From the traditional Italian oregano to soy sauce and tropical mango, Greystone the Steakhouse on 5th Avenue in downtown San Diego displays a variety of flavors which will please the simple diner as well as the food connoisseur. Great steaks, exotic game, hearty fish and home-made pasta are prepared fresh and skillfully. They even have an award winning wine list awaiting you at this fine restaurant. Come for the food and stay for the warm family style of service in an atmosphere that retains the charm of the old theatre in which the restaurant was built.Read More ...
It is hard to decide which table at Greystone is the best.
The terrace at the front of the establishment is quite inviting for dining. Here, you can dine al fresco on white linens set with immaculate white china and sparkling stemware. The spacious dining room is split in three levels with 2 elegant staircases going down to one then up the other.
The graceful décor is reminiscent of the old theatre that it once was, with the stage now serving as the bar-lounge area. As I sit on the comfortable bar stool listening to the bar tender’s story, I imagine the burlesque performers dance while the boisterous navy and marine boys cheer them on. The bar/lounge area is lively with conversation and laughter. The giant paintings on the walls depict Chef Vincenzo Lo Verso’s pride and joy, “Skip to the stone”, a champion race-horse. These lively portraits make the place exciting with color. The two levels of the formal dining room are quieter in mood, with impeccable tables in elegant white and black. Soft music playing in the background creates a gentle ambiance. The upper floor offers several cozy spots for romantic dining, either by the fireplace or by the stylish rail.
Peter Busalacchi, the general manager, shows us the private dining room which doubles as a wine showroom and features its own fireplace. The room is perfect for large parties of up to 16 guests and business meetings since it is equipped with a large projection screen. The tables throughout the restaurant are comfortably spaced to allow for private conversation and plenty of elbow room. The staff’s polite demeanor makes my companion and I feel as if we were somewhere in the Old World. Gabriele, our server, gives us a menu and we marvel at the variety of dishes that reflect Chef Vincenzo Lo Verso’s international gastronomic skills. This menu boasts everything from pasta preparations of his native Italy to poultry and exotic game cooked to emphasize their natural goodness.
We are eager to read the wine list since we’ve seen the seven consecutive awards granted to Greystone by Wine Connoisseur magazine, all of which are framed in black and adorning a hallway near the open kitchen. The wine menu’s generous selection places an emphasis on Napa Valley whites and reds, but also features a nice assortment of French Champagne such as the classic Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (1998) and Dom Pérignon, “Cuvee” and Domaine Carneros, sparkling wine from Sonoma.
While we read a list of almost 30 California Pinot Noirs accompanied by a myriad of Cabernets and white wines from Italy or Argentina, our server comes to our table bearing two white platters whose aromas make our mouths water with expectation. One of the platters holds an appetizer of Sautéed Mushrooms stuffed with a mix of crab and bread crumbs which has been cooked in a chardonnay lemon sauce. As we savor them, we perceive that the tender and subtle sweetness of the crab meat has been infused with the tanginess of the lemon and the acidity of the wine in tasty harmony, the aroma of fresh herbs completes the pleasing effect. To accompany our appetizer, Gabriele suggests a glass of 2008 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The full flavor of this bright wine is composed of lemon tones and gooseberry aromas that are a good match for the lemon chardonnay sauce and balance the hint of piquancy of the tasty bites.
The other platter features the Greystone Salad, an arrangement of mixed baby greens, pears poached in red wine, stilton cheese and candied walnuts all tossed in a creamy lemon mustard vinaigrette. The feast of flavors and contrast of textures is a gift to the palate. The tartness of the greens in combination with the sweet crunch of the walnuts are emphasized with the citrus notes of the vinaigrette and complemented by the salty and sour creaminess of the stilton.
While we enjoy our dinner in the terrace, the banquet manager Veronica Goodwin talks to us about what it’s like to work at Greystone. She tells us that she admires how Chef Lo Verso treats his employees as if they were his family. This creates an easy and enjoyable atmosphere which is apparent even to the guests who enjoy the old fashion friendly service as provided by the staff.
Our next dish is a pair of succulent Colorado Lamb Chops served on a bed of risotto and flavored with Swiss chard and basted in a pear infused Cabernet reduction, a sauce made by evaporating wine, herbs and butter until the flavors concentrate and a the liquid thickens. The chops have a perfectly browned exterior and a juicy tender interior. The plate is garnished with creamy crumbles of gorgonzola cheese. The sweetness of the pear infused wine reduction is a foil for the distinctive taste of the lamb, while the savory sour notes of the gorgonzola work to bring all the flavors to harmony in every bite.
Gabriele suggests a glass of Duckhorn Vineyards, Golden eye Pinot Noir 2006 from Napa Valley for this dish and again, he was right on target. With its undertones of berries and vanilla as well as the subtle notes of chocolate, this wine agrees with the distinctive flavor of lamb and works in concert with the Cabernet reduction to achieve a palatable ending.
Our culinary experience is enhanced with a dish that is full of smoky, woody and sweet aromas. Our dish of fresh Salmon came wrapped in crisp apple wood smoked bacon and boldly covered in a Pinot Noir and mushroom reduction. The beautiful filet was presented over a bed of creamy risotto cooked with kernels of yellow corn and the presentation was finished with lengthwise slices of caramelized bokchoy. The delicate and sweet flesh of the salmon is permeated with the smoky and salty flavor of the bacon and set off by the tanginess of the wine reduction. When combined with the slight bitterness of the bokchoy and the creaminess of the risotto, each bite is complete with sweet and sour tones and a diversity of contrasting textures lent by the crispiness of the vegetables and the smoothness of the salmon flesh.
The festival of flavors continues with a cut of Buffalo Tenderloin. For the leanest red meat you’ll ever find, this cut is juicy and even slightly sweet for game meat. It is served on a bed of mashed potatoes seasoned with garlic and Swiss chard. A rich port wine reduction basted the tenderloin which was garnished with dry figs and poached pears. The tender meat renders its juices as I slice into it. As the juices mingle with the port reduction, I pinch softly into the flesh with my fork and sweep through the mound of mashed potatoes and chard. The result is a blast of flavors. The sweetness of the fruit complementing the bitterness of the chard, the tartness of the wine reduction, and the smoothness of the potatoes were enfolding all the flavors of the tender loin.
We finish our dream of flavors with a pair of desserts that seem to represent the beauty, elegance, and taste of this lovely restaurant. Our Lava Cake is served crowned with a scoop of luscious vanilla gelato. Mama mia! Each bite of runny hot chocolate cake that contrasts with the smooth cold gelato is sweet and bitter as well as cold and hot. It is a dessert made in heaven. The Tiramisu is a pleasure of smooth and elegant layers of mascarpone cream and moist cake dipped in coffee and garnished with a dust of slightly bitter cocoa to balance the sweetness of the cream.
We have our sweets while taking in the atmosphere of a slightly warm late summer night, enjoying the view of people walking by. We decide that the terrace is the perfect place to sit on a night like this. On our next visit, we will have to experience relaxing in the formal dining room, tasting more of the prize winning wines and perhaps trying some of those Italian specialties we are so curious about.
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It was our first time there and it was our first anniversary. And I wanted a perfect night in down town. They really gave that to us from the beginning all the way up till the end. Great food, great staff and the steak was mouth watering. We had wine and champagne and some choclate cake for desert. We were out on the patio and it was the perfect scenerio.
I was pleasantly surprised tonight, I attended a conference after which several of us went to find a good steak in San Diego.. after asking a few people what was the best steak house in this area each person said Greystone Steakhouse so it was our obvious choice. I never make reviews but I have never had such a great dinning experience. The moment I walked in the door to the moment that I could'nt take another bite was perfect. The hostess Carina was so sweet. our waiter was attentive and knowledgeable but perhaps the most important was the food was to die for. Never had I eaten such a great steak it just melted deliciously in my mouth. I just hope steak is not ruined for me forever now. I recommend giving Greystone Steakhouse a try if you are looking for a great atmosphere with over the top amazing food while in San Diego.
What a great place to celebrate a special occasion or just to enjoy fine dining! Lovely setting -- we sat by the fire. JP, our waiter, was attentive and made sure our dinner was perfect. Great place to get game meat expertly prepared. Can't wait to get back there.
Amazing steak!! It just melted in my mouth!
Our experience at Greystone was excellent. We were there for an intimate dinner to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday, and it was perfect. The noise level was low, booths provide a very intimate setting. The food was excellent,the presentation attractive, and the service perfect. The waiter was knew the wines well and made good recommendations.I would definitely go back for a special occasion. Margarita, Laguna Niguel
The food was absolutely fabulous! Our waiter was very,very good! We never had to ask for anything! Highly recommended if you like a good steak! Oh and the lobster melted in my mouth!
As new parents going out on the town, we were looking forward to a great experience. Maybe the expectations of ours, having both worked in the food industry as both management and server in fine dining for over 8 years each were too big. Although 2 out of the 3 courses were good, our service was mediocre. Our server lacked attention to detail and hardly said a word to us except can I take your order and enjoy your dinner. This was not the service one would expect from a fine dining downtown Steakhouse...but maybe it is. I rated this overall experience as a 3 but would have marked it a 2 1/2 if allowed for fractions. Sorry, but we will not be back.
I'll start by saying the food was very, very good - BUT I simply can't recommend Greystone. For such a high end restaurant, I expected much better service than what we received. Long and frustrating wait between courses, inattentive busboys, and a waitress who had one too many tables to service. The restaurant itself, in my opinion, is unimpressive. Too many tables situated in very undesirable areas - downstairs near the back you can see the door and hear the clanking in the kitchen. We asked to be moved. Upstairs parties of two were precariously and thoughtlessly pressed against the stairway railing constantly imposed upon people walking by. There is only ONE decent table in front of a fireplace, but I'm sure you must make a specific request for it. My best advice - Look elsewhere to spend $150 for dinner.
The service was not prompt at all, the waiter kept walking away before we could order our next item etc...just not a good experience.
We visited Greystone tonight after reading the many great reviews. Things started propitiously -- the Caesar was excellent (although somewhat underdressed and extremely small), and my wife's swordfish special was excellent, but the main attraction of a steakhouse is supposed to be the steak. My rib eye was cooked correctly, but was almost flavorless. It was moderately tender but nothing special, and certainly wasn't dry aged or prime as claimed. I've eaten more flavorful steaks from the grocery store. The waiter vanished after delivering the food, and I waited several minutes before he finally reappeared and I was able to ask for the sauce he'd forgotten. The gratin dauphinois potatoes were almost raw; we had them replaced with garlic mashed, which were OK but nothing special. Overall, a very disappointing and expensive evening.
After reading Greystone's rave reviews on this website, we were dissappointed with our first experience there. The main problem at Greystone was that the food was surprisingly mediocre for such a pricey, highly rated restaurant. The Greystone salad was drenched in a bland dressing, the lobster bisque was creamy yet delivered little in the flavor department. The garlic mashed potatoes were just plain boring. Most surprisingly, however, was the (pan fried?)steak, which was tough, very expensive and did not seem Prime at all. The preparation was non-existent, and the virtually flavorless sauce served on the side left me wondering if I was really eating at Greystone. They did replace my medium rare piece with a rare version that improved the texture slightly. The best dish was the scallops and prawns, wich was good. Ambiance was nice and service was professional. In the pet peave department, the wine-by-the -glass service took the honors. If you like your wine glass poured only 1/4 full than you will love Greystone where you get to pay an average of fifeen bucks a glass for this experience in feeling slightly cheated.
When you spend over $200 on dinner for 2, you expect everything to be exceptional. Our service was mediocre, at best. The foie grois was amazing, and so was the elk, but everything else we had from the oysters, to the lobster bisque, the ribeye, was just plain disappointing! Sad for a so called "steakhouse" Markup on wine was close to double what other restraunts charge. One specific wine we love is $125/750Ml at Ruth's Chris, it's $250 here ($70 in stores)! I waited 25 minutes to have my water refilled. The only reason I gave this place even a 2 was the delightful ambience. What a disappointment indeed.
Went there on a Sunday. It was not crowded at all. I ordered the filet mignon, wife had the pork loin chop. The first surprise was the cost of a (partial) glass of wine. They filled the glass 1/3 full and charged $15 per glass. When they brought our order my baked potato was missing (which they charge you $7). I was later informed the kitchen hadn't prepared baked potatos in time and none were available. (Great planning by a experienced chef?) My filet was very good but nothing special. However, my wife's pork loin chop had a 2 inch square section in the middle that was raw, not rare, but raw. NO EXPERIENCED CHEF WORTH THEIR SALT SERVES PORK RAW. For that they had the nerve to charge $27, mind you that is for the main dish only (no potato, salad or soup included). There are far better quality restaurants in San Diego to choose from. Save your hard earned money, go elsewhere.
I had dinner reservations for 11 people October 18th. While the food was outstanding I would classify the service as terrible. The waitress had an attitude and delivery of food and attention was very disappointing for a high end restaurant. Dinner took from 7:30PM until after 10:30. I would not recommend the restaurant to others. Ron Spacone
unfortunately rather savory food was compromised with poor service. Waiters are far too unattentive and it is quite frustrating when you have to send your plate back twice because its not the right thing.
If my food wasn't burnt and I did have to wait over an hour to be seated. It would have been ok but they didn't even take it off the bill. We paid $85 for burnt lobster.
Our vist to this restaurant with friends from England was an absolutely horrible experience. It was one disaster after another.. In brief this is what went wrong.. 1) The waiter forgot to tell us about the specials. 2) The wine we ordered was a 2008, they brought a 2009 3) My steak was so tough I sent it back, you could not cut it. 4) A guest of ours ordered a Filet Mignon, it was very badly marbled a third was inedible. 5) My side of Brocolli au Gratin had non melted cheese. 6) Our guest's son ordered a Ceaser Salad, they forgot the dressing, they delivered bare lettuce with some grated cheese. 7) We ordered 2 single espresso coffees and one double they brought two doubles. 8) We sent one coffee back as the cup had lipstick on it. Overall, it was such a disaster we laughed about it. They need Gordon Ramsey, badly.
It would have been better if the food didn't taste like shit and they could cook a steak how I ordered it. Also, I made reservations months in advance and they stuck us in a horrible spot and we had to ask multiple waiters if they were our waiter and if we could get some service. It was very cold and we asked 4 waiters to shut the AC off, but none of them did anything.
The food was good, but very overpriced and the service was terrible. For the amount of money my husband and I paid you would think we would get better service. We had to ask for more water and even a second drink for my husband and that took about 20mins. The waiter was very rude and unfriendly. Even the women's toilet was broken. I would never recommend this restuarant to anyone of my friends.
The menu was adventurous and inviting, but the execution was awful. The potato leek soup had the consistency and taste of wallpaper paste. It even had a film floating on top when it was served. The supposedly aged 32 oz. rib steak was tough. Not a cooking problem, they just didn't procure a good piece of meat to begin with, no marbling. The herb buttered corn was much too salty and the game ravioli was too dry. It was fun to sit on the patio and watch the denizens of the Gaslamp Quarter walk by, but my fiance was put off by the leering looks she was getting from the manager from behind my back throughout the dinner.
Went there last 4th of July Weekend for my 1st Wedding Anniversary (also my wife's Birthday). After seating us at a lovely table we asked for on the outside patio we ordered appetizers and then they asked us to move because the table was reserved?! So we got put in a table further back and were promptly forgotten by the servers. We were basically ignored even when we wanted to order more food. I was so mad I even called Flemings down the street to see if they would take us but there was a hour wait. So we just tried to enjoy. The service was so horrible that finally I had to flag down the busboy to get our check. I called the manager afterwards and he said that the table was reserved for another couple and he was up at the front and saw them give the table away by mistake. Then I complained about the service and he apologized but he was in the back all night with a headache so he didn't see any of the bad service going on. Well where exactly were you? For such an expensive restaurant it is inexcusable to have such lackluster service. Even though restaurants like Flemings, Mortons and Ruth Chris are chain restaurants they know how to cater to their customers so I highly recommend you eat there instead.
I have NEVER rated anything online, but I feel that many people can learn from my experience. This is just a glimpse of how bad our experience was. Last night we had the worst dining experience ever at Greystone! It was our first time there. We arrived a little before 8pm for our reservation. Wewaited for an hour to get seated (one of the hostesses "accidentally" gave our table to a couple that had walked in without reservations). The food took an hour to get to us. I asked for a dessert menu; that never came. My husband ordered a medium-well Bone-In Ribeye Steak that turned out to be way over well-done and charred. We asked to speak to the manager 3 times, and she didn't come. We finally saw her talking to some servers at the bar and WE approached HER! The fastest thing that came to us was the bill, and it was full price, even though the hostess said that she "would take care of us" due to our grief from that night. We were celebrating our anniversary, but it was hardly a celebration. The "manager" said she would take 20% off of our total bill, and mail us a gift certificate for $100 for our NEXT visit. Right, like that's going to happen. So my husband asked her, "why don't you just apply that gift certificate to tonight's bill and we'll call it even". She didn't agree to that, swiped my card, and walked away quickly, leaving the bartender to finish handling my transaction. If we were bad people, we would've walked out on the total bill. We left Greystone at 11:15 pm. The total time we actually spent eating was about 30 mins. I hope my review will help people who are considering this place. My recommendation? Spend the little extra to go to Donovan's. Better dining experience altogether.
WARNING:Stunned by the abusive, assaultive, profane, and foul lanuage of the owner who was yelling and screaming at several young women at a table. Owner was in a rage in front of all the customers Total lack of self-control and respect for his customers and the general public.
We went to Graystone's since it was the hottest new steak house in town but we were very disapointed. The service was nonexistent. Waiters were too cool to be bothered. Steaks were over done and poorly seasoned. A very unpleasant experience.