On a recent Bloomingdale’s shopping trip, I was having a minor meltdown.
Okay, I was having a full-on panic where I refused to try on one more pair of jeans, almost smacked the poor fragrance woman who spritzed cologne on me, and had to breathe into a paper bag to calm myself down.
Before my sister completely threw me in the gutter and disowned me, she thought we should take a break for lunch and see if I returned to normal.
David Burke is a chef who I just love. He is creative, he is technically excellent, and although his restaurants are on the pricier side, the portions and quality more than justify that. But this is a rather casual restaurant in a department store….could it really hold up to his standards?
This seasonal special revamps my idea of sangria. This is very light and sugary, with a slight effervescence. It has the sweetness of apple cider with just a little alcoholic tang to anchor it. The fruits are fresh, and more than garnishes, are actual ingredients in the drink. You can order this by the liter, and doing that just makes sense. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
A double patty stuffed with carmelized onions, cheddar cheese and bacon. Served with pickles, chilled green bean salad, and duck fat french fries. So big that you need to put your order in early, because it takes about 30 minutes to prep. Just put your order in the second you get there. Don’t even look at the menu before you do…
because this burger is unreal. It is humongous, yet it is ideally cooked. A thick, craggy crust surrounds a rosy interior. Well, two rosy interiors. Each stuffed with sharp, tangy cheddar cheese and sweetly caramalized onions. The patties are coarsely ground and so chock full of flavor that any ketchup or mayonnaise is merely gilding the lily. This burger is possibly the best I have eaten since Louis Lunch. It is really all about the meat – it eats like a steak. The patty is juicy but does not spill all over the plate – rather, it holds its moisture as you eat it. The toppings are delicious, but the meat is absolutely the star. The bun is standard, but holds up well. This burger feeds 2 easily, though if you eat it alone in 25 minutes, you get a free T-shirt. Antacid not included.
The duck fat fries are also memorable. They have a salty, umami -intense flavor that makes it undefinable savory. It is like eating a fry that has already been dragged through meaty juices on a steak frites plate. The delicious burger would be enough, but the fries put this over the top dish…well…over the top.
Oh yeah…there is green bean salad, too. It is light and vinegary, with tender green beans, but next to the burger and fries…who the heck is noticing greenery?
3 kosher dietary sins at once: shellfish, bacon, meat + cheese. I couldn’t possibly have any more fun sinning. Al dente noodles in a cheese that is more melty than creamy, with plenty of cheddar cheese and just a bit of cream for richness. Large slices of bacon are crispy and salty, mingling well with juicy, sweet lobster meat. The combination of sweet, salty, crispy, and tangy is truly unique. I would never think to pair these ingredients together, but Burke is right on the money here.
This plate is another delicious choice, with moist, creamy crabcakes served on slightly sweet potato rolls. The crabcakes are chock full of sweet shellfish and are served with a tart, creamy tartar sauce.
David Burke does it again. He serves delicious, inventive food in a department store…how does he do it? I don’t know and I don’t care – just grateful that he does. The burger is a showstopper, but all the food is fantastic. The prices are what I would expect them to be in this neighborhood, but the food is WAY better than it has to be. The service is lovely, and if you come here for dinner for 2 during the Olympics when any American wins a gold medal, just say the world “gold” and you will get a bottle of wine. If that isn’t enough to get you here soon, I don’t know what is.
And it’s a great way to keep your sister from committing sororicide during a routine shopping trip.
Disclaimer: The restaurant paid for my meal. I was not required to write a review, and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*