Daniel Boulud is a man of many talents -- and restaurants. At New York's DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Boulud fuses French bistro with American gastropub. This summer the casual eatery will celebrate its fifth anniversary, as well an expansion to Washington, D.C.
DGBG's menu pays tribute to Americana, and in honor of Memorial Day and the upcoming Fourth of July, the Bowery Street restaurant is taking over Miami's DB Bistro Moderne today through Independence Day.
Short Order was invited to get a taste of the limited menu.
DBGB boasts an impressive selection of more than 20 drafts on tap and another 75-plus by the bottle, and it's bringing some down to the 305. The tap takeover features New York's Southern Tier Brewing Company. Choose from Eurotrash Pilz pilsner, 2XIPA double IPA, or Mokah imperial stout. Or try all three as your meal progresses. The imperial stout tastes like chocolate pancakes. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself.
A tuna crudo ($18) is refreshingly raw and light. Sitting atop a harissa sesame sauce and with grapefruit and cucumber radish, it's the perfect summer dish.
The iceberg & blue ($12) is the best representation of Boulud's contemporary take on traditional American cuisine. His rendition pairs a gorgeous wedge with tomato, walnuts, bacon bits, herbs, and blue cheese.
For a different take on salad, get the roasted beets ($13). Black and white quinoa, tahini, and sorrel sumac spice peanuts are plated alongside bright roasted beets. It's vibrant and edgy.
DBGB is famous for its sausages. It offers 12 varieties and makes them in house daily. Though those dozen didn't make it down to the Magic City, the sausages that will be served are made in house. Choose from five, each for $13 or two for $25. I nibbled on the Thai, which grinds pork, lemongrass, and red curry together and is served alongside green papaya basil fried rice with chili sauce and quail egg. I was skeptical about so much going on in this dish, but it combined perfectly and wasn't overwhelming.
A signature of DBGB, the spaghetti alla chitarra ($21), rivals Scarpetta's spaghetti and basil. It's got Marky Ramone's "drum-punk" Brooklyn tomato sauce, lemon ricotta, and taggiasca olives. The Ramones were made famous at the music club CBGB down the street; DBGB and this dish pay tribute to them. I easily could've had two more servings.
"DBGB is my tribute to casual American dishes I've come to love since moving to New York City -- burgers, bangers, sausages, and sundaes," Boulud explains. And what American doesn't love a good burger? Choose from three: The Piggie ($19) tops a seven-ounce patty with barbecue pulled pork, jalapeño mayo, lettuce, and coleslaw on a brioche bun. It's served with crisp fries and a trio of dipping sauces, including a horseradish mustard that's double-dip-worthy.
You can also go whole hog and get an entire pig. For $495 (plus tax and gratuity), you can feed a group of up to eight. The hog is stuffed with pork loin, Swiss chard, tomato confit, and olives and served with local seasonal sides such as roast corn, grilled asparagus, and potatoes. All whole hogs come with traditional house-made charcuterie prior to the main event and baked Alaska for dessert.
To end the meal, a seasonal sundae isn't your typical ice-cream treat. This one has peaches, chantilly, raspberry, and almond sorbet, with almond crisp and meringue on the side.
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But the real treat on DBGB's menu is the baked Alaska ($18), which takes two days to make. Don't be alarmed by its size -- the serving is for two. A raspberry sorbet center is topped with pistachio ice cream, sponge cake, and a pillow of Italian meringue. After sitting for two days, the Alaska gets baked tableside as it's flambéed to perfection. It's quite possibly one of the best desserts you'll ever have.
DBGB's takeover runs from today, May 27, through July 4. The DBGB menu will be available daily in the bar and lounge from 4 to 8 p.m.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha