Trostel’s Greenbriar has been a Johnston, Iowa mainstay for twenty-five years. It is difficult to write an entry about the Greenbriar given its complicated history. It was started by Paul Trostel who also started the Colorado Feed and Grain restaurant in Des Monies, and, later, Chips in Ankeny and Trostel’s dish in Clive. Paul was a highly charismatic figure who easily won friends and awards for both his food and work on behalf of Iowa’s restaurants. After he died in 2011 after a very short illness I am sure that a lot of people wondered if his restaurants would survive. However, he had trained his son Troy who now works as the executive chef. Restaurant management is governed by Suzanne Summy. I’ve always considered Suzanne to be the reason for the Greenbriar’s success over the years. While Paul provided the inspiration for the food, it was Suzanne who made sure that the operation ran smoothly. For a period of time after their divorce she was not around to provide the much-needed management and Paul eventually had to beg her to return. She returned, and the restaurants prospered with them operating as a team. Trostel’s Greenbriar is in capable hands with Suzanne and Troy.
We have visited Trostel’s Greenbriar twice since Paul Trostel’s passing and both times the quality of the food and service was as good or better than in years past. The Greenbriar has always focused on meat dishes. I have never known anyone to complain about the quality of the steak or fish. The first time I tried the Gunpowder steak many years ago I was stunned by the unique presentation. Most recently, I tried the Gunpowder Ribeye ($24.00) and was very satisfied with the quality of the meat and the gunpowder seasoning. The meat was very tender and cooked to perfection. The gunpowder seasoning was perhaps not quite as heavy as I remembered, which is probably a good thing. The Ribeye was so black that my camera could not get a focused shot, so I can’t offer any photograph.
We also tried the Berkshire Chop ($24.00). This dish featured a Maytag white cheddar risotto, balsamic candied red onion, and sun-dried tomato basil jus. It was fantastically savory even if the risotto had not set up.
Finally, one in our party tried a Chef Entree which featured succulent shrimp, buttery lobster tail, cod filet and angel hair pasta ($24.00). The shrimp was bathed in a succulent sauce.
The meals were all preceded by side salads which were uniformly good. We tried the Caesar ($5.00) and Iceberg Wedge ($3.25) side salads. They were very good. I was asked if I wanted anchovies with my Caesar (of course).
Desserts are also a featured dish at Trostel’s. They never fail to impress.
The bar at the Greenbriar is also a work of art. A number of booths along the east side of the bar are also available for casual dining. The patio on the south side of the building is also popular with groups, even if it is surrounded by the Hy-Vee parking lot. A high fence keeps things private.
Dinner: Monday – Thursday 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Lunch: Wednesday – Thursday – Friday 11:30 – 2:00 p.m.