The Bryant: A Little bit of this, a little bit of that

January 3, 2018

 • BY Rob Ford

“Modern industrial” is the term used to describe the style of the Bryant — the Christodoulakis family’s fifth (and newest) restaurant, after Christos New City Grill, Red Seven and Café Literato. There are exposed pipes, subway tiles and textured walls, but also curved banquettes, barn-wood walls and plaidshirted servers. Then there’s a giant three-dimensional mosaic of wooden cubes over the main dining room. Even the dishware is a mix-and-match.

As with the menu — burgers, fries and milkshakes but also pasta, steak and seafood — the Bryant’s look is a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It’s no identity crisis, just an embodiment of stated goals to regularly switch up the food selections, and there are certainly distinctive flavor combinations beyond the basics. While not a smorgasbord like the Morris Bryant (which stood in this Sagamore Parkway spot for many years), that swappingout pays its own homage along with, of course, the restaurant’s name.

To cut a wide-enough swath, my friends Mollie and Ken accompanied me. We started off with chilled jumbo shrimp and “French” fries (quotation marks theirs). The former was a straightforward shrimp cocktail, with smooth sauce not quite “spiked” (again, theirs) with horseradish.

The “French” fries represent the Bryant’s spin on poutine, with a red wine sauce as the “gravy” and topped with mozzarella, provolone, bacon and a sunny-side egg. Dining with an expert in Canadian cuisine rarely applies, but it did here. Ken assessed, and I agreed, that while these were very good loaded fries, “poutine” is a misnomer. Props for that sunny-side egg, though, with a perfect yolk.

Our entrees were hits. Mollie’s lamb burger was a delicious, bun-bound gyro of sorts with a blended lamb / brisket / short rib patty, tzatziki sauce and peppers. Ken’s New York strip steak came out perfectly seasoned and tender, even if its chorizo vinaigrette occasionally got in the way of natural flavors.

My pan-seared barramundi (sea bass) would have been good on its own, but the supporting players rendered it a sweetand- savory sampler platter. The lemon cream and mascarpone/sweet potato puree in one corner, the caramelized Brussels sprouts and smoked bacon in the other … a creatively combined delight. It comes with a side salad available with many of the delicious dressings that the Christodoulakises have perfected at their other establishments.)

Although the Bryant has only been open for a few weeks, its milkshakes are already an oft-photographed ballyhoo. A sugared rim is child’s play. The Bryant’s milkshakes find a way to encompass the outside of the glass with candy, nuts and other accoutrements. I couldn’t leave without sampling the Fat Elvis — which approximates the King’s peanut-butterand- banana delight in a milkshake. More power to those who can dust off the entire thing. But again, the milkshakes are emblematic of all that works about the Bryant — a place that’s big, bold and bursting with more than you might expect.

IF YOU GO

  • The Bryant
  • 1820 Sagamore Parkway W. West Lafayette, IN
  • (765) 250-8963
  • thebryantwl.com

Hours

  • 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Mondays - Saturdays

SELECT PRICES

  • Appetizers: $6 to $13
  • Salads: $8 to $15
  • Sandwiches: $10 to $14
  • Entrees: $12 to $28
  • Desserts and Shakes: $7 to $9

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • “French” Fries
  • Pan-Seared Barramundi
  • Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  • Lamb Burger
  • Fat Elvis Milkshake
  • Warm Donuts
Rob Ford

Rob Ford

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Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.

Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.

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