Friday, February 8, 2013

David Burke Kitchen: A review

Normally, I don't really do restaurant reviews on here. And reviews of restaurants no where near Astoria no less! While I like talking about food in great detail (who doesn't?), it seems a little silly to pass judgement on a restaurant in NYC when so much of my readership doesn't live here. However, I'm making an exception because this place had some really fun, innovative food. So even if you're not planning a New York food trip anytime soon, it's still interesting to read about. No? Well, at the very least, it's interesting for me to write about, so there's that.

I went to David Burke Kitchen in the Jane Hotel last night as part of the third week of restaurant "week." It was chosen, as all of my restaurant week selections in the past have been chosen, based on two criteria:
a) Restaurants I can't (or won't) afford when it's not restaurant week.
b) Any place where I can get a reservation after 5:30 and before 10.
After I narrow it down based on these items, I just look through the menu until I find the most exciting one. This year's winner: David Burke Kitchen.

DBK (the only thing I don't really like about it is the name. We get it. You're a celebrity chef, but can't you be a bit more creative?) is a farm-to-table restaurant. In addition to having locally sourced food, they also really play up the farm theme with cute little red gingham napkins and photos of farmers hugging animals on the walls (which is somewhat less weird than it sounds). The menu is extensive, and even better the restaurant week menu covers almost all of the options (usually they limit you to about three). For the first course, I had the pretzel crab cake served with beer foam and frisse. I didn't taste the pretzel too much, but it made an interesting presentation. Sam got the smoked pastrami salmon served with bagel fritters and garlic cream. It was essentially an elegant, deconstructed lox bagel. There was one starter that wasn't on the restaurant week menu that intrigued us both (and Sam said he would have tried had it been an option). It was a playful take on the children's snack "ants on a log" but the log is bone marrow, the ants are snails, and the peanut butter stand-in is pickled onions. Not exactly my favorite things, but I do admire it conceptually.

Not your average crab cake! You'll note this is a promotional photo from David Burke Kitchen. I avoided taking any photos last night for fear of being fodder for this blog
The main courses were a bit more traditional, but still very well done. Sam had some short ribs with cavatelli (which was creamy and amazing), and I had the pork chop with mango chutney and cumin bacon. The pork chop was perfectly fine, but the bacon was quite possibly the best bacon I've ever had. I don't know what farm they get it from, but I need to go there.

For dessert I had an oatmeal sundae with rum soaked raisins and sour cream ice cream that was delicious and surprisingly better (to me) than Sam's malted chocolate cake. It was warm and comforting and perfect for a very cold day. Much like this one, only now we also have snow to contend with.

I guess that's all I have to say about food for now, or at least the food served at David Burke Kitchen. If anyone is planning a trip up in August, you should definitely take advantage of it during the next restaurant week. Or I guess you could pull out all the stops and pay full price, but that's never as much fun.


  1. I shouldn't have read this on a morning i've missed breakfast.

  2. I took a few photos when we were at Dirt Candy, but specifically ASKED our waitress if it was an issue. She just laughed and said to go for it!

  3. Ania--speaking of your review, you really made me want to try that place! One of the reasons, I don't really go to vegan restaurants much is because the emphasis is so often on fake meat rather than vegetables.