Sun, April 21, 2024

Brinkley’s begins 7 nights a week dining outside SRP Park

Our November visit to Brinkley’s Chop House in North Augusta reminded my wife and I of our trip to New York City in 2006. Back then, we ate “family-style” at the iconic Carmine’s Restaurant with a Broadway backdrop, minutes from the theater district. At Brinkley’s, anyone can be part of the action.

Starting Monday, Brinkley’s is open every late afternoon and evening for dinner and will also serve tapas-like, small plate options at the bar and front patio, seven days a week.

Greenjackets baseball will be a backdrop beginning in April.

“I love the ballpark in the background,” said Brinkley’s Executive Chef, Ed DeFelice. If you’ve been to the concourse at Truist Park in Atlanta, there is a similar concept. The restaurant is C. Ellets. “I put my spin on it,” he added.

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DeFelice’s dining concept is a spin on a new American craft steak house, using butcher boards with land, sea, and air options, including shared side dishes. Some boards include steaks, lamb racks, and jumbo shrimp, and others include steaks, lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, salmon, and duck. For the hungriest, there are 40-ounce cuts of meat!

Butcher Boards are a feature at Brinkley’s.

For the main course, the Gordons enjoyed different cuts of ribeye steaks, charbroiled at 1,700 degrees.

“Our ovens are similar to what’s used at Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris,” DeFelice said.

We tasted more meat in our rib eyes and less marbling. One was the Delmonico ribeye, which Brinkley’s ages in-house in duck fat, for no less than 30 days.

Because Brinkley’s uses choice meats, there is much less waste in their rib eyes. My wife, who is an admitted “filet snob,” really enjoyed it. Filets, New York strips, sirloins, and Porterhouse’s are all available on the menu, a la carte, or via board options.

Grilled asparagus, applewood bacon, poblano creamed corn, and four-cheese macaroni and cheese complimented our meal.

DeFelice’s cuts of meat chosen for the restaurant read like an all-star lineup from across the United States: Brasstown Beef from North Carolina, Meat by Linz from Chicago, American Wagyu Gold from Snake River Farms in Idaho and Certified Angus Beef from local Southeastern Farms.

“You’ll find the best food, best equipment, and best staff at Brinkley’s,” said DeFelice.

From left, Executive Chef, Ed DeFelice, General Manager, Mickie DeFelice and Restaurant Manager, Ryan Helton.

When DeFelice, his general manager wife, Mickie, and manager, Ryan Helton, transition to a new concept, it usually results in a home run, as evidenced by their 10 years together with other staff members building the Willcox Inn experience in Aiken and another South Carolina destination restaurant.

Brinkley’s has an elegant bar area that will be open after 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday to serve craft cocktails, premium wines, and beers in a setting to entice adult conversation and cheer.

“We have something for everybody,” said DeFelice.

That includes a bites menu and rotating tapas specials at the bar or front patio.

The Gordons tried a sample of different tapas-like options that will also rotate on the bites menu.

My wife and I enjoyed a sample of several of the tapas appetizers in addition to a delicious iceberg wedge salad with house-made blue cheese dressing, applewood bacon, and unique Brinkley’s touches.

Her favorites were the Creole jumbo shrimp, which she thought were “tender and flavorful” and the beef & pork ricotta meatballs, which she thought were “very rich taste and comfort food.”

I enjoyed both of those and the Argentine beef & chorizo empanada and the thick pork and shrimp spring rolls with Szechwan sauce, which is not your grandfather’s rolls at local Asian restaurants.

Frank Spears (far right of the pillar), his wife, and another couple enjoyed Brinkley’s the night we dined.

Before we departed, we ran into a few friends from business. Frank Spears (above right), the former State Farm Insurance agency owner, was enjoying dinner at Brinkley’s for the first time.

“Quite honestly, I thought we were eating in New York City,” he said. “It was a great experience. Just amazing.”

Dave Brendza manages 1,600 employees at the regional hub for ADP in Augusta as the division vice president and general manager. He was at Brinkley’s hosting out-of-town guests from their ADP corporate office.

The spacious restaurant also has a private room for meetings.

The Gordons will be back as well ؘand can now visit anytime Monday-Friday 4-10 p.m. Saturdays from 2-10 p.m. and Sundays from 2-9 p.m.

The restaurant is owned by Terry and Cim Brinkley, with significant business ownership and CFO/money management expertise, entrusting their first restaurant in the hands of the DeFelices.

There is a private room, called the Bullpen available for business lunches or parties or entertaining during regular hours of operation or before upon special request.

Some Masters days have already been booked and Ed pledges to only add to his regular menu with higher-end cuts like Kobe Beef, but he will not print special menus with special prices during the tourney.

There is no charge for valet parking – unlike our trip to Carmine’s in New York City, where parking can cost as much as an expensive entrée!

Reservations are encouraged and available through Brinkley’s website. To review a special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, three-course “prixfixe” menu and their daily menu, please visit www.brinkleyschophouse.com.

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