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.


A lady who lunches
March 2, 2011, 10:31 am
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , ,

This is my final week of blissful unemployment, and so I have been enjoying it by indulging in fancypants lunches. Many of the city’s best restaurants have weekday-only lunch specials, and the food is just as good  and the prices are way better than dinner. Monday, I went to David Burke Townhouse for the $37 lunch prix-fixe (they offer a $24 3-course menu as well). Tuesday, I partook in Bouley’s 5 course $45 lunch tasting menu. Wednesday, I am giving my system a break because I already have plans for a 3-course dinner at Yerba Buena with friends. Thursday, I have reservations at Jean-Georges for their $32 2-course lunch prix-fixe. And Friday, I am still deciding… I’ve already done EMP for lunch. Any other suggestions? I don’t think I can handle any more than 3 courses by Friday.

$24 all-you-can-bowl Mondays
February 27, 2011, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Go | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

On Monday nights from 9 pm to 1 am, the Union Square Bowlmor runs a $24 all-you-can-bowl special (including shoe rental) called Night Strike. Given that each game would otherwise set you back $12 or $13 per game at any other time on any other night plus an additional $6.50 for shoe rental, and assuming you plan to play more than two games, you’re getting some serious bang for your buck (I mean, for NYC – this ain’t 99 cent midnight bowling like Seattle, but it’s the best we got here in this fine city of ours with its sky-high rents).

Go: Bowlmor Lanes (Union Square) 110 University Place between 12th & 13th Streets, New York, NY 10003. (212) 255-8188.

$25 tickets to the Metropolitan Opera
October 18, 2010, 10:48 am
Filed under: Go, Listen, Watch | Tags: , , , , ,

I said METROPOLITAN OPERA and $25 tickets. While I have thoroughly enjoyed my $20 tickets to the NYC Opera, I’m giddy about these $25 tickets to the Met.

This Saturday, you can watch either Boris Godunov at noon or La Boheme at 8:30 pm if you win the lottery.

The process is as follows:

Weekend Rush Ticket Drawing Process

  • Monday: From 10:00 am – 11:59 pm ET, select from the available performance(s) listed for the following weekend.
  • Tuesday: Drawing is held. Winners’ names, as well as those on the wait list, will be posted here at noon.  At that time, winners may begin purchasing the tickets online, by calling 212-362-6000, or by visiting the Met Opera Box Office.  Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • Wednesday: Tickets must be purchased by 5:00 pm ET or the tickets will be forfeited and released to those on the wait list.  Wait list tickets may be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 212-362-6000, online, or by visiting the Met Opera Box Office.
  • Thursday:  Wait list tickets must be purchased by 5:00 pm ET or the tickets will be forfeited and released for sale at the regular price.

If you select more than one performance, you are eligible to win all from a single entry form. Do not enter more than once per week. Winners are eligible to purchase up to two tickets per performance.  Specific seat locations are random and non-negotiable.

Click here to enter the lottery, and good luck!

Note: These discounted tickets were made available by a generous gift from Met Board member Agnes Varis and her husband Karl Leichtman, and they’re also making weekday tickets available. 150 orchestra seats are available to the general public for each regular Monday through Thursday performance for only $20 (excluding galas, special events, and opening nights of new productions). You can purchase Varis Rush Tickets at the Met box office beginning two hours before curtain, subject to availability. I’ll be queued up outside the box office on November 6th so I can see the only Varis Rush ticket performance of Carmen, my all-time favorite opera.

Sweet 80s separates at Zac Posen for Target
January 23, 2010, 10:02 am
Filed under: Shop | Tags: , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]I am a little ashamed to admit that I kind of like the comeback of the 80s. It’s a more refined reinterpretation: the strong shoulders are less clunky, the neon brights less obnoxious, and the miniskirts less trashy this time around. Designers have been using a more careful hand in creating volume and strength with slightly rounder and more feminine silhouettes, exercising restraint with pops of color and modesty with opaque tights.

The Zac Posen designer collaboration for Target is a good example of the 80s runway trend made wearable and affordable for the average American woman. Unfussy and fun. Click here for images and prices from the lookbook.

Not everything is a winner, but I especially like the tuxedo bodysuit and skirt paired with the red leather jacket, high heeled t-strap maryjanes, and scrunched down knee socks. The brocade tie dress is sweet (though for $75, I’ll save my pennies so I can buy real Zac Posen at a sample sale). I would pair the dress with a pair of brown high heeled lace up boots or oxford flats and a short denim jacket for a prairie feel. I also think the maxidress would be perfect for a sexy summer date, and the tuxedo jacket would look adorable over a wifebeater and skinny jeans.

$1 Taco Sundays at Mayahuel
January 19, 2010, 9:18 am
Filed under: Drink, Eat, Go | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]I am a big fan of specialty tequila den Mayahuel, so when I read on Eater that they were starting a Sunday food and drink special, I was ecstatic. $1 tacos (chicken, pork or chorizo soft tacos topped with cilantro, radishes and lime) are usually $12 (for 3, I think). The cocktails are in the neighborhood of $12-16 a pop, and go for $10 on Sundays.

Beware the wait: I went to Mayahuel this past Sunday around 9 pm and was told that the wait was 2 hours long. Apparently, we are in a recession and everyone wants a piece of the $1 taco action. Get there early, and try the pilot punch.

Go: Mayahuel, 304 E Sixth St (between Second and First Ave). 212-253-5888

Good beer at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room
January 16, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Drink, Go | Tags: , , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]Whole Foods Bowery has a giant beer room. At any given time, they have several different craft beers on tap, and those craft beers rotate daily/weekly, more or less whenever they run out. While you can’t get a pint for consumption in the beer room (it’s not a bar), you can refill your reusable 64- and 32-ounce growlers with whatever’s on tap. A growler (thanks for the definition to follow, Whole Foods) is a “glass container used for toting a rich delicious brew to and fro. For over 100 years people have been carrying beer home from their local pub in some form of the modern day growler. Theories abound about name origin — one accepted version is it comes from the sound the carbon dioxide makes when the vessel is opened.”

I bought a 64-ounce growler for $3.99 (I think the 32-ounce ones are $2.99) and decided to go with a chocolate espresso stout for my first refill. $9.99 for 64 ounces of a rich, complex beer that would normally run at way more than that bottled, and it tastes better from the draught. There were beers that ran as high as $27.99 for 64 ounces and as low as $4.99 for 32 ounces. Since Whole Foods is on my way to and from work, I intend to take my growler, whenever it is empty, to work with me, and bring a full one home with some new and exciting beer-of-the-week. It’s recommended that you finish your growler within 5 days of filling it.

Call ahead to find out what’s on draught: Bowery Beer Room 212.420.1320 ext. 249.