On a recent Monday, the lunchtime crowd at the Bridgeview Diner was impressive. The L-shaped dining room was bustling but not frenetic. Customers filled the tables as wait staff darted into the kitchen, returning laden with bountiful plates on which sandwiches, salads and more extensive entrees were beautifully arranged.
Yes, the Bridgeview is a diner – but it’s clearly not any ordinary diner.
A longtime mainstay in Bay Ridge, the Bridgeview enjoyed a $1 million renovation, inside and out, after its purchase two years ago by diner impresario Dimitrios Kaloidis, who also owns Brooklyn’s Floridian and Arch Diners, as well as the Georgia and Nevada Diners and Terrace on the Park in Queens.
Besides the physical improvements, the menu was also revamped by General Manager and Executive Chef Chris Kyriacou, who said that coming soon were a new cocktail menu featuring exotic drinks as well as a new appetizer finger-food menu, with over 50 different items.
My companion and I enjoyed several of the eatery’s specialties and were impressed by all we tasted.
We started with Cappuccino ($4.75), which came out in clear glass footed mugs and which were as attractive to the eye as they were to the palate, piled high with whipped cream, a pair of cinnamon sticks artfully arranged on top, and a rock candy stirrer archly threaded through the handle.
My companion feasted on the Sesame Crusted Salmon Salad ($16.95), one of the Bridgeview’s specialties. The fish was arranged in wedges atop a bed of mesclun, endive, tomatoes and shredded red cabbage, and was moist and delicate inside and perfectly crusted outside. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the diner’s most popular dishes.
My deluxe hamburger ($10.95) was everything you’d expect this diner classic to be. The eight-ounce patty was prepared exactly as I ordered it and was served on a sesame-seed bun accompanied by piping hot, fresh and yummy steakhouse fries, a pair of fried onion rings and lettuce and tomato.
At the urging of Kyriacou, we also dug into another of the Bridgeview’s specialties, the Penne alla Vodka ($13.95; add $4.95 for chicken), which came to the table with a pinwheel of chicken fanned out atop the parsley flecked pasta. The sauce was sweet and creamy, and kept us eating, even when we knew we had had enough. The pasta also came with a basket of bread and a selection of snappy salads – cole slaw, chickpeas and beets, all of which were tasty and satisfying.
Finally, we nibbled on the diner’s signature dessert, its Rainbow Cake ($6.50), whose multicolored slices were sandwiched with layers of raspberry preserves.
As Kyriacou noted, many diners have fallen on hard times. “They’re dying out,” he acknowledged, “but for some miraculous reason, we’ve doubled in business. Our business is better than ever.”
We weren’t surprised. Just a guess – but the combination of excellent food and stellar service might just be the Bridgeview’s recipe for success.
THE BRIDGEVIEW DINER
9011 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day
Oak Room for private parties seats 100 people comfortably