eat. shop. love. nyc.


$24 or $37 prix-fixe lunch at David Burke Townhouse

Prior to re-joining the workforce, I’d embarked on an epic week of face stuffing which began with a whimsical three course lunch at David Burke Townhouse. It surprised and delighted me at every turn. From the glass balloons in the hallway to the speckled egg hatchling logo, I found myself smiling with each detail and discovery.

You can choose from two different three course lunch menus: one for $24 and the other for $37. Click to see the lunch menu here. The dishes marked with the speckled egg are those eligible for the $24 menu vs. your choice of any three courses (speckled egg or not) for $37 at lunch. Since I was in a decadent kind of mood AND because I desperately wanted the scallops and head-on prawns, I went with the $37 prix-fixe.

If the decor alone wasn’t enough indication of the fun that was to come, the bread and butter clinched the deal. We were served a fluffy onion/garlic popover with a carefully constructed butter swirl sticking up off a slab of what looked like pink quartz.

This is what the parfait of tuna and salmon tartar looks like in real life.

And this is a sketch of how it is constructed, potato tuile, creme fraiche, and all.

I really enjoyed the pretzel-crusted crab cake, though I wouldn’t say it was particularly pretzel-y at all. The pretzel bit of the crab cake was actually a little on the breadier side, and in the picture below, you’ll see the pretzel breadsticks surround the crab cake making it visually attractive, but functionally, the pretzels and the sesame seed crust provided texture and a nice little crunch. I liked the yellow mustard-based sauce although I didn’t care much for the sweet orange sauce, but it worked out just fine because I ate around it.

The prawns and scallops were phenomenal. This dish alone was worth every single penny of lunch. The three perfectly seared scallops and two grilled head-on (mmm… brains…) prawns were quite filling. The sauce was so rich and buttery that I forgot I was eating what was essentially a vegetable slaw.

The beef pot pie was probably the dish that delighted me the most. I keep using the word “delighted” because I can’t think of any other word more fitting. Chunks of succulent roast beef, tomatoes, asparagus, garlic cloves, and onion were nestled in a creamy ring of mashed potatoes and topped with a flaky pastry crust round freckled with miniature flecks of chive (meant to represent peas, I think) and carrot. This dish warmed the cockles of my heart.

Dessert was just okay. I think we should’ve gone with the cheesecake lollipop tree since both the strawberry shortcake and butterscotch pudding were overly sweet. I didn’t care a whit, though. I was already in a near-catatonic state of ecstasy post-app and -main.

There was so much pot pie left over that they packaged it for us to go. Overall, an excellent meal, and my favorite lunch so far in the city. Strongly recommended.

DB Townhouse also does a $35 Sunday Supper prix-fixe. Do it.

Also, they just opened David Burke Kitchen at the James Hotel in SoHo a few weeks ago. The website doesn’t tell you much just yet, but the hostess tells us it’s supposed to be a young, trendy spot for beautiful downtowners to meet for drinks and dinner. You know. Le hot stuff.

Eat: David Burke Townhouse (UES) 133 East 61st Street at Lexington Ave.; New York, NY 10065. (212) 813-2121. Lunch prix-fixe available weekdays only. Prix-fixe brunch menu available on weekends for $39. Sunday dinner prix-fixe $35.

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