David Burke Kitchen in the James Hotel [Click the photo above to go to David Burke Kitchen’s website]
23 Grand Street (between 6th and Thompson Avenue) New York, NY 10013
My sister and I felt like geniuses when we decided to take my mom to a trendy restaurant for her birthday for Restaurant Week (not like we were paying anyway, but it seemed like a good idea)With that said, I would like to officially hate hard on Restaurant Week or specifically Restaurant Week at David Burke Kitchen. I don’t know if this place always sucks or if it was just when we went, but this place has got to go.
It’s like the wait staff judges the patrons for getting a deal, so they even it out with crap service (how cranky do I sound?)
Anyway! Let’s begin!
My sister texted me that her and my mom had arrived 20 minutes prior to the reservation, so I took it as a cue that I had to rush downtown to meet them. As it turns out, I was there before them, because they decided to walk around the neighborhood.
I sat in a chair people watching and then judging the people I watched while I waited. I eventually see them coming towards me clicking their heels as they walked.
“Why’d you wear heels?” (my mom also pulled her back earlier this week, so you tell me if this is normal)
“We brought them with us, and put them on in the car.” (so you can sit with your feet under the table)
We are seated, and I can see my mom already eyeing the restaurant (we rarely sit at the table we’re seated at, because my mom always feels like we could have gotten a better table).
“I need a booth for my back.”
“It’s really that bad?”
She looks at my sister, “can you run to the car and get me a towel?”
The bread basket gets placed in front us, and my sister looks at my mom like she is straight up out of her mind.
“I just put my heels on.”
“We’re in a hotel Mom. They have to have a pillow somewhere.”
As my mom waddles around the restaurant in search of a pillow, my sister and I order wine.
She comes back victorious with a pillow.
“We ordered wine.”
“Without me?” My mom hardly drinks to begin with.
You would think it would be easy enough to get the waiter back over to our table so my mom could order wine, and we could order dinner, no dice. I could have flashed the whole restaurant, and no one would have flinched.
I guess it gave us time to confirm our orders. I was “dieting” as I proceeded to pick at the bread basket (“where’s the butter?!”) so I went with a plain salad and the sea bass. My sister got the sea bass as well, but she ordered Burrata cheese as her app (girl is obsessed with queso). My mom’s tomato allergy inhibited her from committing to a dish….or a wine for that matter. Oh and P.S. since it’s restaurant week, all our meals come with a dessert…like I was skipping that!
The waiter returned, and it was tomato time.
I had looked up that the pretzel crab cake was a specialty of theirs so my mom had planned on ordering that, but it turns out there are tomatoes every which way in this dish.
“Even the pepper sauce?”
“Can I just get this without any of the garnish?”
“Yes, but then it’s just crab cakes with pretzels.”
“Is this a preference or an allergy?” (do you think she’d be this difficult just over a food preference, please, slip my mom some tomatoes and see what happens to her little face).
“ALLERGY” we all say.
We decide to give my mom her cards and gift, while we wait for our food. Our family believes in the art of the perfect card, so we don’t write any sentimental crap inside, we just search for the funniest perfect cards, and we each buy a minimum of 3 cards per person (we’re cute), so needless to say my mom had a lot of cards to open up, and she opened them all up before the apps arrived.
She finally gets to her gift, and my sister and I sit there waiting for my mom’s disappointment.
Pause….”what is it?”
“It’s a gift card so you can get a massage!”
“Do they have reflexology?”
But instead we go with, “they have hot stone massages!”
My salad essentially sucked, and they didn’t even offer me ground pepper. My sister obviously had no problem with a hunk of cheese, and my mom really was just eating crab cakes with pretzel sticks on top…and she still hadn’t gotten her wine.
I realize I need to get my mom a candle so I run off to tell the hostess (because I obviously can’t find our waiter) before I forget. I also notice that the restaurant is filled with women, barely any men.
“Mom did you know the Kardashians stayed at the same hotel as us in London?”
“Where did we stay again?”
“Athenaeum” (yes, we did feel special!)
“Remember when you almost got run over by that cab driver?” We are all crying of laughter visualizing my mom running for her life as a cab driver chases her across the intersection (shopping bags in hand screaming at the top of her lungs).
“That cab driver was a meany.”
“He was mom.”
Main courses: my fish was the size of my thumb, and my mom’s meat was pretty effing tough. I tried cutting it with my knife and decided to screw it and just put the whole thing in my mouth.
As we’re eating we look around the restaurant at the pictures hanging on the walls. The pictures are of chefs with live animals.
My sister looks to her left and goes, “I don’t want to see a picture of a lamb before I eat lamb chops.”
I turn my head around and see a picture of a sweet looking cow otherwise known as steak.
“Yeah, what were they thinking?”
Our water glasses haven’t been refilled once.
Dessert comes, and I’m petrified they forgot the candle. They didn’t! Thank G-d! Unfortunately the mint brownie my mom ordered pretty much sucks.
My strawberry shortcake parfait is the only redeeming quality of this whole meal, but a main ingredient is funfetti cake. I LOVE funfetti cake but it’s not worth $15 just sayin.
My sister ordered one of the only desserts not included as part of the restaurant week menu, and got the cheesecake (do you see a trend here with my sister?). It was actually a cheese cake tree of cake lollipops.
My sister took a bite of each lollipop, and if she didn’t like it she would just shove the half eaten pop back into the tree. She’s 21 years old by the way.
It was finally time to leave and we decide to finish up our night with a trip to the Jimmy rooftop. Time for pictures (after we have just eaten 3 courses)!
We asked some lady to take a picture of the three of us, and she was so great! You know when you feel guilty for asking a complete stranger to take multiple pictures of yourself? She was really into it, and did different angles and everything. As she hands the camera back to my mom, looks right at my mom’s outfit and goes “you have great boobs!”
“The view is great!” my mom replies. Happy Birthday Mom!
David Burke Kitchen (bread)
I’ll give it to them, they have good bread. It’s all downhill from here.
David Burke Kitchen (seasonal salad)
The cucumbers were gross, the salad was soggy, I was hating life.
David Burke Kitchen (pretzel crab cake: mustard glaze, boston beer foam, pepper marmalade)
To be fair, my mom had the dish altered, but it tasted like plain ol’ crab cakes to me, and those pretzel sticks reminded me of the pretzels I used to snack on at day camp (and pretend they were cigarettes obviously).
David Burke Kitchen (asparagus & buratta salad: watermelon, tomoato prisciutto)
Solid, but a bit mushy, and lets be real, we’ve all seen a prettier plate.
David Burke Kitchen (pork chop: cumin bacon, mango chutney, parsley onion rings)
This had potential to be great! It just wasn’t. The porkchop was just so so tough, and the bacon was good, but it was fatty not crispy.
David Burke Kitchen (black sea bass: baby shrimp, spinach, tomato, olive, yellow pepper)
It’s good, I’ll admitt that, but I’m pretty sure it was sitting for a while, because it wasn’t too hot when I got it. And, look how small that piece of fish is!
David Burke Kitchen (mint brownie sundae)
I can’t find the description on the website, but it was sorta dry and way too minty. DON’T GET IT.
David Burke Kitchen (strawberry shortcake parfait)
It’s delicious! I should have just ordered this.
David Burke Kitchen (the original cheesecake lollipop tree for two, passion fruit whipped cream)
It’s good, it’s balls of cheesecake!
Don’t know where to go for Restaurant Week? Me either! I searched for some recommendations, and now you can read them too. [Click the photo above to read Recommendations for New York Restaurant Week]