Did you know that Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green was laid out as a residential square in 1664? Or that the gloriously-appointed No. 41 – that one with the amazing Virginia creeper, facing onto the square – was built in 1745 as a residential home for one Mrs Ruth Croker? Neither did we, but on being notified, we sure wanted to find out more about that Mrs Croker – clearly a Dublin woman who knew what she wanted, and how to get it – as much as we wanted to get to know more about the building’s new life as The Grayson.
So, in that vein, we sidled up to a cool marble table at said address recently to see how the newly-launched – and already much-talked-about – weekend lunch was going and decide where it would be placed on our regularly consulted (often while standing at the printer in work) “where is the most delicious brunch in Dublin?” mental list … come on, we all have one … right?
The décor was gorgeous, the building itself extraordinary, highlighting all its beautiful original features while imbued with a bright contemporary feel that could easily pass for somewhere in New York or Milan. Think Italian marbles, rosewood veneers and burnished bronzes that emphasise the location’s chic ambience, not to mention its crowd, as we discovered on our first visit. We took a seat in the Atrium. There are a number of floors, all very glam, but the terrace feels like you’re dining al fresco, without being too exposed to the elements, a Good Thing we all agreed, in grey October.
And so to the all-important menu. Food at The Grayson is the creation of chef Jacson Reboli, who has put together a weekend menu that is built around the idea of long, leisurely lunches. Again, something we could all get behind. The menu is long and ticks all the delicious brunch boxes but there’s also a romantic hint of nostalgia in things like a weekly roast with all the trimmings, an enormous seafood platter of king prawns, prawn salad, smoked salmon, seared tuna and roast scallops … another highlight was the gently sweet and thoroughly addictive raspberry Eton mess that rounded out our meal to absolute perfection. Afterwards, in the spirit of long, leisurely lunches (who are we to argue against that notion) we sat back, glasses of fine wine, or cocktail (try the Coastline: Tanqueray No. 10 gin, watermelon, lime and bitters topped with a spiky ginger ale) in hand, pinkies cocked, and relaxed into it the luxurious, leisurely vibe of it all … not unlike a gaggle of Ruth Crokers, queens of the Green.