The word lavish comes to mind when stepping into Greystone. High ceilings, luxurious bar, and something’s twinkling everywhere you look. You would never know that the building you’re you’re eating in was once a public library, a police department, a theater. It was renovated in 1995 but much of the original architecture was kept — in fact, last time I dined there I got to sit next to what used to be an old ticket booth window!

This year, this historic restaurant celebrates 22 years in the Gaslamp District. It’s a special celebration that comes just as dining fully reopens in San Diego. Overflow seating is still in place on bustling Fifth Street, live music is playing, everyone’s emerging out of lafter over a year of living with restrictions, and dining at Gaslamp is the best place to feel San Diego come to life again.

Dining here is truly an experience. Their food is amazing but one of the most noteworthy things on their menu are their cocktails! You can pair any drink with paracress, a plant commonly known as “the toothache plant”. It’s called that because of its numbing properties and was used traditionally as a remedy for toothaches, amongst other things. It is extremely similar to the Szechuan pepper, which is what my mouth remembered when I bit into it! It is TINGLY, so baby bites are recommended!

The mixologists at Greystone call it the Buzz Button & use it to enhance the flavors of the cocktail, and it is a very cool experience. There is definitely a noticeable difference in flavor when you take a sip after a bite of the buzz button. You can add it to any cocktail for $2 (pictured above). It’s a very unique experience that sets Greystone apart from San Diego’s many steakhouses. Also, their Old Fashioned is served with hickory smoke, which is done right in front of you! If all their awards haven’t convinced you to dine there, their drinks definitely should!

There are so many amazing selections on their menu, including an extensive wagyu selection, cocktails, salads and more. Here are a few of the must-orders:

BLT Wedge Salad ($14) iceberg lettuce, bleu cheese, cherry tomatoes, bacon, carrots, scallions

Filet Tartare ($25) Prime Filet, Japanese quail egg, capers, shallots, truffle, ciabatta crostini

Wild-Caught Boar Sausage + polenta ($36) rigatoni, sausage, portabello mushrooms, fennel, organic tomatoes, goat cheese

New York Center Cut Steak aged 21 days

One bite into the New York Center Cut and I could taste the reason why Greystone is one of San Diego’s top 5 steakhouses (which is just one accolade out of many). The steak was served with a light bleu cheese sauce that I initially was a little put off by, but it was actually really delicious! It’s similar to what horseradish is to prime rib. I doubt you can go wrong with any of the steak selections at Gaslamp, but the New York is a delicious one that won’t break the bank.

You’ll feel the city come alive again as you celebrate with Greystone. There are so many things to celebrate–the end of dining restrictions, being vaccinated, Greystone’s 22nd year in the Gaslamp District–and dining with Greystone, you’ll definitely be celebrating in style! Cheers!