The Poll brothers’ Wheatley Plaza French bistro has been in the works for years and, on Thursday April 22, it finally opened for business. Gillis and George Poll, Long Island’s tallest Greek-American restaurateurs, also own Bryant & Cooper Steak House in Roslyn, Toku and Cipollini in Manhasset and Majors Steakhouses in Woodbury and East Meadow.
The Polls have a well-deserved reputation as sticklers for design detail, and Bar Frites does not disappoint: it looks every inch the venerable French bistro with subway-tiled walls, a wooden-beamed ceiling, and floors of mosaic tile (in the bar) and rich wood (in the dining room). On Friday night, its second night of operation, the crowd was just as chic, the men in artfully distressed jeans, the women sylph-like visions, taut of limb and cheek.
One great thing about the new vogue for old-fashioned bistros (see Bistro Cassis, et. al.) is that you can decide what to eat before actually arriving at the restaurant. I took a cursory look at the menu but it did nothing to dissuade me from my chosen path: salade frisee aux lardons (this bistro classic of frisee lettuce, chunks of bacon and a poached egg was undone by a way-too-vinegary dressing), French fries (the eponymous “frites,” very good) and tarte tatin (served just-nuked hot but still tasty).
By 8:30 p.m., when I abandoned my perch at the bar, the place was mobbed.
Bar Frites is at 400 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale, 516-484-7500.
The bar at Bar Frites. Newsday photo / Erica Marcus