Grayz: Have you been?
Going to try Grayz for Restaurant Week and while I realize this may not be the best time to test, I wondered what the experience of other Chowhounders has been there. Food? Service? Ambiance? I'm interested to hear.
Just back from RW lunch there. I thought it was very good. Tuna and hamachi tartare, cod with artichoke, fennel and saffron, then a chocolate dessert with passion-fruit sorbet. All first rate, and it's an easy walk-in...many empty tables, and completely empty bar seating.
We just went for dinner last night. Overall impression.... B-/C+.
I had told the reservationist when I called that I am vegetarian, and was told it was no problem. When I requested a vegetarian main course, since one was not listed on the restaurant week menu, the server told me there were no substitutions and I would have to pay full menu price for my entree. But upon asking at the front desk, she came back and informed me it was not a problem anymore. Okay then.
First course- my mother and I both had the spaetzle and mache salad (minus bacon, for me). I enjoyed the tiny undressed salad far more than the overpowering spaetzle.
Main course- I had vegetable ragout in yogurt sauce, which was pleasant but I thought better suited for the fall. My mother had the seared pike which she declared wonderful.
Dessert- I had the chocolate dome with cherries and yogurt foam... eh. My mother's coffee toffee creme brulee disappeared very fast though.
Our main server forgot one of the drinks until just before the mains arrived, and didn't come back to see how anything was, in an almost-empty room. The couple at the next table had a similar experience- 'Isn't she unpleasant?' said the woman next to me. We found all of the other service staff to be very polite and efficient.
The music was kept at an uncomfortably loud level throughout.
Upon paying the bill we each got a $25 coupon to be used for a future lunch visit, but we're not going back. Anyone want the coupons?
(Edited to add that I think everyone gets the coupons, since they say 'Thank you for joining us for Restaurant Week.' I don't believe they were given to us because we had issues.)
Went for RW lunch yesterday. One of my favorite overall RW meals.
First, they bring bread with yogurt for dipping. And they brought us a second helping without us asking. This may seem like a silly thing, but I am finding that more and more restaurants are penny pinching and charging for, or being skimpy with, some basic things. This was not the issue at all, at Grayz.
Secondly, all of the portions were generous. This is also not always the case. In general - not just for restaurant week. Tuna tartare was wonderful and a very generous portion! My co-worker had the tomato coulis which she enjoyed (though, I did not try it).
We all had the short rib croque-moisseur. Because...how can you not? It was not as cheesy/creamy as I had envisioned, but it was still delicious. Generous portion, plenty of beef with good flavor. The grit "french fries" were a nice side with a slightly sweet tamarind sauce. IT was a nice balance.
For dessert, one mousse (amazingly sinful) and one watermelon granita with berries (completely delicious and refreshing).
I had already decided to go back for a non-RW dinner when they brought us $25 lunch coupons. So, I will definitely hit them up again.
It's an old-school feeling space. In fact, there were some "ladies who lunch" at the table next to us. But, I love that classic NY feeling! It was a nice afternoon.
I had RW dinner at Grayz last night, not knowing what to expect, and all I can say is wow! RW or not, this was a great dinner, especially of course given the value. They may not cater to vegetarians, according to the poster above (and RW is probably not the time for special reuests) but everyone else should love this place.
We were seated in a small room that accomodaates only a few tables toward the back, almost like a private dining room. The decor is stylish but comfortable and modern with oversized cushy chairs. It was quiet and Zen-like (though I didn't love the techno music, at least it wasn't loud), Service was attentive and professional throughout.
Now the main: the food, starting with a continually replenished basket of crusty bread and a butter/yogurt/olive oil spead was outstanding. I had the Badminton Cup to start, a RW drink of gin, lime juice, mint and cucumber -- delightful, We started with the Thai buillabaisse, a few pieces of choice seafood (shrimp, scallop?) and a tender dumpling in a flavorful, spicy soup. The pike was a great entree choice, in a velvety light saue with an interesting mix of vegetable, including shaved radishes, firm tender and delicious. The chococate bomb with cherries and yogurt foam was a perfect ending plus a bonus of bite sized treats of chocolate and meringue were a nice touch.
I suspect there are those who will quibble with this review but, honestly, I found it a deilghtful and satisfying dining experience.
re: City Kid
Our reasons for not liking the experience had nothing to do with being vegetarian, because as I said, I enjoyed my entree. As far as it being a special request, that's why I mention it when I make the reservation. All they have to say is no.
I did also have the Badminton Cup, and couldn't get through half of it. We must agree to disagree. :) Glad you had a good time though.
Wanted to squeeze one more RW meal in so I went to Grayz for lunch today and had a wonderful experience. I had the tuna and hamachi tartare and the roasted cod with artichoke and fennel, followed by berries with watermelon granita. Fresh crusty bread with some kind of yogurt-olive oil dip was delicous. Attentive service. I was happy for the RW opportunity to try it, low risk, and will be back. I hope this place stays around for a while. It deserves to succeed.
As far as I am concerend this restaurant is on the top of my list to go back to when it reopens in September.
Went for dinner on Monday night and was bowled over by the food and service, decided to go back for lunch with my son today it's still RW. It was still a "WOW" experience. We were both very impressed with the food, it was also nice to be recognized with a welcome back. Even at lunch we were presented with the certificates.
It is a solid 10
We went for dinner on Thursday night and just want to add to this post that we loved the food and the service. Both were great. The decor and music have got to go though. Hopefully both get changed after the renovations. Can't believe they took the former Aquavit space and paid money to make it look uglier, let's see what they come up with in September. Can't wait to try using the $25 gift certificate.