The result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government-mandated 24-hour curfew is hitting hard, and pulling up a chair at a restaurant for a meal is off the table right now. While there are options for take-out fast food, there are still those people that don’t mind grabbing a meal to go, but they want the food to be top quality. Graycliff Restaurant has answered that call for those people.
In an abundance of caution, with their dining room closed and with social distancing being practiced, for the first time in the starred restaurant’s 46-year history, it is officially offering takeout.
“The same wonderful fine dining experience that you get when you dine in, we will package it up for you to take home,” said Roberta Garzaroli, Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant director of public relations. “You’ll probably have to reheat the food slightly by the time you get home, but it will be the same quality food.”
Garzaroli said they’ve selected items from the takeout menu that are popular with Bahamians when they dine at the restaurant.
Shrimp cocktail with Graycliff cocktail sauce; smoked salmon with trimmings, mozzarella and tomatoes; and ravioli in tomato sauce comprise the appetizer options. Salad choices include the Graycliff signature salad, Caesar salad and quinoa salad; with butternut squash and Graycliff’s legendary conch chowder, the soup choices.
To satisfy the gourmand, the roast duck in a Bahamian citrus sauce Escoffier; sliced tenderloin of beef; Scottish salmon filet with sage and butter sauce; Lobster Graycliff (spiny lobster morsels in a creamy white wine tomato sauce); fettucine Enrico with aged Grana Padano, mushrooms; and rack of lamb with focaccia crumbs, garlic and parsley crust.
They’re also offering a value-driven family meal that can feed up to four people of a spit-roasted whole chicken, pasta pomodoro, a selection of vegetables, twice-baked potatoes and a green salad.
According to Garzaroli, they will also do their best to accommodate anyone who wants to order an item outside the takeout offerings.
“If there is something that they absolutely love that is not listed, they can call us and we will let you know if we have said items in stock and we can prepare it for them,” she said.
The pickup menu encompasses a selection of pizzas from Giotto Pizzeria as well as desserts and sides and wines from the restaurant that has a world-famous cellar and its own winery in Bahama Barrels.
“We have a few wines listed from our extensive wine list, but we couldn’t put them all on there, but if there’s something someone wants from our wine list, they can call and we’ll get that ready for them as well.”
In keeping with the social distance mandate, patrons can place their order online at graycliff.com/takeaway or via the telephone at 302-9150 and then choose their pickup time between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Garzaroli says their food will be ready at the selected time.
“When you come, you pay your bill, we hand you your food – and off you go. We’re letting people in one at a time to collect their food,” she said.
Graycliff launched the takeout menu on Tuesday night after they worked out the kinks on how the ordering process would go, and went live on Wednesday at which time people began taking advantage of the opportunity to be able to take home Graycliff’s food.
I decided to “test-drive” Graycliff’s takeout option on Wednesday and ordered the roasted duck, which I’d never had before, but seeing that I love duck, I went for it; rack of lamb for the hubby and shared mashed potatoes and vegetables. Graycliff’s conch chowder is always a must.
The duck was cooked to a perfect crisp and sat atop a beautiful citrus sauce that was absolutely delicious and which went well with the mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce and perfectly cooked veggies. The lamb, which I ordered medium rare so that it wouldn’t be overcooked when I reheated at home, was cooked perfectly.
And as for having my food ready at the appointed time, I pulled up to Graycliff’s front door and my order was right there as I ascended the stairs.
Garzaroli said they decided on the takeout option during this time because they realize people need to eat, and not just eat, but that they still want restaurant quality food. She also said they gravitated towards the option to keep their staff motivated and working, and to do their best for the economy. Graycliff is working with a scaled-down staff to produce the menu, taking into account the social distancing mandate.