Brimont moves up to Main Street

3 Mar

Webster has a new restaurant.

It’s Brimont Bistro, at 24 West Main Street, where Shema Sushi used to be.  You might recognize the name, since the new place is a more spacious incarnation of the former Brimont Deli, which was located for seven years in the row of rear-facing shops near the gazebo on North Avenue.  Calling it a “new” restaurant, therefore, is not entirely accurate.  Owner Greg Cody has simply transplanted his incredible culinary talents, customer service and sense of class to a more visible Main Street location.

It’s pretty obvious that he’s also brought along a very loyal customer base. Word is, the line stretched out the door during lunch hour on the Wednesday after they opened.  Obviously, this was someplace I had to check out for myself.

So my friend Carol Klem and I stopped by for lunch a little while ago to see Cody’s new digs.  Whenever I enter a new place for the first time, I try to sum up my first impression in one word.  But that wasn’t going to cut it with Brimont. The best I could come up with was “bright,” “pleasant” and “comfortable.”

We had the choice of sitting at one of the small tables, or along the long, wooden bar. We decided on the bar, where we could chat with bartender Clay Wheaton and watch the world go by outside the big picture window.  Clay was very patient, since for the longest time Carol and I were chatting with each other so much that we almost forgot to order.

A look inside the Brimont Bistro

Eventually, Carol decided on the Greek Salad and I got the Santa Fe Wrap.  The service was quick, the presentation was very nice, and the food was delicious.  And just as importantly, the portion size was perfect and the price was just right for a nice lunch.

A little later during our visit, I got a chance to meet and talk with owner Greg Cody.  It only took about 39 and a half seconds to realize that this guy REALLY knows what he’s doing.  I’m talking “Chef” with a capital C.

Cody brings to Webster a wealth of experience gained from working in some of the finest restaurants in the nation, including  the Tribeca Grill, River Cafe and Montrachet in New York City. That experience shows not only in the expertly prepared food, but in everything you’ll see at Brimont. The staff members are dressed to the nines in black pants and starched white shirts.  The dinner tables are draped with white linen tablecloths and the napkins are fanned.  According to staff member Dierdre Hickey, the wait staff were given five training sessions before opening, covering skills including how to put plates on the table, presentation of wine and proper pouring of champagne.

The waitresses have also been told to be efficient, but not to rush things. Cody “expects every diner to be here for an hour and a half,” Hickey said.  “He wants them to savor the meal” and really enjoy the dining experience.  It’s attention to those kind of details which lends a touch of class to even a casual lunch.

My Santa Fe Wrap. The coleslaw was awesome.

The lunch menu offers a selection of sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads for prices ranging from $7.50 to $9.75. The sandwiches and wraps come with one side of coleslaw, potato salad or macaroni salad.  Add a soft drink or a glass of wine, and lunch will run you about $10 to $15.

The dinner experience, in contrast, is even more representative of a fine New York City restaurant. At night, all the tables in the restaurant’s formal dining area (upstairs) are draped with linen tablecloths and adorned with flickering candles. You’ll start with appetizers such as Duck Confit or Blackened Shrimp, which run about $10. Entrees begin at $17; Chicken French, Coq au vin and Seared Duck Breast are among the most popular. If you order an appetizer, salad, entree and drinks, dinner will run around $50 or more.

So the way I see it, Brimont is kind of like having two restaurants in one. For people who don’t want to spend a whole lot on dinner, you can get the same fine dining feel and incredible food at lunch.  If you want a real top-of-the-line evening meal and high-class dining experience right here in downtown Webster, stop in for some of the Brimont’s Seared Dry Sea Scallops.

Either way, Greg Cody is in the kitchen, so you can’t miss.

Brimont Bistro is located at 24 West Main Street, Webster. They’re open Monday-Saturday for lunch from10:30 -3. Dinner hours are Monday-Thursday 4:30-9:30, Friday and Saturday from 4:30-10.  Reservations are suggested.  Call (585) 872-3170.  Check out their webpage at www.brimontbistro.com.

Carol had the Greek Salad

Clay Wheaton behind the bar.

Chef Greg Cody with diners Joan and Rodd Riesenberger upstairs in the formal dining room.

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