There was a lot more to New Years Eve dinner at David Burke Kitchen than that ridiculous steak. From lollipop trees to scrambled egg mousse, it was one of the most interesting dinners I’ve ever had. Taking a page from Volt‘s playbook, this meal was just as much about varying textures as it was about flavors. Going with a big group was key because we tried almost all of the options of the prix fixe menu along with some added sides and starters. For each course there were plenty of options, except for the first course; this one was mandatory. To start dinner we all received our mini planter (i’ll go with it) of Truffled Scrambled Eggs with Caviar served in an eggshell. The “scrambled” eggs were more like a fluffy egg mousse. Whoa. It was delicious and fascinating. The truffle flavor was delightfully intense, making the little eggshell amount the perfect portion. AND I tried caviar for the first time–but I can’t tell if I love it because it’s awesome, or because it was covered in truffle. Hmm…
As an addition to the four courses, we also tried Tomato, Eggplant and Ricotta Jam that was served with little crostinis. We all enjoyed the jam, but it wasn’t so memorable because the truffle mousse was a tough act to follow at that point.
My favorites from the second course were the Roasted Beet Salmon Crudo with Aged Balsamic, Tobiko ad Olive Oil and the Bison Tartare with Egg Salad, Smoked Tomatoes and Thyme Crackers. To be honest, I didn’t even realize that was egg salad on the bison until writing this just now. I would have never guessed that! It reminded me of hummus because of its grainy texture which offered an interesting contrast to the silky raw meat texture of the bison. I love crazy eggsperimentation. The beet and salmon combo was really nice as well, the sweet–but also acidic–beets were a nice compliment to the fish.
Other second course highlights included (clockwise from the top left): Pretzel Crab Cake with Mustard Glaze, White Beer and Red Pepper Marmalade, Wedge Salad with Spiced Pecons, Tomato Vinaigrette, Dried Cranberries and Blue Cheese, The Angry Octopus with White Bean, Chorizo, Basil and Lemon and a side of Mac & Cheese. The angry octopus was cooked perfectly, with Portuguese soup-like flavors. I *almost* wish I got it (but no–bison FTW). The pretzel was a little too sweet for my tastes, reminding me of duck sauce, but it was beautifully plated and everyone else really enjoyed it.
Arguably the best entree was the Sea Scallops with Cider Braised Pork Belly, Parsnip, Brussels and a Fried Quail Egg. These scallops tasted like butter, they melted in my mouth and, as always, the egg was a nice touch. I say arguably because my friend and I actually fought over this. My favorite was the cavatelli (below), but there were a few die hard scallop lovers in the crew.
Here we have my favorite, the Short Rib and Cavatelli with Truffle Cream and Wild Mushrooms. This cut of meat just fell apart as soon as the fork touched it. Oh, and this picture doesn’t show the massive spoonful of truffle butter that was placed on top of the meat after it was placed on the table. Mmmhmmm…it was intense. Another unexpected texture twist was the crunchy wild mushrooms, which was a nice contrast to the stringy meat and homemade pasta. For dessert the favorites were the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake with frozen cherry bombs, spiced peanuts and chocolate cheerios and David Burke’s Cheesecake Lollipop Tree for Two that was served with passion fruit whipped cream. Each cheesecake lollipop was a different flavor (chocolate, dark chocolate, strawberry, key lime) and they were so rich that I was full after two. The tangy passion fruit whipped cream offset the rich sweetness of the cheesecake.
It was a fun spot with an extremely friendly staff and casual yet chic atmosphere. Every single dish we sampled was inventive and unique. I would recommend David Burke Kitchen for anyone looking for a thought provoking out-of-the-box dining experience.
David Burke Kitchen
23 Grand St
New York, NY