Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 22 October 2010
A Restaurant Review: DBGB Kitchen & Bar

DBGB Kitchen & Bar
299 Bowery btw Houston & East 1st Street – (212) 933-5300
Getting There: F/V to 2nd Ave.; 6 to Bleeker St.

A modern style mash-up of casual and class radiates from the quote covered walls of DBGB Kitchen & Bar (aptly named after Chef Daniel Boulud), which meshes eccentric French fare, German inspired cuisine, and traditional American comfort foods into an open & contemporary marketplace.  The immense Tavern area welcomes patrons during the walk from door to Host-stand, with floor to ceiling windows and more resembles a chic lounge than a restaurant waiting area.  The approach to your table allows you to glimpse at the potentially decadent offerings that other eaters have chosen, as the seating areas are both unobstructed and also face the working kitchen and dessert area.  In decorative uniformity, hundreds of bottles of wines and raw cooking materials line the space’s borders, just below the polished cookware donated by some of the most famous Head Chefs in the history of food preparation, with food related quotes from some of history’s most notable persons.

The wide-ranging beer list provides both local and international flavors from the SixPoints Brooklyn brewery to assorted Belgian & German favorites, and the formidable wine list is far reaching and vast.  The cocktail list is equally impressive.  We like the “White Cosmopolitan,” which while relatively undersized, is a syrupy burst of sweet flavor as it coats your tongue.

However, what is truly remarkable about DBGB Kitchen is the comprehensive and diverse menu.  The selection of appetizers range from cold (Tuna Crudo, $11) to hot (Jim’s Matzoh Ball Soup $8, Escargots $14), and even feature selections from their Raw Bar.  Make sure to have your wallet stuffed with cash though, as oysters run $3 each, and the petit order for sharing starts at $30.  The fodder called “Links, Bangers, & Saucisses” features 14 different sausages varying from pork, veal, lamb, chorizo, beef, and vegetable (btw $9-$15 per link), encompasses the flavors of many different regions and is a literal world tour of sausage making.  We like the “Beaujolaise” ($13) combining pork, mushrooms, onion, and bacon with red wine over creamy lentils.  For the more advantageous eater, the “Boudin Basque” ($14) is a concoction of spicy blood and pigs head sausage and scallions served over mashed potatoes.  Tongue, bone marrow, tripe, and selections of pigs feet are the French specialties presented, all served with innovative sides ($9-$17 ea) for more experimental eaters.

DBGB’s main courses are divided between Mer, Terre, and Burgers, with the highlights being the Striped Sea-bass ($24, served with skin over leeks, potatoes, almonds, and topped with smoked paprika), and the Roasted Duck Breast ($25, served with dates and a savory lemon-pistachio glaze).  Meat-lovers will froth over the steak frites ($29), a 10 oz. black angus ribeye with a thick peppercorn drizzle and salted french fries, and “The Piggie” burger, which is a 6 oz. hamburger, topped with pulled pork delivered daily from Daisy May’s BBQ (46th & 11th Ave,) specifically for this burger.

DBGB Kitchen & Bar is a true convergence of innovative and eclectic cooking styles.  Coupled with an ambiance that promotes a progressive trendiness, DBGB is simply Manhattan hotspot that manages to be cool, yet gives a nod to food’s historic identity.

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