Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Gryphon

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The Gryphon is a meat and raw bar social house from the owners of the boutique steakhouse, Lost Society. The Gryphon encourages its guests to socialize through eating and drinking, while providing a lively, energetic and fun atmosphere.  The menu features an assortment of premium aged meats, a full raw bar and specially crafted cocktails to accompany the "something for everyone" dining atmosphere.  Closest Metro is Dupont Circle.

Keith and I were invited by Tony & Portia to check out The Gryphon and experience the social dining atmosphere created by Executive Chef, Joseph Evans.  We were seated in the back main dining room, which is a bit quieter and away from the front bar that is more suited for happy hour gatherings with various large screen tvs.  Our server, Shayna, was extremely professional, courteous, and accommodating all night.  She explained the shared plates concept and recommended a few cocktails for us to try.  Keith ordered the Artermis Vertue made with gin, lime juice, cucumber, agave, vermouth, a splash of soda, and usually mint - but, they were out of mint this evening.  Even without the mint, the drink was pretty refreshing and served in a summery mason jar.  I chose The Gryphon made with Gray Goose Orange, strawberry puree, simple syrup, lime juice, and a splash of soda.  It was very sweet and fruity, and quite strong.  We nibbled on the complimentary truffle potato chips and sipped our drinks as we looked over the menu.

Keith found almost all the raw bar items to be appealing, but I decided we should only order a couple items so that we could try more of the other warm plates.  We started with the Striped Bass Ceviche seasoned with lime, orange, aiji amarilo aioli, and red onion.  The fish was incredibly tender and well-flavored from the citrus.  It had great punch and was not fishy at all.  I only wish more plaintain chips were served with it, but I didn't mind scooping out the rest and eating it all on its own.

Next, we shared the Lobster Cocktail that was presented playfully with a lemon wedge, fresh horseradish, and champagne vinegar.  The shell was conveniently pre-cracked/cut, which made it easy to get the meat out.  Again, the seafood was super fresh and sweet - perfect to eat plain without any of the accoutrements.

For warmer shared plates, we continued the lobster theme and tried the Lobster Gnocchi with a pea puree, Fresno chili, royal trumpet mushrooms, and lemon zest.  The chilis added an unexpected spice factor that woke up my palate.  The dumplings were pillowy and soft and had great flavor from the both the lobster and mushrooms.  In fact, the mushrooms seemed to pick up the sweet lobster flavor to add to the overall seduction of the dish.

I enjoyed the Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish topped with a hash of asparagus, chilies, black eyed peas, and champagne butter.  The fish was a nice piece of solid white meat, but the prosciutto was a bit too salty.  The hash was surprisingly crisp and zippy.

One of Keith's favorite dishes was the Crispy Pork Belly on toast, drizzled with house habanero hot sauce and cilantro oil, and topped with fried egg.  It was very fatty and decadent to offset all the light seafood.

Keith also tried the Wet-Aged Strube Ranch Wagyu Flank topped with chimichurri, piquillo, vinaigrette, and roasted bone marrow.  The meat was pre-sliced and slightly overcooked, but had good flavor from the chimichurri.

Lastly, Portia brought out some desserts for us to close our meal.  We ate Bread Pudding with vanilla ice cream and Chocolate Cake with berries.  The bread pudding was warm and comforting, and our preference over the other chocolate cake.

Overall, we had great service from Shayna and the staff.  The food was of excellent quality and exceeded my expectations.  I appreciated the variety of options with a clear focus on the raw bar and meat.  The ambience in the back dining room was pretty modern and chill with a great vibe to come on a date for two, or with a group of friends.  The new social house concept and remodeled interior of The Gryphon is worth a second chance.

Total Rating: 4.23
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:
Striped Bass Ceviche
Lime, Orange, Aiji Amarilo Aioli, Red Onion

Lobster Cocktail
Lemon Zest, Fresh Horseradish, Champagne Vinegar

Lobster Gnocchi
Pea Puree, Fresno Chili, Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, Lemon Zest

Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish
Asparagus, Chilies, Black Eyed Peas, Champagne Butter

Bread Pudding
with vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Cake
with berries

Plus Keith ate:
Crispy Pork Belly
Fried Egg, House Habanero Hot Sauce, Cilantro Oil

Wet-Aged Strube Ranch Wagyu Flank
Chimichurri, Piquillo, Vinaigrette, Roasted Bone Marrow

The Gryphon on Urbanspoon

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