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At Greystone, lobster and gnocchi and a pork chop to remember

The Greystone is a new Continental restaurant with an Italian twist that’s taken over the space most recently occupied by The Snooty Fox at 445 Delaware Ave.

Under the leadership of executive chef Kevin O’Connell Jr., Greystone is offering approachable and familiar dishes at heart, with pleasantly unfamiliar spins incorporated into each one.

Bread service ($7) was pesto-topped Parker House rolls, imported from a New York City specialty shop, I was told. Served alongside whipped ricotta and candied walnuts with a honey drizzle, the predominant sweetness of the butter-sheened puffy pastry matched well with the airy fluff of the cool, creamy cheese. The garlic pesto, while adding herby interest, was a little overwhelming.

The market price tartare was $16 at my Oct. 14 visit. The beef and its accompanying ingredients were chopped thoroughly into a well-balanced emulsification with a subtle saltiness, with capers to add more at will. The dish put quality beef at center stage.

Market-price tartare from Greystone, Kevin O'Connell Jr.'s new restaurant. (Phil Wagner/Special to The News)

New fine-dining restaurant will be Kevin O'Connell Jr.'s 'last hurrah'

The highlight of the evening was the gnocchi and lobster. Arriving with a heap of lobster, my first reaction was that for $19, O’Connell is either being generous or is out of his mind.

Besides its abundance, the delicate flavor of the lobster rang through the dish with every bite. It was well paired with the earthy funk of Flat 12 oyster mushrooms (a staple in several dishes on the menu), and a slow and subtle warmth at the back of the throat, thanks to a healthy sprinkling of red pepper.

The bread service at Greystone was Parker House rolls served with pesto, candied walnuts and ricotta. (Phil Wagner/Special to The News)

The gnocchi were exceptional. Puffy and chewy with a glutinous sheen, they shed the heaviness that often times weighs this pillowy pasta down. It was all doused in delicate garlicky cream sauce that tied the individual components of this dish into an indulgent experience.

The main event was the pork chop ($32), which arrived topped with a mixture of caramelized onions, apples and pears. I was warned the pork would come medium, which I was thrilled to hear. I grew up weary of dried-out chops. A good thick pork chop is at its best with a light pink center.

The pork chop from Greystone. (Phil Wagner/Special to The News)

The chop was as good if not better than any I’ve had. Juicy and tender inside with a wonderful crisp from the hard sear on every surface, I was gnawing at the bone when the experience came to a close. The bed of glazed carrots atop mashed potatoes that sat below the chop soaked up the ample pool of lingering juices and were also good, but nothing surprising. The meat was the showstopper, as it should be.

Warm and hearty fare with distinct spins, served in a cozy and inviting atmosphere to match. The Greystone is sure to please a multitude of palates with upscale, quality food at fair prices that won’t break the bank on a nice night out.

Info: Greystone, 445 Delaware Ave. Phone: 858-4363. Hours: 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

The exterior of the Greystone. (Phil Wagner/Special to The News)

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