Graycliff offers a preparation to satisfy every taste bud
Lobster is arguably the king of all seafood, and at Graycliff Restaurant they treat this crustacean with the respect it deserves, and give patrons the opportunity to be able to indulge in it in almost every way imaginable – because, let’s face it – almost everyone loves lobster.
There’s a lobster preparation across the board from the appetizers through to the classics, to delight the taste buds. The classics such as lobster bisque and the stunning lobster thermidor are respected in preparation for those people that are purists at heart; and for those people that don’t mind a twist, they also offer a twist on the lobster thermidor with the lobster Graycliff that showcases classic Bahamian flavors, making it one of their signature items as well as a top seller.
From the appetizer menu, the lobster is offered as a feuillete de homard poele a la crème de safran (morsel of Bahamian lobster tail in a fresh cream sauce perfumed with rare Spanish saffron pistils). The soup is of course the classic bisque de langouste Bahamienne a l’armagnac (lobster bisque with chateau de laubade Armagnac).
Entrée offerings featuring the lobster include the langouste a la Graycliff – Bahamian deep-sea spiny lobster morsels in a cream-based white wine tomato sauce, baked in a lobster tail shell that’s a twist and update on the classic lobster thermidor. There’s also the angouste grille, deux sauces (the chef’s prize-winning Bahamian deep-sea spiny lobster tail with two sauces – French white wine butter sauce and a lobster velouté. The lobster also makes an appearance in a pasta dish in the raviolacci au langouste et tomates (ravioli with lobster, tomatoes, capers, sage, Fresh parmesan); and shares its shine with other seafood in the les fruits de mer a la Graycliff (medley of spiny deep-sea lobster, white Gulf Coast shrimp, Nassau grouper filet, mussels and stone crabs with a selection of seasonal vegetables).
“Truth be told, if they don’t like any of what we offer…which I doubt, if they give me enough time, I can create something for them. If you can think about it, I can do it,” said Graycliff Executive Chef Elijah Bowe.
And he says there’s no better time than now to enjoy the lobster offerings at the restaurant as the country is in the middle of lobster season which closes on March 31. They’re currently serving the freshest lobster possible. And he says fresh is always best.
“When you order the whole lobster you better believe the fisherman has been to us that day. And if dinner started a little earlier, the lobster you ordered would still have been flapping before we put it on the plate. Unless you caught it yourself, you won’t find it any fresher,” said Bowe.
He respects the crustacean that he deems the “king” of all seafood whether it’s a person’s favorite or not. He’s found that the majority of people when they have the opportunity – especially females – will order lobster. And says as a male, if he’s ordering for a female, he will order lobster in season, simply to make an impression on her. Because as long as it’s cooked perfectly with a delicious application, he said there’s almost nothing better. And he leans to the classics when it comes to the crustacean.
“The lobster thermidor is a stunning, classic dish. Any time you see it on a menu, it wouldn’t be a bad choice to order it,” he said.
Graycliff’s classic lobster thermidor is time-tested and rich. It’s cooked lobster in a creamy white wine sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese and broiled until golden. It’s sinfully decadent. Served in the lobster shell, it’s a show-stopping presentation.
With their “Lobster Graycliff”, they’ve brought this classic into the new millennium. It’s basically a twist on the lobster thermidor but with classic Bahamian spices intertwined – think goat pepper, lime and some thyme. “The things we incorporate into the Lobster Graycliff takes the thermidor to the next level so it’s like taking the old and making it new, but we give people the choice to have both options.”
The lobster bisque is another classic dish that’s been around from time immemorial. It’s creamy, smooth and flavorful, and is topped with hearty chunks of lobster meat. It’s again an impressive dish.
According to the chef, the top three lobster dishes people tend to order at Graycliff are the Lobster Graycliff, the lobster with two sauces and the lobster with puff pastry with a saffron sauce. But he said that the grilled lobster has also become a popular method of preparation that diners gravitate to.
No matter the method of cooking, he said, when a Graycliff lobster dish arrives at a table it’s impressive, because every dish, except the bisque, is presented in the lobster tail.
Bowe encourages people to take advantage of the opportunity to eat fresh lobster at Graycliff during this season, because he said the crustacean reigns supreme. And he promises “fireworks” in their mouth.
If preparing the seafood at home, he reminds people to not overcook it.
“When you have a good product to work with, try to at least show that food respect, and appreciate what you’re working with and you can do it to its best. Let the food be the best that it can be. Don’t diminish the quality of the food by cooking it to thy kingdom come.
“We are currently in the lobster season now through March 31. Eating in season is the freshest you can get. When you eat foods in season you generally get it at its best. Take advantage while in season so you’re guaranteed it’s as fresh as can be. When you come to Graycliff and order a whole lobster, you know that it is fresh.”
If cooking your lobster at home, he reminds home cooks to be cognizant of carry over cooking with not just lobster, but all foods.
“I know some people like their food well done – and that’s fine – you eat what you like. And I do what the client asks. But you don’t have to cook food to the death. You can throttle back a little bit and the food will carry itself to where you want it to be, and then you don’t compromise the flavor, the succulence, or the texture, so you get the full effect of the food,” said Bowe.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.