Steakhouse Goes Beyond Clichés
Bryant & Cooper in Roslyn is a steakhouse with a diff-
erence. Its dual personality will delight those who normally
shun beef palaces. But fear not, the red meat gang will
definitely not be shut out.
Where's the beef? It's here in abundance, and it's prime.
There are no duds among the entrees. Velvet filet mignon
was three times larger than usual. Tender prime rib, served
on the bone, filled the plate. Sirloin steak had a crusty
charred exterior and a succulently juicy center.
Three double-cut lamb chops and a veal chop the size of
Hulk Hogan's hand matches the beef in flavor and good-
ness. Such longshoreman-sized portions called for doggie
bags all around. Lobsters are three-to four-pound monsters.
Ours was seductively sweet, but its $46 price tag (twice the
amount of any other entree) puts it in the expense-account-
But, even at a steakhouse, a meal means more than merely
huge portions of meat. Bryant & Cooper continues its
captivation with prodigious platter of vegetables. (Most
are $3.50 to $4.50.) French-fried onion rings are thin,
crispy wisps; creamed spinach is a flavor-packed com-
forter; perfectly steamed, verdant broccoli comes alive under a rich hollandaise. Crisp hash browns, onion-
dotted Lyonnaise and cottage fries, looking like homemade potato chips, are all recommended. The baked
potato ($1.50) could serve as a model for the perfect spud: it's not wrapped in foil; it's not wrinkled or dried
out from long sessions in the oven, but is presented at its fluffy finest.
Salads, too, transcend stereotypical steakhouse fare. Yes, there is the usual tomato and onion salad, with
surprisingly ripe red tomatoes and sweet onions. But the dressing is a shallot-studded red wine vinaigrette,
not the standard sweet orange offering. The mixed green salad, a dinner plate of romaine, red-leaf lettuce and
iceberg, is good, but the addition of a heap of crumbled gorgonzola makes it terrific. If you like the combin-
ation of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, you'll love Bryant & Cooper's version. Rounds of ripe romatoes are
covered with basil-imbedded mozzarella, all atop virgin olive oil. Balsamic vinegar from the bottle provided
is all that's needed for paradise.
The earth-bound appetizers, though, could easily be skipped. If no meal is complete for you without a starter,
stay with the simple. Oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, crabmeat cocktail and a whole split cold
lobster all feature first-class quality seafood, properly prepared. The cocktail sauce is a good rendition of the
standard stuff, but an alternative of homemade mustardy or garlicky mayonnaise, especially for the lobster
and crab, would be welcome. Too much fussing spoiled the clams casino. The meager amount of bacon present
was undercooked and limp; the minced peppers and onions dominated. Black bean soup also came up on the
debit side. Its too thick, gluey texture, reminiscent of refried beans, was unappetizing.
At dessert time, the crème brulée, with its crackly, glasslike caramelized top and creamy satin interior soars
to the No. 1 spot. Chocolate lovers, though, will probably argue that the chocolate truffle cake amid a blaze of
raspberry sauce is even better. Also in the running is a flaky crusted apple-cobbler studded with raisins and
moistened with crème anglaise.
Somebody at Bryant & Cooper knows and cares about wine. The list is long, red and robust as it should be in
a steakhouse. The prices start at $12 a bottle, with most selections between $15 and $25. A super selection is
the Washington State merlot, Chateau Ste. Michelle ('82), at $19. Its velvety dry, yet hardy flavor meshes
especially well with the red meat selections here.
The service corps at Bryant & Cooper is younger and more personable than the typical steakhouse mold.
Waiters are efficient, knowledgeable about wine and accommodating, and often point out menu alternatives.
No-nonsense meat-and-potato men will like the straightforward décor, but so will their spouses. Attractive
wood molding, inlaid marble and hunt prints say steakhouse, but plants lighten the look without making it fussy.
Bryant & Cooper is a welcome newcomer (it opened last May) doing double duty. It delivers the expected
and unexpected. Here you will find the great steak quotient and much more.