We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent food on every visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Brian's

Brian's
9 Klines court, Lambertville, NJ 08530
(609) 460-4148
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 38 restaurants in Lambertville
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Langhorne, PA
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“Excellent food on every visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We became a fan of chef/owner Brian Held at his previous restaurant, Rouget in Newtown, PA, so when he moved to Lambertville, we had to follow. He's kept some of the favorite dishes from his old place on the menu (thank goodness!), but always has different specials based on the fresh ingredients of the season. It usually hard for us to choose between one of the old faves -- the fabulous mushroom soup with truffle oil, the off-the-hook Bananas Foster french toast -- and whatever is new and different on the menu. But the good news is that everything we've had here is good, consistently. The 3-course prix fixe dinners ($35 weekdays, $40 weekends) are a downright bargain, and ordering off the a la carte menu is reasonably priced; having the choice between them every day is really nice. The restaurant isn't large, and the single room feels homey, although it can get a bit noisy when the restaurant is full. Service is good, although they can sometimes be a little swamped at peak times -- but since it's a BYO, and you're not here for a quick meal, sit back, sip your wine, enjoy the conversation and enjoy a leisurely meal. We love Brian's inventive and consistent cooking, and would follow him anywhere (but please don't move any farther away form our home!).

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

119 reviews from our community

88% Recommend
    76
    29
    10
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Westchester County New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Spectacular Meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Saturday night dinner was one of the best. Wonderful crab and shrimp cheesecake, beef, and the best ever Bananas foster. Also, the best crab cake in our lifetime. Terrific service-warm, attentive, and helpful. Can't wait to return.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newtown, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Reliably Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Does anyone remember the John McPhee piece in the New Yorker from years ago: "Brigade de Cuisine"? In it the author begins by describing the ten best meals of his life...and they are all from the same unnamed restaurant. Brian's is for me what that unnamed restaurant was for McPhee.

We have had more meals there than I can remember...and not a single one let me down. Yes, some nights when every table is full you may be in for a leisurely evening. That's not the fault of your server. This is one restaurant where the celebrity chef/owner isn't in some penthouse somewhere interviewing cooks for his latest high-end eatery. Chef Brian Held is actually in the kitchen cooking your food! That means on busy nights you should relax, enjoy your wine and conversation, and just wait for the food, because it's *always* worth waiting for. And anyway, for my money, leisurely is preferable to being rushed to turn the table over.

And, okay, maybe this isn't a stuffy starched linen "fine dining" venue. If that's what you seek then you should look elsewhere, but know you will be missing some of the best food of your life.
Brian's is more relaxed—more like an inn. The plates are not 3 bites carefully arranged into fussy works of art but they are wonderful and satisfying. Again, not your style? You have lots of other choices. But it's sad to think you'll never experience his Veal Blanquette or Wild Mushroom Soup just to give 2 examples.

I actually feel conflicted about writing this review. I would prefer to keep Brian's on the down low—it's getting difficult to book a table some nights. But when I read cruel nonsense like: "The pretentious waiter who s.p.e.a k.s s.o s.l.o.w.l.y and the dimwit waitress who MUST be related" I just can't allow that to go unchallenged.

Maybe Brian's isn't for everyone. Maybe it's only for people who love great food at a fair price. But that's enough for me.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lambertville, New Jersey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great Food but Terrible staff”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Food is wonderful, Brian is obviously a talented chef but the staff are useless and the resaurant itself is devoid of any atmosphere! The pretentious waiter who s.p.e.a k.s s.o s.l.o.w.l.y and the dimwit waitress who MUST be related - careful if you get the table by the door, very draughty. I'd eat at a Brians again, but never this one.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flemington, NJ
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Busy, beautiful place with very friendly staff and nice atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Yes, this is a beautiful place and a nice successor to No Nine (I know long gone now but still missed). The place was packed when we went for dinner and prices for a prix fixe were reasonable, though the mark-up for some of the pricier items would have been nice to know about beforehand. Just like some of the previous reviewers,the seat by the door is very uncomfortable, though the staff does everything in their power to minimize the effects by keeping curtains closed, but it's an uphill battle when customers hold the door open for minutes without concern about the effects on the temperature inside.
In any event, the main attraction is of course the food and that was very good. The mushroom soup was excellent, though it was hard to tell what mushrooms were actually in there as the truffle oil sort of took over. The beef with horseradish was quite good, but I actually would have preferred a better distribution of the horseradish. Big blobs of it had managed to get amongst the vegetables and that made for a few coughing fits (the lighting is nice and cozy, but it makes it harder to tell some things apart). I actually prefer beef in a horseradish creme fraiche sauce, but other than the uneven/hidden distribution of the horseradish this was a nice variation. The meat was definitely very tender and cut with the fork very easily just the way it's supposed to be. The vegetables and mashed potatoes were very good as well. Unfortunately, by the time dessert came around, I was already pretty full. The pineapple and coconut ice cream made for a nice combination. If the pineapple would have been a bit more caramelized and the coconut ice cream a bit less sweet it would have been excellent. The ice cream ended up on my husband's white bread pudding which needed a bit more sauce. Overall, a very enjoyable meal, with great service. The food just fell a bit short of an excellent rating.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Brian's also viewed

 

Been to Brian's? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Brian's, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.