04 October 2011

revuesday - DBGB

Do you ever go out to eat at a fancy restaurant, look at the expensive, foreign menu, and just wish you could order a cheeseburger or a hot dog?  You're not alone.  Apparently there's a whole slew of people just like you meandering downtown wanting more than a dirty water dog from the corner but less than an outta control steak.  And thanks to Daniel Boulud's DBGB, you're all in luck!  His newest NY venture, a swanky gastropub on what was once a skid row of sorts, joins the likes of John Varvatos, The New Museum, and Whole Foods glamming up the formerly dingy underbelly of the city.  The Bowery has changed a lot throughout history, and it's changed an awful lot in the past five years that I moved to the city.  The epic CBGBs shuttered its doors for good (thankfully I was able to catch a few shows before this happened,) restaurants and retail shops started popping up, and even though the Mission and the folks who hang around there still exist, everything seems a bit cleaner and brighter... for good or bad, it's the up and up of a trendy town.

But I digress.  This isn't a post about the good old down and dirty days of punk rockers and junkies; this is  an ode to delicious food and drink.  And delicious food and drink is served up right at DBGB.  Though a bit out of my price range (this is the fancy new Bowery, not your neighborhood dive,) the food is well worth it, especially when your pops is treating you to welcome you back to the big bad city that landed you in crutches.  Like many of my restaurant choices these days this spot is not very well suited to the non-meat eaters out there but can you blame me - I need the protein to keep my out of work muscles alive!  So if you're into upscale, kinda pricey meats off the grill, this is the place for you.

yankee burger with fries
While the rest of the table indulged in beer and cocktails, I chose to have my beer in the form of a batter covering perfectly fresh and light calamari served alongside a thai-style lime cream sauce.  My only complaint about the calamari is that there were none of those spindly little pieces that look like tiny squid - those are my favorite pieces.  After bickering over the last few pieces of tasty calamari and being served a second round, our entrees arrived.  For mom and dad, yankee cheeseburgers with really yummy crispy french fries on the side.  The burgers were cooked perfectly medium rare and had that awesome charcoaled taste with all the fixins sandwiched in between two warm and soft buns.  Carolyn chose the Thai sausage flavored with curry and lemongrass served alongside a basil fried rice topped with a fried quail egg.  For a heavy meat and starch meal, the Thai style flavors made this dish taste light and healthy.  After a heated debate inside my brain about whether I wanted the DBGB dog or the Louisane, I settled on something out of my norm and went with the restaurant's take on a traditional New Orleans style supper.  In a small cast iron crock, I was served a garlic and spicy pepper Andouille sausage atop a crayfish and ham gumbo with little bits of fried okra.  Thankfully they put a basket of toasty delicious bread on the table so I could sop up every last bit of that flavorful gumbo.  Seriously, I don't know too much about Creole and Cajun cuisine, but if it's anything like the perfect plate I was served, I can't wait to haul ass down to New Orleans and stuff myself full of tastiness.  The dessert menu was unbelievably tempting with
thai saucisses
house made ice creams, sundaes and cakes but since my folks needed to get back to the Jerz, I just got a little something to go... and when I say little, I mean little.  Though the black forest cake was delicious and moist, it was itty bitty like the cakes I used to pull out of my Easy Bake Oven.  And when your shelling out the kind of loot for dessert that these folks are charging, I want a full slice of cake!  And even though I got it too go, I felt totally duped that I didn't get the side of chocolate ice cream that the dessert special advertised.  I guess every meal can't be perfect.

But if you're in the mood for some swanky bbq grub, head on down to the Bowery and embrace the modern world at DBGB.  The dim lighting and super soft leather banquets make this an awesome date spot.  It's a bit cavernous so it can get noisy which might be good for a first date if it's going poorly.  Check it out, but go someplace else for dessert.

* Again, I find myself camera-less and had to swipe these photos from New York's review of the joint

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