The Briars-- New Dining Room
Things I have always loved about the Briars-- a relish tray full of crisp celery, radishes, carrots, and olives, and the family sized bowl of crunchy homemade coleslaw that the waitress brings before every meal. Honest food-- Prime rib, baked potato, home style green vegetables. Generous portions of fresh seafood. Tasty, huge portions of chicken parmegian with a nice side of pasta for my growing teenage sons.
My only gripe was the dining room, which was a tired, poorly lit, with a grungy old carpet. But given the informality of the place and the prices, I was willing to accept it. Well, I went for a quick bite two Fridays ago, and lo and behold, the owners built a new addition to the restaurant, a new dining room. It has kind of a men's grill county club feel. High ceilings, faux mahogany paneling, well lit. It was a pleasure to dine there. It has been open for 6 months I am told, but I had not been in to see it. It takes the restaurant to a new level. I did notice the prices had been notched up a couple of dollars per entree, but it is still a good value.
It is a real crossection of a crowd. Blue collar, white collar, and everything in between.
I couldn't agree with you more... The Briars is a solid performer... My DW loves their cole slaw, and she hardly ever eats it anywhere else. And I like your term "Honest food". I think that sums up the place wonderfully. Although at times some of the wait staff can be less than stellar, we still love the place. It reminds me of places I went to with my parents while growing up on Long Island.
We were there a few months ago, and I had meant to comment on the new room, which we only saw from the old dining room on our way out, but I never got to my computer that night and then that brain cell went dormant until I saw your post.
And you don't have to be a growing teenager to love their chicken parm. Our friend who we go there with from time to time, always gives me grief as that is what I typically will order and then have for leftovers over the next day or so!
Yes they did build the new dining room without updating the old one. Makes no sense, does it? I was there on a rainy Friday night at 700pm recently. The old dining room was almost full, and I requested a table in the new one. Within 15 minutes, there were 4 other tables taken in the new room. I guess they need the space. I think that they should give the rest of the place a good cleaning and a paint job. As for the bar, well, i think it is best left as is to keep the regulars happy.
I don't think I've been to the Briars since my 8th grade graduation dinner...so, about 11 years ago! I do remember going there when I was younger than that, and having to wait in the bar area for a dining room table, so if business was still good, I guess the update was long overdue. My family always thought of it as more of a special occasion place I guess (my graduation dinner, and my grandparents' 50th anniversary dinner), b/c I didn't go there often even though I grew up about 2 minutes away. I will have to try it again sometime when I am in the area.