Immediately, when I heard a new brasserie had opened its doors in downtown Aiken, I texted my 16 year old daughter for a mother-daughter date. She’s a picky eater so I knew we were up for a challenge. I’m a foodie at heart, so I’m not shy about trying new dishes.
The dictionary term for “Brasserie” means a type of French restaurant with a relaxed setting, which serves single dishes and other meals. A brasserie can be expected to have professional service, printed menus, and traditionally white linens. A classic brasserie dish is Steak Frites.
Chad Jajczyk is operating The Bradley, with his wife, Katie. Katie is an executive chef and creates the items for the menu. Jajczyk describes the cuisine as modern American with French influences. The food is made from scratch. Seasonal and fresh ingredients are used just as it would be served from a brasserie in Europe. The brasserie is not designed as a pub experience as it offers high quality food and drinks.
Let’s take a closer look at the mother-daughter dining experience at The Bradley.
We are greeted by the friendly staff and seated with a menu. It is a lovely setting with French inspired décor. The menu is divided into four different sections: Share - Soup and Salad – Small Plates – Large Plates.
The menu offers a nice selection of extraordinary options. I’m not listing all the dishes. I’m leaving it as a surprise for your visit. Anyway, just to name a few of the Modern American and French inspired menu options…
Some options include the Artisan Cheese Board, Warm Marinated Olives and Roasted Red Pepper. Soups and Salads include the Charleston She Crab Soup, Roasted Red Pepper, Hand Cut Beef Tenderloin Tartare, Smoked Duck Confit, and House Smoked Atlantic Salmon. All the Large Plates are served with hand cut fries or a side salad. A customer favorite is the Bradley Burger, which is made with Brasstown ground beef. Other good eats include the Portabella and Provolone, and the classic brasseries dish in Europe known as the Steak Frites.
We even liked how the water was served – it’s all about the details. Staff placed a bottle-neck water jug on our table (opened the jug for us prior to pouring). The water tasted so cold, crisp, and fresh.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions! We chose the Artisan Cheese Bread Board with Seasonal Jams, Pickles and Accompaniments that we shared. My daughter ordered the Crispy Field Mushrooms with Parsnip Puree, Poached Egg, Shaved Parmesan, and Garlic Toast. I ordered the Crispy Cornmeal Fried Chicken Livers with Grilled Onion, House Bacon and Alabama White Sauce.
Reviews: We both loved the Artisan Cheese Board. The cheese board appetizer had a great selection of cheeses, mustard, and jams. The crispy bread that accompanied the cheese was out of this world (we kept asking for more). My daughter loved the Crispy Field Mushrooms. It was reminiscent of stuffed mushrooms but a bit heartier and more of a meal. As for the Crispy Cornmeal Fried Chicken Livers, I loved how the chicken was drizzled with white sauce and still had a crispy texture.
The ambience in the dining area was so vibrant with conversation and excitement over food. We met new friends seated at the tables next to us. We were all comparing what we ordered. The gentleman on the left ordered the House Smoked Atlantic Salmon with Crème Fraiche, Caper Berries, Shaved Red Onion, and Potato Crisps. The two ladies on the right ordered the Smoked Salmon Tartine with Avocado Cream Cheese, Cucumber, Picked Red Onion, and Baguette (she complimented how it was really good and more than she could eat), and the Croque Grand Madame with Prosciutto, Gruyere Cheese, Arugula, Challah Bread, Grainy Mustard Mornay, and Fried Egg.
At last, we were too full for the dessert, but I heard the Crème Brule is a must-try. And, the chef has added on to the menu - Malpeque oysters. We will be back! By popular demand, The Bradley will now be accepting reservations. The next mother-daughter date will be the Sunday Brunch. And this time, we are making room for that Crème Brule!