Friday, November 8, 2013

Gadsby's American Grill: New Restaurant From Robert Gadsby Quietly Replaces Greystone Grill

Pit beef sandwich from the first day of lunch service
New kitchens come
on little Gat feet.

They come cooking
beside Route 100
starting with lunches
and then dinner's on.

With apologizes to Carl Sandburg, we can announce that Robert Gadsby has unveiled a new restaurant in the heart of Howard County.   His team is doing it quietly.  You might say they're creeping in like the fog.

The new menu kicked off today at lunch.  The restaurant is Gadsby's Bar American.  It's in the space that used to be -- and still has signs for -- Greystone Grill just off Rte 100 in the Columbia 100 development near Centre Park Road.

You can still get directions from the Greystone Grill Web site.  The transition appears gradual.  The new name and new lunch menu started today.  I ate a pit beef sandwich, and I loved the horseradish sauce and the raw onion.  I'd never put raw onion on a sandwich, even at pit beef stands where it is a basic condiment.  I love when a kitchen shows me that I'm wrong.  The onion and horseradish were crunch and bite on the thin-sliced beef, and I may never eat pit beef without onion again.

I'm sure it will take time for Gadsby to turn the restaurant into his own place.  The bartender and a bunch of the servers seemed like long-time folks.  I assume the dinner menu and signs will change over time.

But even the first lunch menu says that Gadsby is going to try to do something notable.  The menu looks upscale American -- starting off with burgers, po' boys, pulled pork and other standards offering tweeks and specials like my horseradish sauce.  Then, it runs through more-posh items like a warm potato salad with smoked salmon, a pasta with house-made fennel sausage, and slow-cooked lamb shank with mashed potatoes, carrots and wilted greens.

I ate from the nice selection of $8-9 sandwiches that makes Gadsby's an option for anyone.  But they had a three-course lunch option that looks like fun -- $21 for a soup/salad, a pasta and a main plate.  In the same vein, my server talked up the persimmon in one of the salads, and the lunch menu has five desserts and 14 wines.  That's a place that wants to be special.  It wants you to come for everything from a quick lunch at the bar to fancy meals for business or pleasure.

Give 'em some time to get the place working.  My sandwich was absolutely worth the visit.  There will be big expectations -- especially for a $21 lunch or its equivalent.  I'd love for this to be a Restaurant of Big Shoulders.

If you haven't followed the prior posts in HowChow, Robert Gadsby is a chef with a high-end pedigree and a history in LA and DC.  He has opened a terrific barbecue place on U.S. 1 in Laurel called RG's BBQ Cafe, and folks were talking about his taking over a restaurant in Maple Lawn.   Hat tip to _____ for emailing me about the new menu.

(Update:  The 2 Dudes met Gadsby when they had lunch at the new place.  They talked to him and posted about the conversation.)

Gadsby's Bar American
8850 Columbia 100 Parkway
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR:  Gadsby's is the space that used to be Greystone Grill.  It's just off Rte 100.  From either Rte 108 or Rte 100, you turn onto Centre Park Drive.  Then you turn onto Columbia 100 Parkway.  Gadsby's is in the base of a small office building that backs against Rte 100.


MarylandHouse said...

Oh, please, don't let them change the calamari.
I go there mostly for Happy Hours with groups (as recently as last Friday), and the bar staff is always wonderful. The ribs and lettuce wraps are also great. But the calamari....

Judith said...

After a bad experience at his bbq restaurant, where we bought a little of everything and nothing was good, I will pass.

Anonymous said...

He dont pay his employee on the books so he is.screwing the IRS and employees of workmans comp and unemployment insurance at the bbq cafe

RHfoodie said...

Out of stuff at lunch, wrong food, badly prepared food...I really wanted to like it. Staff tried hard, but can't see myself going back anytime soon.

FB said...

We had our office holiday party there and it was great! Food was delicious and I wish they had a website so I could see if they have any NYE activities.

Jay said...

Was very excited to try this place after seeing so many positive reviews. Went this past Saturday during Restaurant week and don't need to go again. The atmosphere was one of the most awkward restaurant experiences I have ever had. It was not welcoming, friendly, warm or any other adjective that would make you want to frequent a restaurant. The waitress, while efficient, was very distant. Every one we dealt with came across with a pretentious attitude. They had some guy in a tux come out to open the wine we ordered (sommelier?). He proceeded to try to open the bottle as quietly as possible (not sure why) and then after opening, put the cork in his pocket without letting me inspect it. Not trying to be snob, but if you have someone come out to open my wine who is not my server, let me inspect and sniff the cork. He then took the bottle away to "keep it chilled" in some location that we were not able to see. Which makes it a little awkward and cumbersome to get a refill. The food, while sounding fantastic in the descriptions, was not up to any great standards. Avocado fondu? Looked liked mashed up avocados from a jar. The big disappointment in the food was the main entrees. We had the rib eye steak (some local farm, blah, blah) and the lamb t-bones. The lamb had 2 little chops that had been overcooked to the point of extreme dryness. The rib eye was maybe 4 ounces of the blandest piece of steak I have had in a long time. Maybe trying it during Restaurant week was a bad idea, but I always thought that restaurants try to lure new customers to their businesses during that time. If that was them trying to entice me to go back, they failed horribly.

Anonymous said...

I just came home with my family from Gadsby's Bar American. I met my sister-in-law with her family along with my brother -in-law. I have to say that we were greeted nicely at the door. There was seven of us in the party and we ordered our meal at 8:28pm. Most of our party had appetizers and our dinner came out at 9:20pm. For me I had ordered their Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon to be served "medium". When my plate was put in front of me I had to take a double look at my plate on how "SMALL" the filet was, but what was most disappointing is that my filet was nothing but a "BLACK BURNT WELL DONE" piece of meat. You would have had to be a blind person not to see this. Very obvious someone in the kitchen screwed up and thought they would get away with sending it out. I immediately had it returned while everything started on their dinner. Now 20 minutes later, yes 20 minutes my meal finally arrived and my filet was now served "RARE". By this time everyone had finished their dinner and the waitress asked if it was OK to have it cooked correctly. To me be honest I was done with this place. I just said to box up my meal and I would take it home. Dessert was ordered by a few and my nephew had their Black Forest Truffles. He cut some of them up and shared them with the party. Now you would think that this would be that nice smooth rich chocolate taste. Everyone who tasted it went immediately to drink some water since there was a heavy spice flavor to the chocolate. Oh man just kick me when I am down. This had to be the worse chocolate I ever had in my life. The water would not get rid of the taste in my mouth. I had to pull the lemon from my drink and suck on it to get rid of this terrible taste. Most of us made issue of this, and we commented that this had to be noted on the menu. The staff understood my situation and they gave me a $50 gift certificate to come back to the restaurant. Nice gesture, but I will "NEVER" come back to Gadsby's. I still had to pay for the meal and I gave the gift certificate to my sister-in-law. To be fair everyone at my table liked their meals, but it is very obvious that there is some type of a disconnect in the kitchen. The restaurant appeared not crowded and it was cold and snowing when we arrived.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Mr. Gadsby many years ago. The problem with him and his restaurants is his own personality. He is not a people person at all. I'm not going to go here how he treats his employees, but I have to say that I've never seen anything like that -and I worked in 14 restaurants, all over the world.
The work place atmosphere is unhealthy and sickening. No one enjoys working for him. Of course, someone right out of culinary school may be glad to be there first, but that'll change soon. That unhappiness among employees certainly reflects to food and service.
It's a pity since he is quite creative chef. I've discussed about him with other ex-Gadsby employees and everybody agreed; his own personality will eventually drag down all of his enterprises. We also felt sorry for his wife and family.

Anonymous said...

So true, I too am a former employee of Robert Gadsby. When I was hired I was so looking forward to working for a "Celebrity Chef", only to find out later that nobody really knows who he is. My employment was filled with constant turnover. The veterans had been there less than 6 months. After a bit of research I found that he has a long history of not being able to keep employees. And it's no wonder with his inflated sense of self importance, always running around with the threat "don't get me wound up, you know how I am!" This attitude of his is the driving force behind the turnover and the inconsistency with the food. If you are constantly having to train new employees how can you possibly polish them to be great ? He is a good chef but a horrible employer. Buyer beware inconsistency is the norm here and for very good reason.

Anonymous said...

Wow They sure hit the nail on the head. He knows it all and cant be told anything. To his credit, He can cook some things well. He would be a success if he just never interacted with employees or customers. His Bio shows his average charade of past restaurants last 1 year before he and his partners dissolve. I heard his place in Maple lawn lasted a week.