A few weeks ago, Frank and Melissa invited us to join them on a double date at one of Frank’s new favorite restaurants, DBGB Kitchen & Bar. In all honesty, I didn’t do my normal menu research ahead of time. I knew that the DB in the name stood for Daniel Boulud and therefore I knew that the menu and meal wouldn’t disappoint.
When we walked in for our 9:30 dinner reservation, we were immediately fans of the open space and design. The space seemed larger than expected due to the use of mirrors and glass, which featured hand written quotes, specials of the day, and more. Throughout the bar, random tools and ingredients which would be found in a butcher or kitchen, broke up the mirrors. DBGB is Boulud’s first venture south of 44th in New York City.
We were escorted to a dark wood table in the back room, flanked on one side by the open kitchen’s expediting area and on the other side by ample space. For once, we didn’t feel cramped in a New York City restaurant, which was a pleasant treat.
Our men put together their ordering game plan while Melissa and I reviewed the fish and vegetable options and munched no the crusty, warm bread.
We shared the tuna crudo: harissa-sesame sauced, cucumber, radish, crispy rice and butternut squash soup spaghetti squash, pumpernickel croutons, caraway cream and pumpkin seed oil. The butternut squash was the clear winner in this duel, leaving everyone wishing there was more.
While we shared our appetizers, Bo and Frank sampled four different types of house made sausages dishes: espagnole– fresh chorizo sausage with pierade, basil oil, toscane– pan roasted italian sausage slow cooked fennel & tomato, vermont pork & cheddar link and hash browns, and louisiane with New Orleans style garlic & pepper andouille.
Their two favorite sausages were the Italian and the Espagnole, both of which left them convincing Melissa and me that we had to try at least a bite. Neither of us are vegetarians, but neither of us were very excited to try any. While the bite I did try was tasty, that one bite was plenty. The flavoring was perfect but the combination was too rich for my palette.
For our main courses, Melissa and I both ordered the chop-chop salad with lobster which was amazing. A step above an average steak house salad, the chop-chop included fresh avocado, grapefruit, peppers, carrots, and fresh lobster chunks. Even the boys were jealous of our lobster. But, the boys’ jealous didn’t last long as The Piggie left them smiling from ear to ear. You can’t really argue with the combination even if you aren’t a burger lover. The 6 ounce burger is topped with housemade pulled pork, spicy mayonnaise, and a perfectly proportioned toasted cheddar bun. One bite actually left me a little jealous that I hadn’t ordered the same thing. Even the fries were perfectly crisp and salted.
If you are a beer or meat lover, than DBGB Kitchen and Bar is a perfect choice. While some items are over-priced, the overall experience and food is worth it. The only change I would make to last night’s experience would be saving room for their famous sundaes!