David Burke Kitchen

After enjoying one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten at David Burke Townhouse, I had to check out David’s newest venture, David Burke Kitchen in SoHo at the James Hotel – 23 Grand Street. (Added bonus: It’s two blocks from my office so no excuses).

When we arrived, we were greeted by familiar faces and the vibe was warm which carries throughout Townhouse as well – the staff really enjoys working here.  The ambiance is a bit different than Townhouse as it’s very “SoHo.”  According to the site, the design done by James Beard Award-winner Thomas Schlesser (also of DBGB fame), offers the “industrial simplicity of an airy loft with the rustic warmth of a country barn.”  You can see the inspiration throughout the restaurant with the exposed wood beams and the wood tables (no tablecloths).

David Burke Kitchen

The kitchen in David Burke Kitchen

Being familiar with the menu at Townhouse, it was interesting to see how David weaved in his whimsical, innovative, kid-like touches and similar fare here, but also changed it up to give diners the more rustic cooking experience, which includes a carving station at the center of the restaurant where I’m told there are specialties including a whole carved chicken and a 42 oz. Porterhouse steak available.

Carving station

We started off with a couple of my familiar favorites including the Wedge with candied pecans, tomato viniagrette, dried fruit and blue cheese (a variation on the Wedge at Townhouse with russian dressing), the Pretzel Crab Cake (still to die for) with notes of tomato orange, green peppercorn and white beer, and a couple new choices including the Camembert Ravioli with lobster sausage and almond milk and some maple bacon dates stuffed with peanut butter from the chef (amazing!). One of the appetizers I’ll have to try next time are the Ants on a Log which I’m told is a popular choice – bone marrow, snails, parsley and garlic.

Wedge

Pretzel Crab Cake

Camembert Ravioli

Maple bacon dates with peanut butter

For dinner, I enjoyed the Friday evening special, the wild striped bass. Interestingly, each bass is specially prepared in a clear bag with a business card from the restaurant with the number of the fish that evening, denoting how many fish have been served to date. Mine was lucky number 016.  (Fun fact: David starting doing this with his swordfish preparation and has so far prepared 8,000 to date and counting). The protein changes each week and based on the feedback they’ll choose to either keep it going, try a new variation or introduce something new, so it’s likely you’ll never have the same dish twice.

Wild Striped Bass #016

Wild Striped Bass

For dessert, I couldn’t resist ordering David’s signature, the Cheesecake Lollipop Tree, which included a sampling of chocolate and strawberry cheesecake lollipops finished off with raspberries and passion fruit whipped cream. (While the passion fruit whipped cream was good, I still vote the bubble gum whipped cream served with the Lollipops at Townhouse is the best).  The staff also brought us the “Sweet Treats” which included mini donuts you can squeeze caramel, chocolate or raspberry sauce into and mini ice cream sandwiches. 

Cheesecake Lollipop Tree

Sweet Treats

David outdid himself again!

David Burke, me and Anthony

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