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Jan 6, 2008 02:34 AM

Brivo -- Roslyn Heights

Dined at Brivo last night with my husband and all I can say is Wow! The place is gorgeous and was totally packed on a Saturday night. Formerly L'Endroit for over 30 years, this is a great Northern Italian addition to the North Shore. It's a special occasion kind of place, not your average "take the kids for Southern Italian" restaurant. The chef worked at Felidia in Manhattan and if you know Lydia and Joe Bastianich and their other Manhattan restaurants, need I say more. The food, service and ambience are a cut above the rest and we never felt rushed. They also own Cippolini's in Manhasset and I think Bryant & Cooper and River Bay. Personally, I prefer Northern Italian to a place like La Parma with all the garlic and large portions. The tables are spaced nicely so you can hear yourself talk and there are two levels to dine in, the quieter rooms being upstairs. Also a great place to have a private party. If you want to spend abut $200 with wine and dessert this is the place to go.

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    1. re: stuartlafonda

      To start I have to say the wine selection by the glass is very good; as well as the bread selection with a trio of olive oil, olive tapenade and sundried tomatoes. As an appetizer I had a calamari and shrimp combo on white beans which was delicious; my husband had beef carpaccio which he loved. As an entree I had the seared peppercorn tuna over grilled onions and yellow and green string beans; my husband had zuppe di pesce; both dishes were outstanding. I usually only order tuna when I have sushi and glad I went this route. They serve whole branzino, salmon as well as striped bass along with steak and a lamb 2 ways which I will order next time we go. I knew we had to order dessert just to see if it was as good as the other courses. We got the apple and pear tart with ice cream and they serve biscotti and small cookies on the house. I have to tell you this was a great experience. We had been to Felidia in Manhattan for my b-day many years ago and since the chef formerly worked there, that alone drew me to this spot. Not many restaurants receive an Excellent review by both Newsday and the NY Times.

    2. Have also heard very good things - just an fyi - it is not owned by the Poll brothers, but by a family that owns an olive oil company and, I think, another restaurant.

      5 Replies
      1. Wow, you certainly did not have the experience we had back in January. And I'm VERY fussy. I always move if they stick me near the kitchen or a noisy large party or even if the a/c is blowing on me. And if the service is poor I always complain when I leave or send food back if it's cold or not cooked enough. I do however have a good report on Blackstone steakhouse in Melville. Went there last night (4/27) for my birthday and I had the antipasto salad and lobster which were both great. My husband had an incredible sushi roll along with filet mignon. Their wine list is extensive and we had two very attentive waiters. It's a very nice looking restaurant and we will surely return. They also own Burton & Doyle and Rothman's.

        We're dining at the new George Martin's in Douglaston on 5/10 -- will post my reviews in two weeks.

        1. re: debster

          I've been hearing a lot about Blackstone and I have it on my list to try. Thanks

          Also I was at Brooks and Porter in Merrick last week and loved it.
          It's on Merrick Road

          1. re: the queen

            It looks like a hunting lodge and everything came hot and looked very appealing. All steakhouses get the same aged meat, it's just a matter of preference. I think however it would be quite noisy on a Sat. night and you would feel rushed. They also don't have any carpeting which doesn't help matters. I think Sunday or mid-week is the way to go.. I assume Brooks & Porter is a steakhouse too, correct?

              1. re: debster

                Brooks & Porter is indeed a steakhouse and imho is as good, if not better than Lugers. Had a perfectly cooked porterhouse for 2 , sauteed spinach and huge baked potato. Appps were crabcake and salad special. No room for desert. Service was friendly and polished. BP Martini with blue cheese stuffed olives
                was perfectly made. Had a drink at the beautiful bar before dinner and had to resist eating the whole basket of home made potato chips. We had a table for 2 on the upper level. All 2 tops are along the railing which gives you a nice view of the lower level, no table next to yours and noise level exceptional.
                FYI the rest is located on Merrick Ave. just North of Sunrise Hwy. They also have valet parking.

        2. wow, i cant believe you had such a good experience, mine was exactly the opposite. the food was nothing worth discussing & the service was just as weak. we sat upstairs and felt like we were in a knights of columbus catering hall. all this for nothing less than 200.00 per couple

          7 Replies
          1. re: stevekim

            You must have gone on a bad night. Did you go when it first opened 4 months ago? Not that that is an excuse but they might not have had their act together yet. I'm always the first one to send back cold bread or to comment if my food isn't hot enough or if the fan is blowing on me. Our water David couldn't have been more attentive, the bus boys are young and inexperienced but they are just refilling water glasses. I'm pretty fussy about where I eat having come from a family of fabulous cooks. Where else do you like to dine on L.I, for Northern Italian food? We've been to Stresa in Manhasset which hs a regular Sat. night crowd but the food is very good, it's just kind of jappy for my taste. Try Trattoria L'Incontro on Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria for fabulous Italian food. They always have at least 20 or more specials which your watier will recite from memory. It also knocked Piccola Venezia off the No. 1 slot. My attitude is if the bread is good the food usually follows suit. A good restaurant cares about serving hot and interesting tasting bread. L'Incontro serves hot pizza bread with sundried tomato pesto -- it's to die for! I think you will thank me for this recommendation.

            1. re: debster


              1. re: stevekim

                The only issue I had with Brivo which was a minor one was that the bread was cold and we waited awhile to get a new basket after reminding the waiter at least 3 times. That is not a deal breaker for me and we will return another night. I looked up the other restaurants you mentioned in my L.I. Zagat. Piccolo and Bravo Nader in Huntington got rave reviews and were both recommended to me very highly so when we plan to be in Suffolk county we will try them. For the most part it's a little far from us just to eat a meal. Thanks for the recs.

                1. re: debster

                  In Italy (and in France and, increasingly, in Manhattan) the vast majority of good restaurants serve room-temperature bread. Among bakers, it's well known that bread is at its best when it is fresh, but has cooled down from the oven so that its crust and interior are best appreciated. A lot of U.S. restaurants (certainly not all) serve warm bread because it's a way of "re-freshing" bread that has gone stale. I'm not putting down warm bread on its face, but I really don't think you can down-grade a restaurant because the bread isn't warm.

                  1. re: EZ Pass

                    If it's fresh it doesn't have to be hot I realize that. But some of the bread at Brivo was ice cold, like it had been defrosted. Believe me I know the difference between fresh and stale bread when I taste it. You weren't dining with me this particular night so it's hard to be objective.

                    1. re: EZ Pass

                      EZ Pass, thanks for enlightening me. Ice cold bread is one of my big pet peeves and like debster I also perfer warm bread. Maybe it's because so few retaurants serve really good bread. It's interesting to learn what some European countries' practice is. The best bread I had recently was at Yono's (Albany) and Falai (LES, NYC).

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        I always think that if a restaurant serves an interesting bread basket it's an indication of a great meal to come. Not always but most of the time. It shows that the owners think highly of their patrons. Same with a complimentary dessert or goody bag to take home. The hot rolls with pesto at West End Cafe in Glen Cove are to die for and the pumpernickel raisin nut rolls at Water's Edge in L.I.C. are equally good. To me it does matter. Of course once I have a drink and fill up on bread I might as well get the entree packed to go and get a check!

            2. I found this thread when I was doing a search of Bravo Nader, just to see if I could find a reason why everyone thinks it's so great, but must chime in on the other issues being discussed. We loved Brivo, and brought our own wine and paid a $25 corkage. We had an excellent meal, and why someone would rather go to Bravo Nader than this, I cannot understand. There is a lot more that goes into a dining experience besides the food. The ambiance at Bravo Nader cannot possibly be compared to Brivo. Bravo Nader is so overcrowded, you feel like you are sitting in your neighbor's lap, and they couldn't fit another person in with a shoe horn. Debster, I really agree with you about Trattoria L'Incontro. We loved the place. The funny thing is that last Saturday night we were going out with plans and planned to go to L'Incontro, then they called to say that they just went to Bravo Nader and thought it was so great, we should go there. Now, we live about half way between the 2, and our friends live in Queens, so geographically, it didn't even make sense. The atmosphere made the whole experience so negative, that I would not go back there if it were the last place on earth. Brivo I definitely would, but am not sure why you would consider Stressa jappy, and not Brivo.

              1 Reply
              1. re: robinsilver

                Robinsilver, I agree with you about Bravo Nader. We've been there twice and both times we were so uncomfortable sitting so tight with our neighbors it felt like one big communal table. Forget trying to get up from your table to go to the bathroom! It's impossible without literally bumping into the people next to you. We too weren't impressed with the food enough to go back.

              2. Robin, thanks for the review on Bravo Nader, I will take it off my "must go to" list. A friend who grew up in Glen Cove raved about it but I hate to be cramped. That happens in Manhattan more so than L.I. Your negative comments in your last post were about BN not L'Incontro. I was a little confused. I haven't been to Stresa in many years and may try the one in Woodbury rather than go back to Manhasset. I think when I went originally it was the "ladies who lunch" crowd with their husbands all yelling simultaneously. I found Brivo to be quieter and a more refined crowd but it could have just been the night I went. But I will try it again. Thanks for the info. See my recent review of Xavier's X20 in Yonkers -- not to be missed!

                2 Replies
                1. re: debster

                  I could see that. Now, do you ever go to Mateo's in Roslyn. There I could definitely see that. It is embarassing sometimes to see how these women act. And yes, I am sure my wording could have been confusing, but I did mean BN, not L'Incontro. I have started to read what people have said about Xavier's X20. Is that cash only, like the other Xavier's used to be? It would be a good place to meet our friends from New City.

                  1. re: robinsilver

                    Hi Robin. No we paid with a charge card at Xavier's. Next time we go back it will be in the summer for brunch, they may also have outdoor seating. You have a great view of the Hudson from any table. I can't eat at Mateo's or La Parma, garlic doesn't agree with me, I prefer Northern Italian. Tonight we're going to Galleria in Westbury which serves great Northern Italian. Have you ever been there? On a monthly basis, you will probably find us either at Mim's, West End Cafe, Blue Fin (great sushi in Great Neck) or at some Greek restaurant in Astoria. Check out Ethos in Great Neck if you haven't at this point. It's always crowded so make res. way in advance. They may have their liquor license by now. Keep me posted if you check out any new restaurants. Happy dining!