Greystone Steakhouse
658 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-0225

So here I am on a lovely thursday evening, my last night in San Diego. The next day I was flying back home, but given the long flight, I would still recieve my daily food budget for that day. Given that I will have lunch free at the conference and dinner on the plane, I won't actually need to spend any money. So I figure, I might as well have a damn good meal and use up that money. I gathered with two other folks I had met at the conference, and we headed downtown with the intention of getting some good sushi.

We walked up and down the gaslamp quarter searching for good food. The japanese place was small and had a long wait, so that was out. Finally we grew tired of walking along and ducked into what looked to be the best steakhouse in the area, the Greystone Steakhouse.

The decor is interesting, contemporary and elegant but still retaining a casual feel. There are really 4 dining experiences to have here. First, you've got the patio which allows you to enjoy your meal in the cool evening air while taking in the sights of the busy street in front. Next you've got the main level, which really only holds a few tables and the bar (this is where we ate). The back of the restaurant is split into two levels with a georgeous staircase leading up and down. The lower level is near the open kitchen, giving you full view of what goes on with your food and the busy hustle of the staff. The upper floor is more elegant, with a piano and an extensive wine rack. No matter where you eat, the atmosphere is spectacular.

As opposed to our previous meal in an upscale place in La Jolla, we did not feel out of place in our jeans here. We were seated immediately (it was around 8 pm on a thursday, not bad) and proceeded to wait. Our water came up promptly and gave us menus and an extremely impressive wine list, then dissapeared for about 10 minutes. Fortunately, other than this delay, the service was excellent. My glass of merlot arrived, along with bread, followed shortly by our crabcakes and a lobster and shrimp bisque. The crabcakes were good, though not the best I have had (too many breacrumbs, not enough crab). The soup was excellent.

Our meals then arrived. My 12 oz filet mignon was served with crispy fried onions on a large grilled portabella mushroom topped with a veal reduction sauce. I took one bite and was in heaven. I had ordered medium rare and it was on the rare side, but it had the texture of butter and melted in my mouth, so how could I complain? The steak seemed to have a little peppercorn coating, and was cooked in a broiler/grill. This is, without a doubt, the best steak I have ever had. Among the other two in my party, one also had the filet while another ordered the bison tenderloin. The tenderloin was also excellent, very tender and a slightly milder flavor than beef.

Dessert time, we might as well live it up. I ordered the chocolate souffle. Much to my surprise, it was made while I waited, which resulted in a bit of a wait that was well worth it. It was served hot in a bowl made of what I would best describe as almond brittle but not quite, topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Very good ending to the meal.

At the end of the meal, we told our watier we were in town from ohio and he said he grew up in marietta which happens to be where my dad is from. He shook our hands and wished us a pleasant trip back. Nice guy I must say, probably makes more money than I do :)

Total for the evening:

wine - $9
crabcakes - $14
bisque - $8
filet mignon - $30
chocolate souffle - $7
tip - $15

grand total - $83, and well worth it. If you are in San Diego, this is definitely a place to make an effort to eat at.

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