Full disclosure: I am a bookworm. From devouring Harry Potter at the age of seven, to reading in my high school AP Literature teacher’s room during lunch to escape my classmates, I have had a predilection for any and all things literary. So when I had the opportunity to eat at Dorian Gray Tap & Grill, I immediately said yes. The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, a tale of an attractive man who sells his soul to remain as such. It is only fitting then that owner Peter Cavanagh, Wilde’s distant relative, would bestow such a name to his strikingly beautiful gastropub.
Upon entering, I am bombarded with black-and-white portraits of literary greats: Arthur Miller smiling with Marilyn Monroe, Walt Whitman with his shock of a beard, Shakespeare in all his regalia. If a customer guesses fifteen portraits correctly, he or she gets a free drink. When I fail to make good use of that AP Literature class, I instead turn my attention to the stringed lights, exposed brick walls painted white, and the softly-worn wood tables and chairs. These small touches create a more refined feel to the space, atypical of the Irish pubs that litter Manhattan.