A friend recently called to tell me I had to check out a restaurant she recently discovered, BRYAC (that’s pronounced “Bry-ack”) on Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport (in the former Cafe Tavolini space). Originally called the Black Rock Yacht and Athletic Club, I was under the impression it was somehow affiliated with the Black Rock Yacht Club and for members only. Nope, no connection whatsoever. It opened its doors in early 2012 as mainly a bar, but after a management change about a year ago, BRYAC has worked hard to create a full menu that’s not just your average bar-food.
Although about 75% of the menu does consist of appetizers, there is a full complement of salads, burgers, sandwiches and entrees, plus a raw bar. The raw bar is as fresh as it gets: manager Brian drives to Stratford every single day to get his haul just as they are coming out of the Long Island Sound. With “buck a shuck” oysters and 50 cent clams during weeknight happy hour, you can’t go wrong. In addition, half priced appetizers on Tuesdays, and a bar featuring craft beers, a rotating wines-by-the-glass menu, and a unique “Patron” tequila club make BRYAC a great spot to grab a bite with friends.
The seasonal menu is casual, but includes some high-end dishes not usually found in a bar. Filet tips, cooked to perfection and served with a Gorgonzola cream sauce and Oysters Rockefeller are among the most popular dishes. I also tried the ‘Lobsterdilla’ which was a lobster quesadilla with chipotle aioli for dipping. Delicious.
BRYAC is also a great spot for live music several nights a week starting around 10pm, with the kitchen open til 11pm most nights. They also have lunch on Friday and Saturdays, and brunch on Sundays starting at 11am.
The space still feels a bit more “bar” than “restaurant”, but they are planning to add more tables in the dining room which will not only help to define the space, but will put more of an emphasis on people coming to eat, rather than just for a drink. They’ve already gotten the food down pat– so with a few aesthetic fixes, BRYAC will easily become a go-to raw bar destination and food find.
3074 Fairfield Ave Bridgeport, CT
Photos from BRYAC.