A restaurant where dinner is served with a view
By Christopher Malone
Lombardo’s Bridie Manor, located at 1830 Bridie Square, is unmistakable while crossing the East Utica Street bridge in Oswego. The big yellow lettering on the random ashlar stone building is a dead giveaway but, regardless of the bright signage, the immense structure is impressive.
Dining with a view of the river isn’t such a bad thing either.
First impressions are important and, yes, that’s personal opinion. Bridie Manor, a former flour mill known as Ontario Mills built in the 1830s, has all the aesthetics.
It’s a classy venue for receptions, wedding-related events and simply dinner.
Internet impressions, however, are a different story. When quickly Googling the restaurant for hours and information — do I need a reservation, etc. — the times of operation (see box with the story) were inconsistent for Google, Facebook and review sites. Yelp said Bridie was open until midnight, which is not true.
The internet is also a brutal place. The comments about Bridie are tepid. Some reviewers excel in brevity and are to-the-point positive. Other comments are incomprehensible, vicious rants plagued with hastily written content and poor grammar. Because of the latter, does this void the negativity? Sure.
We arrived around 7:15 p.m. to an empty dining area. We were placed by the window looking out to a choppy river and were served water and a decaf coffee ($2.50), which was on the flavorless and watery side. Moments later we put in our order all at once. Our starters, a.k.a. “first impressions” per the Bridie Manor menu, included the shrimp diablo ($9.95) and the Bridie platter ($10.95), which was the most expensive starter on the menu.
The regular-sized shrimp, which is stuffed with horseradish, is wrapped in bacon and broiled. The bacon-wrapped apps were a little on the chewy side. However, the horseradish flavor and kick were perfect. The cocktail sauce on the side was a good complement.
The platter featured artichoke hearts, dipping oil, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and slices of rye pumpernickel bread baked crostini style. The bread was awesome. With a couple of tomato and provolone slices, plus an artichoke heart — the combination is great.
Entrées come with a side salad, which consists of basic romaine lettuce with the typical fixings. The croutons tasted homemade and presented a super crunch. A basket of bread joined the second course. The warm, elongated rolls with noticeable garlic and sprinkled parm were warm and not dry.
Just as we were finishing the salads, the Tuscan trio ($14.95) and haddock Italiano ($14.95) entrees came out. Timing for each course was spot on. Granted, we were the only people in the dining room. Still, our server Jennalyn balanced her duties well between us and the bar patrons.
The haddock was cooked very well and broke apart very well. It was served with green beans and a baked potato. Scallions sat inside the crevice of the spud, which was baked well and not rubbery or bland.
The signature sauce that dressed the haddock was something to take note of. The red sauce with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic — the hint of seasoning and a slight kick were well welcomed.
The Tuscan trio was [insert your favorite expletive] huge. The haddock was a perfect portion size. The pasta dish was the perfect portion size for three people. Maybe four. Needless to say, leftovers were definitely enjoyed for two meals.
The bottom of the plate was covered in penne. On top of the bed of pasta sat two meatballs, sausage lasagna and chicken parm. Melted cheese blanketed the top of the latter two items. Parsley was sprinkled across the entire dish for a finishing touch.
Lightly breaded chicken parm cut through easily. Watching the cheese stretch as a piece was pulled away is a pleasing sign. The layered lasagna was generous. Penne pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, and the golf ball-sized meatballs were flavorful and not overly seasoned. The oregano-heavy sauce had a chunky, homemade appeal.
Before 20% tip, the bill came to a very reasonable $57.58.
Bridie Manor was a pleasant experience. There were hits and there were misses, but there was nothing to get up in arms about. The Italian-American cuisine served by the Oswego traditional restaurant is more comfort and familiar than it is gourmet, but this isn’t a bad thing. We all need comfort in our lives.
Lombardo’s Bridie Manor
1830 Bridie Square,
Oswego, NY 13126
Sun.: Noon – 10 p.m.
Mon. – Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Daily: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.