One of Nassau’s most successful restaurant groups is crossing the border into Suffolk. Poll Restaurants, run by brothers George and Gillis Poll, has taken over the TGI Fridays near Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, which closed in January. The new restaurant, which the Polls hope to open in the fall, will be called The Bryant and will seat more than 300 people. It will be the Polls’ seventh restaurant on Long Island.
Gillis Poll said that The Bryant will have a menu and a vibe similar to the group’s Bar Frites, which opened in 2010 in Greenvale’s Wheatley Plaza on Northern Boulevard.
The Bryant will have “the same feel, but more Americanized — bistro food plus pizza, burgers, seafood.” The name, of course, also alludes to Bryant & Cooper, the Polls’ 31-year-old Roslyn steakhouse. “We have steaks on the menu at Bar Frites,” Poll said, “but we’re thinking of adding one more at The Bryant.”
Bar Frites started out with a distinct Gallic flavor, with marble-top tables, bentwood chairs, smoked mirrors, floors of mosaic tile (in the bar) and rich wood (in the dining room). The décor plus the steak frites, moules marinières and plateau de fruits de mer conspired to make it Long Island’s answer to Manhattan’s landmark brasserie Balthazar. The Bryant is going for a similar look, Poll said.
Over the years, however, the Bar Frites menu expanded into Asian, regional American and Italian directions with such items as wok hay frog legs with Shaoxing wine, Baja fish tacos, short-rib sliders and pappardelle Bolognese. Bar Frites’ dinner menu features almost 100 dishes, and Poll said that The Bryant’s would be “just as vast.”
The space is vast too: TGI Friday’s accommodated more than 300 diners and had plenty of parking. Poll said the renovation would create private dining rooms of different sizes to accommodate business meetings and private parties.
In addition to Bar Frites and Bryant & Cooper, the Polls operate Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn, Toku and Cipollini in Manhasset and Majors in East Meadow, as well as Angelo’s Family Style Italian in Yonkers.