Those who have been tracking my dining patterns on this blog may have been wondering why I had yet to review Graycliff, one of Nassau’s best known fine dining restaurants. Truth be told, I imagined that Graycliff would be priced beyond my budget. It was. Thankfully, it was my 40th birthday, and my mother was in town and offered to take the family out for a special dinner. My mom had done some research and suggested Graycliff as an ideal spot for our celebration. It was.
Once a private home, this beautiful old mansion offers a dining environment that is uniquely elegant. Our Monday night, 7pm, reservation meant that we were the first to be seated in the dining room. Since Graycliff utilizes a team of servers to look after each table, we immediately received great attention. Drink orders were filled quickly, with fresh bread and appetizers following closely behind.
I was pleased to see Conch Chowder on the menu, which made for an obvious choice for my appetizer. Sherry pepper sauce was offered, and gratefully received. I recommend adding just a little splash for some added heat. It was a hearty chowder, with decent sized conch and vegetables. The chowder didn’t have the “wow” that the chowder at Van Breugel’s has, but the taste was excellent and I would readily order this again. Allie ordered a Caprese salad, and the fresh buffalo mozzarella perfectly complemented the heat from my chowder.
As I surveyed the prices of the entrees I felt my heart rate accelerate, but then I reminded myself that mom was paying, and so I went for the 14 oz Certified Angus Beef® sirloin. Don’t get me wrong—mom wasn’t holding back either, as she ordered the lobster entree. My steak was perfectly cooked (medium rare) and appropriately seasoned. I regularly promote to Allie and Anya the importance of fat in steak, for its capacity to impart taste, tenderness, and juiciness to the beef. This sirloin, however, had more fat than I had ever seen on a restaurant steak before. I estimate that I trimmed 4 oz of fat off of my steak—essentially leaving me with a 10 oz sirloin.
The menu at Graycliff is also à la carte. Allie added asparagus, while I added what turned out to be a rather large plate of mashed potatoes. I was a little surprised to find that the potatoes weren’t very warm, but the service had been so good that I didn’t feel comfortable sending back a peripheral item that I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish anyway (I didn’t).
Anya ordered chicken fingers and fries for her dinner. I know that sounds like a pretty standard order for a 10 year-old, but these tenders were excellent. The chicken fingers were nicely seasoned and freshly made.
For dessert Allie ordered Guava Duff and thoroughly enjoyed this Bahamian favorite. I opted out of dessert, but ordered another favorite of mine, a “Bahamian Coffee”. We could hear musicians performing in the next room throughout our dinner, but that didn’t become relevant to our dining experience until the singer came to our table to sing us “Happy Birthday” (my birthday is Nov. 20 and Allie’s is Nov. 26). The server followed closely with 2 strawberry cheesecakes. Good thing I saved room! Allie, on the other hand, was tapped out. We got her’s to go, and I had it for breakfast the next day.
Our experience at Graycliff was an immensely positive one. The tiny hiccups I experienced with the steak and potatoes shouldn’t obscure the fact that the food here is of the highest quality. The team of attentive servers, and the beautiful environment greatly enhances the dining experience. While the price point may delay my return to Graycliff Restaurant, I am delighted to learn that Graycliff’s Humidor Piazza is more within my budget. I look forward to reviewing some of their pizza in the very near future!