For pictures and videos of my dining experience at David Burke Kitchen click http://www.chuonfood.com/2011/02/revi...
I don’t suffer from hypertension nor have been diagnosed with hypernatremia…not quite yet, anyhow. But I do love salt. It’s a necessity when it comes to food. Our evening meal at David Burke Kitchen [DBK] reminded me how crucial salt plays a part when it comes to completing the perfect dining experience.
As soon as you step through the double glass doors at the James Hotel New York and wind yourself down the steps you will start to embrace the chef’s farm-to-table concept at the one-week old, David Burke Kitchen. A large and open dining room that resembles an indoor picnic is what you get. Gingham blue napkins, wood panel ceilings, and farmers’ portraits set the mood. A bread table sits in the middle of the dining room with David’s famous duck-press gleaming away.
The menu is very well balanced, in my opinion, with many choices from different sections including: snacks, jars, starters, mains, and the daily dish-of-the-day. Out of the “snacks” we tried the Chipped Cheese with olives and honey. The cheese was an aged, domestic white cheddar that resembled grana padano to some extent. The cheese paired well with its Italian olives (forgot the name) and real “comb” honey.
The Salmon Pastrami with pretzle and mustard was average and nothing out of the ordinary. Just think of a pretzle stick with one of its ends wrapped with cured salmon with pastrami seasoning.
Out of the “jars” section, we ordered the Chicken Liver with prunes and pistachios. The presentation was cool (check the pictures) and it also came with toast points on the side. The liver was very smooth and had a delicate flavor, but the gelee they used to top the liver off had an unusual regurgitation-type of flavor that didn’t sit too well on our palates.
From the “starters” section, we couldn’t pass up chef Burke’s signature dish: Ants on a Log. You get split beef marrow bones topped with escargot, porcini mushrooms, parsley, and garlic. Three pieces of thin croutons stand in between the bones, while a bed of fennel fronds decorate the plate. I really liked this dish, but I felt it needed some SALT! Flaky sea salt to be exact.
The Scallops & Oxtail that came with a fried, sunny-side quail egg on top and pureed celery root on the bottom had great combination flavors but I believe it still lacked a bit of SALT.
The Fluke & Uni Sashimi with cured cucumber and orange tea vinaigrette was refreshing. It had crunch thanks to the burnt rice crisps that laid on top. This dish would have been almost perfect if it wasn’t for the excessive sesame oil that masked the fish’s freshness.
The Camembert Ravioli with lobster sausage and almond milk, on the other hand, was a crowd pleaser. The creamy cheese oozed out of the pasta shell while the bed of poached lobster goodness finished this dish with that gentle meat texture we all come to love.
Our “mains” was the Oxtail & Hanger Steak that came with smoked barley, creamy spinach, and cipollini onion. We also ordered a side of Smoked Beef Fat & Jalapeno French Fries. The oxtail was meaty, tender, and full of that gelatinous beef flavor. The hanger steak was cooked to a med-rare and was superb. The seasoning on these meats were spot on and did not need SALT! Even though, the creamed spinach was just like any other creamed spinach and the fact that I couldn’t taste the smoke on the barley, this dish really had me at first bite. By watching the video, you can see that this dish was well sauced, although, it wasn’t as heavy as it looked. I could eat this oxtail and hanger steak combo all throughout any winter season and not get tired! The side of fries we ordered was sub-par. It was thick-cut and plainly presented in a white bowl which what looked like regular pickled jalapeno peppers you find at Subway tossed on top.
For dessert we had to order David Burke’s famous Cheesecake Lollipops…and we did! The lollipops ranged from dark chocolate to strawberry shortcake flavors. They served fresh raspberries and bubble-gum flavored whipped cream. All three of us believed that the lollipops could have been served without the bubble-gum whipped cream because this addition just made things a bit too sweet.
The service throughout our dining experience at David Burke Kitchen exceeded our expectations. For being open only a week, the waitstaff were on their “A” game and it showed. Even Mr. Burke showed hospitality by stopping by our table to talk with bust jokes with us (this guy has a sense of humor). I would definitely recommend David Burke Kitchen if you are in the area. Great service with good food always ends on a nice note…our night at DBK sure did!
David Burke Kitchen
23 Grand St, New York, NY 10013