For lunch locations, particularly in the summer, this is one of our default restaurants. We like the outdoor dining, the food, and the fact that we can get a seat. A fire took Graydon’s out of the running for a while but we were happy to see that it recently reopened.
It was a very warm day and although we wanted to sit on the second story deck, as in previous attempts we were told it wasn’t open. So we settled for the large ground level patio, which holds tables for two, four, and six. They’ve added a counter/bar facing Plainfield and a small couch/seating area. Indoor dining also provides a great atmosphere: dark, high-backed wooden booths and a beautiful dark wooden bar.
As they advertise, it’s a “cozy British Pub atmosphere” and a restaurant that’s “influenced by the days of the British colonies in India.” So the menu is eclectic: English Countryside meets Indian Colonial and mixes with American....miscellaneous. For example, appetizers range from Irish and Scotch offerings to Indian dishes and a California crab cake. And to our amusement, the much maligned, dry, flavorless, U.P. pasties are on the menu; these are probably good! Every item, except the sandwiches, is paired with selections from their extensive beer and wine inventories.
After starting with a couple of Founders’ brews, we ordered Ganjam Fritters (fresh plantains, potato, and Indian spices). They came with spicy peanut-sesame sauce, mustard seed yogurt sauce, and cucumber yogurt chutney, the last of which was cool respite for the other two. It was a good choice with fiery tastes.
Our first entree was the Nantucket, a crab cake sandwich with wasabi aioli, Indian pico de gallo, and spring mix, on a Kaiser roll. It was a creative combination and a wonderfully prepared sandwich, with the sauce blending nicely with the crab. The bun was toasted but not dried out - perfect. Sides are extra and the English Frittes (shoestring fries with garlic aioli) were ok. The special of the day was the Maharaja, three slider-size lamb meatball sandwiches. Another excellent choice.
Service was interesting at best. Our first waiter was standoffish and awkward. He disappeared before we ordered our appetizer and another very engaging, informative server appeared, offering helpful recommendations. He delivered the appetizers, by which time we still did not have plates or silverware. The situation was quickly remedied, he disappeared, and our original server finished out our time.
Appetizers and sandwiches are mostly under $10.00 and entrees just over; their menu can be viewed online. We stand by this restaurant and are waiting for the day we can dine on the second story deck!
(The owners of Graydon’s also own Cambridge House, Derby Station, J.D. Reardon’s, and Logan’s Alley.)