Tuesday, June 16, 2009

DBGB Kitchen & Bar

Before you get too comfortable, I suggest grabbing your phone. You may want to just go ahead and dial (212) 460-5777 so that your phone is ready to go immediately after reading this. I haven't been this excited about a new restaurant in awhile. And I'm not even sure what has excited me the most - the fact that Daniel Boulud just recently opened a gourmet sausage restaurant, that it is located downtown, or that the setting and food were close to perfect just four days after its opening. DBGB, located down the street from the 2006 shuttered music club CBGB, has already put this block back on the map. You may have already walked right by the unassuming #299 written in white chalk on the glass door. But, once you know what is on the inside beyond the glass walls that surprisingly enclose a new, hopping restaurant, I challenge you to pass by without grabbing a beer or a bite.

DBGB is doing it right. The space is excellent. The entire restaurant has a very comfortable, laid-back vibe, made up of a casual front room, offering tables and a large bar, and a more upscale back room, scattered with both booths and tables. No matter where you are sitting, the food will be excellent - and well priced. While sausages and burgers are definitely the signature dishes here, the menu offers much more. And, I encourage you to be bold and branch out, and, as usual, embrace the practice of sharing. We started the meal with a few appetizers - tuna crudo with harissa-sesame sauce, cucumbers, radishes and crispy rice and then asparagus, fried egg with duck proscuitto, cracklins, and mustard-egg dressing. Both were delicious, but the egg dish is a must. I have tried many versions of this dish recently and this one ranks with the best.

Those that know me best know that sausage is probably my biggest weakness (well, besides bacon). In all fairness, I should probably just admit my soft spot for pork products. So there was no question that the next stage of dinner would involve sharing several of their homemade "links, bangers, and saucisses." We devoured both the Beaujolaise - pork, mushrooms, onion, bacon and red wine link with lentils du puy, followed by the Tunisienne - spicy lamb and mint merguez with lemon braised spinach and chickpeas. These were excellent - especially the Beaujolaise. I could taste each and every ingredient that had been brought together to create this perfectly homemade link. There are several others that I am eager to return and try, although I know it will be extremely hard not to order this one again. We also did not get a chance to try any of the burgers, but each and every one that passed our table made our heads turn. They were the perfect size followed by the perfect aroma. I will be honest that after the time the second burger passed by our table I immediately regretted not ordering one. But, once I took my first bite of our final dish, the handmade strozzapreti pasta made with braised veal, spring peas, zucchini, and tomato, I was actually glad to have gone in another direction. This al dente pasta was extremely well prepared topped with another excellent testament to DBGB prepared meat. In the end, sticking to any kind of meat will do you just right.

We were definitely on a roll at this point and decided to prolong the meal with the comforts of an ice cream sundae. While tempted by the coffee combination, we went with the apricot-pistachio, a less classic option. Their homemade pistachio ice cream was topped with marshmallows, vanilla cookies, caramel sauce, apricot coulis, and whipped cream. I was in heaven. While I had gone in to the night with tunnel (sausage) vision, I was walking away with so much more. It's going to be a long time before I tire of this menu. And, if you haven't already done so, pull that phone back out. You can go ahead and push send now.

299 Bowery
New York, NY 10003
(212) 460-5777
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):


Anonymous said...

REALLY want to try this place! sounds so great.

Rob said...

mmmm... sounds amazing.

Stephanie said...

Upon your recommendation, I went last night with a friend and we both LOVED it. Delicious food and fun cool ambience. Keep the good reviews coming!

Carolena Deutsch said...

Tried it this past weekend! Since the decision to head there was made at 3pm there were no reservations left. We opted for the bar seating and menu and were pleasantly surprised! "The Piggie" burger is not to be missed!