While some people are uncomfortable dining alone, in my line of work I tend to dine out alone quite often, so I've become accustomed to it and actually look forward to it from time to time. During a recent visit to Dublin, I went for lunch at The Grayson, a restaurant I'd heard a great deal about, so I couldn't wait to enjoy some fab food, while having a bit of down time.
Grayson’s motto is for 'every guest to leave feeling better than they did before they entered,' and my experience certainly didn’t disappoint.
The restaurant is located in a previously residential townhouse opposite St Stephen’s Green. Built in 1745 as a home for Mrs Ruth Croker, it is said that she hosted many fabulous parties for Dublin’s eminent figures and it's evident that the staff hope to continue that very ethos.
The building itself is extraordinary and the designer has managed to highlight its original features and protect its structure while creating a fresh, bright and comfortable atmosphere. Upon arrival, the first thing you notice is the facade, covered in luscious ivy that runs the height of the building, giving a contemporary chic feel to the place. Through the Georgian entryway, guests are greeted by an exquisitely carved staircase that winds its way up to the two stories above.
Arriving at the ground floor reception, I headed to the back of the building to check out the Atrium, a bright, warm and welcoming area where I perched at the bar and enjoyed a chilled glass of champagne as I perused the menu.
Marble is the standout feature on the ground floor, even extending into the lovely bathrooms, with four varieties sourced from Portugal and Italy, all having subtle differences in colour and pattern. Art brightens the walls across the entire building, with pieces from artists Phillip Allen, Mark Francis, David Godbold, Callum Innes as well as Swiss artist Liliane Tomasko.
When I was ready for my lunch, I ventured to the upstairs dining room. The hallway is quite grand with the original decorative ceiling high above, and the wall panelling and gold detailing that decorates the staircase is all intact.
The dining room was impeccable, with big sash windows overlooking Ireland’s arguably most famous park. High ceilings, parquet wooden floors, fireplaces, and elegant small bars shape all the rooms.
Food in the Grayson is the brainchild of Head Chef Jacson Reboli, who has been putting together a diverse menu that is centred on fresh ingredients that are bursting with colour and flavour. The menu is contemporary and modern Irish cuisine, and is an assortment of salads, meats and seafood.
I had the Parmesan Chicken Salad, which is a combination of chicken breast, baby gem, roasted peppers, Nduja aioli topped with Parmesan cheese, all washed down with chilled champagne.
Hospitality is the name of the game at The Grayson, and in my opinion they've nailed it! The food was delicious, the service was impeccable and the location, the interiors, and the atmosphere were all wonderful, making for a delightful afternoon.
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