Gillis Poll had had his eye on the South Huntington property for years. And about a month after the TGI Fridays at the corner of Route 110 and Jericho Turnpike closed in January 2017, he and his brother-partner, George Poll, announced that they would be transforming it into The Bryant, their first restaurant in Suffolk County.
The Poll Brothers dominate Nassau’s North Shore dining scene with Bryant & Cooper and Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn, Cipollini and Toku in Manhasset, Bar Frites in Greenvale and Major’s in East Meadow. From 1994 to 2014 they operated a second Major’s in Woodbury and, said Gillis, “we hope to get those customers here in Huntington.”
The Bryant seats more than 250 diners in a roomy bar, a capacious dining room and assorted more intimate areas that can be made private by closing their glass doors. Dark wood and white tile, mosaic and subway, dominate; the place has an urban, updated-Art Deco vibe. The menu is as vast as the space, including burgers ($19 to $23), pizza ($16 to $22), salads ($10 to $25), sandwiches ($18 to $23), charcuterie boards ($16 to $42), a raw bar, pasta ($19 to $22), fish, chicken, steaks and chops ($22 to $110 for a porterhouse for two). Plus sushi. And poke.
“We want people to be able to come here for clams and a beer or a burger or a Porterhouse,” Gillis Poll said.
The menu is very similar to the one at Bar Frites, he said, “with one exception. “We’ve added some of the steaks from Bryant & Cooper [a fixture on Newsday’s Top 10 steakhouse list] because there are so many businesses in the area and those parties are going to want a steak. We used the name ‘Bryant’ to signal that.”
Chef Jason Burns is a Poll Brothers veteran who also cooked in Manhattan at Eleven Madison Park, Lupa and Almond. His open kitchen is visible from the J-shaped bar.
Gillis is hoping to duplicate the success of Bar Frites. “What we want is to have a place that everybody feels like they can come any time of day and get what they want."
The Bryant is open for lunch and dinner every day. Next year, brunch will be added.
The Bryant is at 100 Walt Whitman Rd., South Huntington, 631-923-3321, thebryantrestaurant.com.