|If you can’t finish the dish, it comes with a lid for easy take-home leftovers you’ll enjoy all over again. Chicken and Cheddar Waffles is a towering feast if you’re appetite is on fire.|
Saturday, March 26, 2011
From my NYC Food & Drinks Column in the current issue of h Magazine from Los Angeles, available at select Barnes & Nobles and specialty magazine stores in NYC...
David Burke Kitchen
The James New York
23 Grand Street (at 6th Avenue)
New York, NY 10013
Brunch, 10am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday
The charmingly creative chef David Burke has at long last made his mark on downtown Manhattan with this western Soho outpost at The James Hotel. The David Burke Kitchen is terrific destination to find wholesome modern American food with the unique whimsy that Burke is known for. The subterranean restaurant is uniquely filled with natural light from above and includes a cool two-story glass atrium in the café/bar area.
The restaurant has several cool spaces, including the Tree house bar with bespoke cocktails and a “toast” bar, and opening in April—a sprawling outdoor garden will feature all the menu items. Chef’s menu emphasizes the highest quality vegetables, seafood and game from purveyors land-marked on the walls in beautiful photography by Bill Milne.
Brunch here offers an extensive number of creative and playful dining options. It’s the kind of menu that begs for exploration, as you are pleasantly surprised at every turn. Starting from their Snacks menu, The Maple Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with peanut butter come in a petit quartet packed with rich creamy flavors and a delicious fried grape speared for fun. Burke’s signature-exclusive Salmon Pastrami is a sublimely peppery and spiced sliver of fish around fun pretzel sticks and a subtle hint of mustard, a divine little dish!
Entrée’s run the gamut from healthy to hearty. The Lobster Scramble is a rich dish of eggs, fresh garlic, horseradish and lobster with tarragon and the tasty salsify, a/k/a the oyster plant that adds a subtle nuance here. Served in an Ostrich Eggshell balanced on a dish of peppercorns, the dish makes a statement before you ever taste it.
Chef’s sense of humor comes through tastefully with their Can O’ Pancakes, their chic take on a Grand Slam, with a fluffy pancake baked with slivers of fresh sausage topped with fresh ham and hearty slabs of bacon topped with two creamy eggs.
The Escarole and Carrot Salad is fulfilling on many levels, textures of savory and sweet crunch across your palate. Toasted hazelnuts swim amongst apricots and slow roasted vegetables into a sumptuous plate topped with fresh shavings of parmigiano. The black olive crumble of tiny dots-of-flavor adds a surreal depth to the dish; taste them alone to experience their bewitching flavor.
Sweets are not to be missed here, their take on Monkey Bread also comes in the fun can, baked with the traditional cake, shredded with cinnamon and fresh fruit, all lightly slathered in a divinely sweet caramel sauce with fresh whipped cream in an enormous can. The Chocolate mousse layered cake comes with smooth as silk olive-oil ice cream with olive oil glaze and a sweet dark pool of candied olives in chocolate sauce with toasted pine nuts. You won’t leave hungry at this charming and affordably chic destination on the lower west side.