Dining out at Brian’s Landing at Green Lakes
By Christopher Malone
Alfresco dining is highly encouraged in this moment post-COVID-19, so why not choose a place able to seat plenty of patrons and without a concrete view?
It’s time to venture out to Fayetteville! Brian’s Landing at Green Lakes, 5648 Green Lakes Park Drive, came as a recommendation.
Brian’s Landing has a second location — in Jamesville. The following pertains to the Green Lakes location, and the food prepared by Executive Chef Kevin Brown.
First off: What. A. View.
If this place doesn’t sit in the top three best views in Onondaga County and the top five in the Central New York region, I’ll be shocked. The very large patio overlooks the adjacent golf course and gorgeous, glacially made bodies of water. Remember to chew. If you don’t, close your hanging jaw, food will fall out.
Let’s talk about COVID restrictions: Patrons (temporarily) have to wear masks when entering the restaurant but the face coverings can be removed when seated. Servers are required to wear masks, and our awesome waitress Kelly was beyond accommodating, very knowledgeable, and had a great sense of humor. The tables of four are spaced out very comfortably but Brian’s Landing at Green Lakes could essentially accommodate more (in a “normal” world).
We kicked off the meal with a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale ($6), picked from a beer list with very affordable prices.
For substance, the backed Caprese dip ($14) and bella luna Utica greens ($14). I’ve never seen a Caprese dip, so it was a given. The very hot (temperature-wise) dip came with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and pesto, and mozzarella. This starter was also made with goat cheese to enhance the flavor and make it creamier as well as thicker. Plus, the crispy homemade pita chips on the side were the perfect edible utensil. My fiancé and I devoured the entire starter, which is easily shareable among four or five people.
The Utica greens couldn’t be ignored: Once you’ve tried someone’s greens, you have to try everyone’s. It’s an unofficial CNY way of life that should be made into a law. We purposely saved some for leftovers — made into omelettes the next morning — due to our eagerness with the dip and watermelon and mozzarella salad ($14). The Utica greens got a stamp of approval, albeit a lack of spiciness. We’ll ask to kick up the heat next time. The hearty dish of greens was not overly soggy or left a watery puddle either.
The watermelon and mozzarella salad is as refreshing as it sounds. The shareable bowl of arugula, prosciutto, and macadamia nuts along with the titular ingredients is perfect for the warmer weather. The slight, noticeable taste of mint comes from the house-prepared vinaigrette. Not only is it social media friendly, it’s easily sharable with those who do not believe you’re eating healthy. (Just don’t show them the dip — your little secret.)
Saturdays at Brian’s Landing at Green Lakes is prime rib night. Entrée decision made. The huge portion of prime rib ($30) came with seasonal veggies, broccoli and cauliflower, and mashed potatoes. We did ask for it medium and it came out without its rareness, unfortunately. However, the not-so-fatty cut of meat had great flavor.
The second entrée we enjoyed was the grilled cauliflower “steak” ($17) to show how Brian’s Landing accommodates various diets, chosen or otherwise, and trying something different isn’t a bad risk. The grilled “steaks” were thick-cut center pieces of cauliflower crowns grilled very well and topped with avocado slices, and roasted tomatoes. The entrée comes with a nice, light rice pilaf.
And then there’s the chimichurri sauce — aesthetically vibrant green, unapologetically tangy, and downright potent. When combined with the other ingredients and particularly the charred portions of the cauliflower, it’s best to simply say “it’s great” for something complex.
The total, before tip, came to $102 and change. For the amount of food, the price was on target. We left with filled bellies, takeaway containers, and smiling.
Children-friendly options are found on the menu, i.e. Hofmann hotdogs and chicken tenders. Desserts are offered, too. Although the towering strawberry lemonade cake seen at an adjacent table looked amazing, we were too full to try.
But next time…
Brian’s Landing at Green Lakes
Address: 5648 Green Lakes Park Drive. Fayetteville, NY 13066
Hours: Daily: 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Photo: View from a table at Brian’s Landing at Green Lakes restaurant in Fayetteville.