CLIFTON PARK — Just so there’s no confusion, the locally owned Clifton Park restaurant formerly known as the Brick House Pizza & Grill is now called The Brick. That happened after another established restaurant company moved into the area with a very similar trademarked name.
Along with a new name, The Brick has a larger new location about a half-mile down the road in a modern, light-filled building that has been home to a succession of restaurants, none for very long.
WHERE: 54 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park, 383-2222, brickhousepizzany.com
WHEN: noon to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, noon to midnight Friday and Saturday
HOW MUCH: $33 before tax and tip
MORE INFO: Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover. Children’s menu. Large parking lot. Wheelchair accessible.
You can see why folks are tempted to move in: large atrium main dining room, plenty of parking, and sprawling deck and outdoor bar that overlooks a charming small pond. It’s glorious on a warm evening and you don’t even have to go inside to get your drink.
Inside it’s attractively decorated in warm tones with high tables in the main room and more comfortable seating and a pond view through circle-topped broad windows in the second dining room.
Personal TV sets
The Brick has brought its television sets; you can still get a table with your own personal TV and though the total number of screens has decreased, on balance, the Brobdingnagian four-screens-together monster more than makes up for it. The volume was kept low, though I’d expect during an important sports event it would be a different story.
Not being sports fans, we chose a roomy, comfortable booth and waterfowl view. The pleasant and competent server brought us Diet Cokes and menus. We passed up the wings and appetizers like pretzel bites and calamari and headed right to the good stuff: pizza and burgers.
You can get a reasonably priced entree like chicken Parm ($17) or lasagne ($15) including salad and bread, and I counted 15 specialty pizzas. The YES burger (you should say no, $10) is nestled between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Burgers come with a side of coleslaw or fries.
Always looking for something somewhat healthy, I selected the pizza salad ($14). When the server brought it on a stainless steel pedestal I thought there was some mistake, the six-cut pizza easily serves two. “That was a good choice,” said my Mom, somewhat enviously.
A delicious white garlic pizza serves as the base for a colorful fresh balsamic dressing-tossed salad.
The hot pizza wilted the Romaine and mesclun just a bit, the Radicchio and convenient-sized vegetables including carrot, grape tomatoes, cucumber and red onion were just warmed.
Some dressing penetrated the cheese layer and I discovered the combination of balsamic dressing and garlic-cheese pizza really worked. I ate the salad off a slice first, felt virtuous, then dug into the cheesy goodness. We both liked the light, chewy crust.
I finished the salad and two slices of pizza. The rest is in my freezer.
Meanwhile, Mom was enjoying the Adirondack ($13), which more than satisfied her burger craving.
The Angus beef burger was topped with sliced beef brisket, melted cheddar, seasoned with a bit of honey and served on a rich brioche roll.
“There’s plenty of sautéed onions and I can tasted the honey,” she said, happily. “They even toasted the roll.”
We highly recommend their tasty old-school fries, and Mom got her vegetables in the form of onion, lettuce and tomato on the burger and a fat pickle on the side. “It was a great meal,” she said, and though she finished the burger she barely made a dent in the pile of gorgeously browned fries.
There was no room for any J & S Watkins desserts, good as they are, and we collected the check while the server boxed up the rest of the pizza. The tab for food was $33 including our soda and free refills.
We liked our meal when we visited the restaurant at its former location, but Mom had this to say: “I think it’s better than the last time.”