Great location? Check. Blazing fire pits on the patio? Yep. Sleek interior with sloped wood-beam ceiling and gas fireplace in the bar? Check, check and check. Gram and Dun feels cool from the moment you walk in. Professionals in business casual and suits fill the tables every night of the week, ready to indulge in great cocktails, a carefully curated wine list and a menu mixing familiar flavors with a few suprising twists.
We started our evening with a refreshing Ginger Rogers cocktail, made with Tanqueray, ginger beer, lime juice and mint leaves for $9; it is one of 15 cocktails on the menu. You'll also find a long list of whiskeys, vodkas and other spirits. It's just about impossible to pass up two of the signature appetizers: Not So Standard hand-cut potato chips served with three ketchups (a sweet one made with vanilla bean, a kicky one made with blood orange and habanero, and a third one made with guacamole) for $9 and Korean shortribs ($12). You can get all kinds of steaks, chops and fish, but we couldn't resist the sinful sandwiches and the fried chicken and waffles (oh, yeah). Barbecue shortribs and blackberry jam stuff inside the grilled cheese ($12), and a barley malt bun complements a shortrib/chuck patty topped with chicken-fried bacon, cheddar, special sauce and onions for $14. Oof. But, oh, so good, and surprisingly ungreasy given the ingredients. Still, we were stuffed before we finished half of it.
Of course, we couldn't leave without trying two of the locally famous desserts: Crack Pie (yes, a reference to the addictive drug) made with oatmeal cookies, salted custard and vanilla ice cream; and the Gram and Dun bar, a combination of ganache, peanut butter ice cream, nougat, chocolate mousse and pretzels ($8 each). They were super sweet. But perfect for sharing and a lovely mix of textures and flavors.
A word of warning: This place gets noisy when it fills. This isn't a place for a quiet conversation; it's more a place to unwind with a good drink and a great meal. Opened in late 2011, Gram and Dun has certainly carved out a place on the Plaza that we think they'll be in for many years to come.