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.


Back Forty $25 one-pot Sunday suppers
November 5, 2010, 8:37 am
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Back Forty is now offering a warm and toasty one pot meal with either a complimentary drink or dessert for $25 on Sundays through fall and winter starting November 7. They’ll serve a different hearty, comforting one pot meal each month:

  • November Sundays: pozole (Mexican corn and pork stew – actually made with human meat in pre-Colombian times as part of ritual sacrifice! – but don’t worry – you’re getting pork) i
  • December Sundays: Florentine lasagna (vegetarian with spinach, mushrooms, onions, etc.)
  • January Sundays: feijoada (beans with beef and pork, a typical Portuguese dish also typical in Brazil, Angola and other former Portuguese colonies)
  • February Sundays: gumbo (please let this be a seafood gumbo! – could be a mix of seafood and chicken)
  • March Sundays: choucroute (Alsatian recipe for preparing sauerkraut with sausages and/or other salted meats and charcuterie, and often potatoes) in March.

Eat: Back Forty (East Village) Front 1, 190 Avenue B at 12th St., New York, NY 10009-3600. (212) 388-1990.

Add Jo’s to your SoHo happy hour rotation
February 19, 2010, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Eat, Go | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I booked it to Jo’s with Sara N. after work on a Monday night around 7:50 and by 8:00 was already on my second $4 Ommegang Witte (fresh keg – have never tasted beer head quite so delicious – citrusy and wheaty with some darker sweeter spices). We ordered the $1 happy hour oysters (5-8 pm weekdays) and, by god, were they big. Normally, I prefer smaller oysters because they taste more delicate, but maybe it was the beer (perfect pairing!) but these big oysters also had big, briny flavor. I’ve been to Jo’s once before and the oysters were good, but not as good as that night. I’m drooling a little thinking about it.

I went back to Jo’s the very next day because it’s close to work and because I could not get the Jerk and a Slap (three types of house-cured jerky and a Pork Slap beer for $9) and Meat in a Cup (slow cooked meat served in a cup) out of my head. Sadly, they were out of Meat in a Cup but they did have some jerky and Pork Slap around. I was disappointed with the jerky, as I found it to be too salty, too tough, and too small. On the upside, I loved the Porkslap Pale Ale. It’s hard to find beer in a can that actually tastes good, and I think this is it. Not overly hoppy and just the right amount of carbonation with very slight citrus notes. I’ll be having that again. The gruyere gougeres were not what I expected, but man, those warm little cheesy bread balls are dee-frickin-licious with some sriracha sauce! Continue reading

Jo’s $21 Sunday Supper and $1 oyster happy hour
January 20, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Drink, Eat, Go | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]Two awesome deals for SoHo/Nolita restaurant Jo’s:

  1. Weekday happy hour oysters just $1 from 5-8 pm. You will find me at the bar with a Sancerre and a small mountain of empty oyster shells.
  2. $21 3-course Sunday supper. $21! Not only that, but there will also be a special $21 bottle of wine available for pairing with your $21 Sunday supper.

Go: 264 Elizabeth St. (at Houston), New York, NY 10012-5512. (212) 966-9640

$1 Taco Sundays at Mayahuel
January 19, 2010, 9:18 am
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[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