I was so thrilled to be able to visit David Burke Tavern last week. The legendary chef (who first became a superstar in his field back in 2003 with ultra successful David Burke & Donatella) seems to believe in the motto “go big or go home.” The creative presentations of classic Modern American dishes are something that you will never forget–but the quality of the fare here will blow your mind even more!
I believe in starting any great dinner with a cocktail that I have never had before. There is an amazing wine and specialty cocktail list but there is a “quiet superstar” drink called the Passion Rum–it is very possibly New York’s best rum drink with its rich fruity and almond combo flavors! The Passion Rum is made with Breckenridge Rum, passionfruit and peach purée, Luxardo Amaretto, and lime juice. I could probably live on these but it would not be a good idea, LOL!
The Bacon Clothesline is David Burke Tavern’s most famous dish and it is indeed a near perfect appetizer. Artisanal bacon is peppered up, grilled and then hung up on a mini clothesline—and then torched by the waitstaff member serving you! The bacon is thick and juicy and my only regret is that guests are not allowed to use the torch themselves, LOL! The items served with the bacon gets changed here and there. Our bacon came with delicious dill pickles but when my friends dined at DBT, they got delicious deviled eggs.
The Avocado Tuna Tartare is also a hugely popular appetizer and a favorite amongst the health conscious customers. The presentation is beautiful as you can tell from the photo above. The DBT kitchen staff pays a lot of attention to detail as you can see from the radish and beansprout flower with guacamole “leaves” on top of the tuna.
You can never go wrong with filet mignon and they serve beautiful Patented Salt Aged beef from local farms at DBT. (Salt-Aging is a patented dry-aging method using Himalayan sea salt developed by none other than Chef David Burke himself.) My dining partner Gail and I decided that this was among the very best meat we have had during any of our many dinners in the past 10 years. The roasted Brussels Sprouts and old-fashioned mashed potatoes were the perfect sides (they come with the steak, just FYI).
Fans of braised short ribs and homemade pasta must try the version done with handmade cavatelli at DBT. This is an extremely filling dish and I recommend that it be shared or else you will not be able to eat anything else. The brown sauce made with the natural juices from the beef mixed with minced fresh herbs is outstanding. You can get it with or without a dollop or fresh ricotta on top. This is the type of dish that dreams are made of. There is no doubt that I am going back to DBT to eat this again!
There is one item that is as famous as the Clothesline Bacon and that is the Cheescake Lollipop Tree sides with bubble gum flavored whipped cream and topped with green cotton candy. For obvious reasons this colorful dessert is hugely popular with families but it definitely features adult flavors. You get eight cheesecake lollipops coated in hazelnut, dark chocolate or strawberry sauces. It is hard to pick out a favorite one. This is another dish that gets slight changes month to month–at times it is a mix of macarons and cheescake pops. This is the perfect dessert for sharing!
David Burke Tavern is full of surprises not related to its menu as well. David Burke’s “spirit animal” is the penguin, so there are extra large plush toy penguins placed randomly at tables and benches around the restaurant. This is not just to be cute but to create social distancing between customers who want it. You will be falling in love with the gorgeous townhouse that houses DBT as much as the food. (Interestingly enough, it is only a block away from where David Burke & Donatella was located.) It’s so classy and “so New York”–yet it’s interior is so calming. The orange leather banquettes are just so comfy! For more info, go to www.davidburketavern.com (reservations are preferred but not mandatory).