Boston, MA 02116
Since opening its doors in 1983, Grill 23 & Bar has been New England's premier steak and seafood grill, renowned for its prime, all-natural, dry-aged beef exclusively from Brandt Beef, as well as its fresh, creative seafood presentations. The Back Bay restaurant has become a landmark dining spot with a dynamic menu full of classic favorites and creatively composed dishes, each reflecting the best ingredients of the region. The award-winning wine list has achieved the Wine Spectator's Best of - Award of Excellence annually since 2002 as well as many other accolades.
The 5,000-square-foot dining room preserves the original sculptured ceiling, mahogany paneling, massive, Corinthian columns and hardwood and marble floors of the historic Salada Tea Building. Unlike many steakhouses, this one is primarily warm and light with an open kitchen that allows diners front row seats for all the creative culinary action.
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Exposed to the joys of food at an early age at his parents' Darien, Connecticut cooking school, Jay Murray was destined to become a Chef. By the fourth grade, cooking had become a bit of an obsession. Friends would spend the night and he'd make them join him in preparing quick breads at all hours. By the time he reached sixth grade, Murray was working alongside French Chef Antoine Bouterin, who stayed at the Murray house while teaching the culinary school, helping to formulate nouvelle menus to teach in class.
As a culinary scholar, Murray's philosophy of cuisine is deceptively simple: "that the overall effect of a culinary creation transcends its contributing elements." He refers to himself as a "flavor theorist," alluding to his focus of harmonizing very specific and assertive flavors. "I believe that the successful whole of a creation cannot be described by an itemization of its individual elements." At Grill 23 & Bar this translates into dishes that are at once innovative and accessible, with vibrant flavors throughout.
Murray, who learned his craft through years of exposure, research, and intense practice, attended college to become a writer. Yet he could not resist the call of the kitchen. "My thesis wound up as a scholarly cookbook," he says. "After college I did some food writing and sought career advice from two chefs whom I respected - Rick Bayless and Charlie Trotter. They made the same suggestion ‘Be a chef and go as far as you can with it, then decide what you're going to do.' They were right."
After honing his skills under Gabino Sotelino at Chicago's Un Grand Café, Murray made his name at New England's top inns, first at the Blantyre and then as Executive Chef of Silks at the acclaimed Stonehedge Inn.
Executive Chef of Grill 23 & Bar since 1998, Murray continues to raise the bar on the Classic American Steakhouse, featuring higher quality and unique a la carte choices; including Kobe beef and beef from farms which only produce all natural, dry-aged, prime beef.
Murray also expanded his weekly specials menu, showcasing his own innovative and stylized cuisine. Taking full advantage of the wealth of local seafood, produce and prime meats, Murray skillfully balances innovation with tradition. His food has been called "authoritatively flavored," "downright daring," and "simply delicious."
Under Murray's helm, Grill 23 & Bar consistently earns the highest honors from local and national leaders in the industry. The 2006 Zagat Survey rated Grill 23 & Bar as Top American, Top Steakhouse and Top Service. The Improper Bostonian has awarded Grill 23 & Bar and Murray with "Boston's Best Steakhouse" since 2004 and Boston Magazine awarded Murray top honor as "Best of Boston, Steakhouse, Hall of Fame" and "Best Steakhouse in New England" in 2006.