|Doing me: Taking time out to enjoy a Graycliff executive lunch|
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Apr 23, 2012
In today’s world it seems like most of us need to add another few hours to the 24 hours we already have, because sometimes it seems that there’s just not enough hours in a day to get everything you need done accomplished. So when it comes down to taking an hour to do something as “mundane” as eat lunch, taking an hour to go sit somewhere seems nearly impossible to do. For some people, it’s even almost impossible. Actually I even find myself most days just grabbing a quick bite at my desk.
About a month ago, I heard about Graycliff Restaurant’s three-course executive lunch of an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $29.95 per person, and I thought not bad — a taste of Graycliff at a reasonable price. Then I heard that you were guaranteed to have eaten your meal in an hour, if not, the lunch would be on Graycliff. So I decided then and there that I would do it. I would take myself out of the office, breathe and enjoy a decent meal in the middle of the day.
If you’ve seen that commercial currently airing on television where a group of office workers decide to take lunch. As they hit the street, they are taken off guard by something that burns their skin and then having to shade their eyes to get away from it — the sun. I wasn’t that bad, but still, I headed out to Graycliff with a coworker in tow.
We were greeted by the hostess who we told that we were having the executive lunch at which point she informed us of the special — pumpkin soup for the appetizer, followed by an entree choice of raviolacci with garlic lobster meat (which I selected) or grilled flat-iron steak with mushroom demi glace with vegetables and a white chocolate profiterole stuffed with milk chocolate mousse for dessert.
And I sat down to see how it would all play out. The hostess informed us of the time our order was placed, she then placed an hour glass on the table, informing us that when it ran out our hour would be up and if we hadn’t eaten before the time ran out our lunch would be on Graycliff.
A bowl of thick, fragrant pumpkin soup was placed in front of me and I dove in. It was unexpectedly hot and comforting. (You know how you get these lukewarm soups in restaurants these days it was nothing like that). The soup was a hot bowl of deliciousness and if I didn’t have anything else other than that, I would have been satisfied. That’s how good it was. It was the kind of soup I like to consume at lunch — one that’s not too filling but that is still soothing to the soul. As I enjoyed the soup I felt like I could have curled up on a couch and read a good book.
Surprisingly, Graycliff did something that was a little shocking and that I would only expect at a more upscale dining experience. In keeping with their exacting standards, we were presented with a spoon of lime sorbet to cleanse our palates between the appetizer and entree course. That was simply an added bonus.
The four large pieces of raviolacci arrived in a white wine sauce, with huge chunks of lobster meat strewn about. The waiter topped the raviolacci with a heaping amount of Parmesan cheese and I was in pasta heaven. It was a decadent choice, and proved to be quite filling.
Not a fan of most chocolate desserts, I opted to pass on the white chocolate profiterole. Besides, I had to head back to work as I still had a full day’s work ahead of me and definitely did not want that stuffed, uncomfortable feeling you get when you eat too much. Actually the portion sizes proved to be just right, and I was happily sated. On top of that, I actually even got out on time.
In order to remain relevant, even though the Graycliff’s executive lunch menu is a set menu daily, the chef has a variety of menus that is rotated from what I understand. But just in case you’re not feeling the executive lunch menu on any given day, Graycliff still has its regular lunch menu that has been revamped. But the hour guarantee does not come with the regular menu, even though they say you may possibly still get in and out within an hour. But they won’t guarantee it.