation, flavor and construction. The tartare was perfect with the guacamole and mango accompaniments creating a whimsical seasoned treasure. The salmon was a playful dish that actually had the salmon wrapped around the other components similar to a pastry shell. It was a great interactive dish. The Oysters were dead on perfection. Arguably one of the best we’ve ever had. The bacon created a nice crunchy texture to the otherwise slippery guise of the oyster and the flavor was a hit out of the park.

Our entrees arrived after a perfectly timed interlude with our guest. The splendid Wild Boar Rigatoni (rigatoni pasta tossed with wild boar ragu and peas, finished with a touch of cream and Parmigiano shaved) was simply excellent. The ragu was a hearty rich dish that would have done any Italian restaurant proud. It had great flavor and consistency to it. The only disappointment is that the Wild Boar was completely lost in the dish. It could have been beef; pork or veal, there was no telling. Also served was the Elk Chop (roasted and crusted with porcini mushrooms and served with collard greens and herb mashed potatoes and topped with a coriander black berry reduction sauce) that was rich with complicated yet very inviting flavors. The dish had an earthy, herbaceous taste to it that worked very well with the elk. Lastly was the Buffalo Tenderloin (served with Swiss chard greens, garlic mashed potatoes, poached pear with a port wine reduction).

Excellent! Though both were a tad on the rare side (which is a slippery slope as you do not want it overcooked) the texture, flavors and composition of the plate was completely engaging.

We also ordered some side dishes that were too enticing to pass up like the Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Wild Mushrooms and herb Butter Corn (with applewood smoked bacon). The mushrooms delivered as expected mixed with a delectable butter sauce. The corn was the hit of the evening with an almost rosemary flavor to it and a playful crunchy consistency. The lone disappointment was the lobster mash. We expected great things from this dish and it fell short and was watery and bland.

We were "forced" to try a dessert and shared the light, smooth Pistachio Mouse (two-color sponge cake layered with pistachio mousse) that was a delight. With our defenses now down we wrapped up the evening with their amusing after dinner drink called Belushi, featuring kalua, espresso, vanilla vodka and Bailey’s Irish cream – need we say more?

The evening was a sheer delight. The staff was in perfect form and very engaging throughout the night, always genuinely concerned with how your evening was progressing. Be forewarned the prices are on the steep side, so be prepared to make sure the credit crunch hasn’t hit you or your card. The only deep complaint we had was the noise level of the room – loud would be an understatement. We inquired with our server who indicated it had something to do with the acoustics of the room and the high ceiling. This is fine if you have a rowdy crowd with you but not so much if you’re trying to have an intimate conversation. That said, we did indeed enjoy our time there with great relish and would go back in a heartbeat and encourage you to do the same. Enjoy!

The Good – amazing appetizers orchestrated perfectly.

The Bad – again, we have never been to a high-end restaurant that was so noisy.

Details »
  • City: San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: 619-232-0225
  • Name: Greystone
  • Address: 658 5th Ave