Barreled ceiling, light wood, cool colors—rustic chic— starkly contrast the over-sized portraits of farmers and fishermen displaying bounty, lining the warm cream walls of David Burke Kitchen. As if the gorgeous dishes vibrant with freshness, color and certainty do not illustrate the farm-to-table concept enough, these portraits drive the point home.
David Burke Kitchen had extended its New York Restaurant Week, allowing for a three-course prix fixe comprised of menu items. It was like freedom with supplements, no limits but few restrictions, a sampling of the seasonal menu.
Despite their allure on paper, the fancy drinks fell short. The pretty winter sangria was deep and dark and spicy, while the ice cubes in the ginger beer and bourbon cocktail clinked as they melted, creating just a wet drink. The pisco sour was frothy and proud, tasty but not quite worth it.
The food on the other hand, most definitely was.
Textures tangled in the appetizers—slippery raw fish met with floral crunchy cucumber in the salmon tartar; crisp and flaky on the outside, the chicken grilled cheese was chewy and stringy and hot with cheese inside; the dumplings of the soup held tender lobster meat, sweet and buttery, while the vegetables added life, freshness and texture.
Classic pairings with refined twists and turns, morphed entrees into elevated memories. Succulent scallops, crusted with sear, settled nicely on soft cabbage and salty lentils littered with meaty bacon, while the extra thick pork chop was garnished with abstract apple sauce and mature tater tots, and the tender short rib, marinated with time, danced with a crispy brick of risotto laced with strong gorgonzola. Each dish echoed timeless companions championed through perfected partnership.
Dessert brought comfort and exotic notes. The gigantic monkey bread, served with sweet ice cream, thick fresh whipped cream, and dense caramel sauce was warm like breakfast and studded with meaty pecans and soft bananas. Juxtaposing the overlarge monkey bread was the delicate tropical tart, exuding sunshine, lime, pineapple and coconut filling out a crunchy cookie shell.
The appetizers and entrees were aesthetically simple and contemporary, but the profiles were complex and varied. Produce and seasonal items were transformed into the visual, sensual and visceral.