Being first is always the best because you get to pick what you want. First to pick your teammates in a game of dodgeball, first to get the fresh food in the cafeteria, and in my case, first to pick which restaurant I wanted to try for our restaurant week reviews.
I knew that my new girlfriend loved French food so I opted to go with DBGB Kitchen and Bar. I knew that the place was owned by world-renowned French chef Daniel Boulud (the DB in DBGB?), but I’d be remiss if I said I knew who he was … or why he opened a restaurant in the East Village.
Fortunately, my girlfriend did know.
As their website describes, the “interiors take their cue from the Bowery’s history as New York’s industrial restaurant supply neighborhood with floor to ceiling shelves stocked with the restaurant’s own tools, tableware, and dry goods.” It really was fun to see all the materials that they use all around on shelves.
An interesting touch that I hadn’t noticed immediately was the names of famous chefs surrounding the restaurant. Because I don’t know many chefs by name, I just kept scanning over them until I stopped at Mario Batali. I knew him, so then I understood who the rest of the names were.
But let’s move on to the important part: The food.
At this meal, my girlfriend and I both had the $38 prix fixe Restaurant Week menu. What’s nice about this feature is each diner gets an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. What’s not quite so nice is that in many cases, the options are limiting. Dessert is typically where these meals lack, but we’ll get there in a bit.
We both started with the pâté Breton. The flavor was good, but the portion they gave was a bit overabundant. It would have been just as satisfying with half the amount (or they could have provided another thin piece of bread to eat it with). With the meal and dessert to follow, it was just too much pâté.
The meals were impeccable. My girlfriend had the smoked mozzarella agnolotti that came in a sweet corn fondue, oyster mushrooms, and pine nuts. It was absolutely incredible. Since I was going to be reviewing the restaurant, I felt inclined to try it. And that try turned into a second and third bite because there were so many flavors that blended together nicely.
I had the flat iron steak which came with baby bok choy, miso and black garlic, king oyster mushrooms, and a few cute tater tots. The steak was literally perfect. When a place doesn’t ask how you want your steak that can mean one of two things: Either they forgot to ask and you’re going to get dry steak or they recognize that a steak is meant to be medium rare and that’s it. Fortunately, DBGB delivered the latter of those two options.
We finally closed the night with dessert. We each got the apricot cheesecake and sadly, we were disappointed. It was far too tart for either of our liking and I like tart. We each had a couple of bites and then put it down and opted to get an ice cream cone from a Mister Softee.
All in all, I would say that the meals were worth the $38 even though the dessert left us wanting. While restaurant week has come to a close, this place is definitely a place to check out. DBGB (299 Bowery b/t Houston and 1st Sts.) is open for dinner every day from 5 PM to at least 11 PM if not later. They do lunch Monday through Friday from 12 PM to 3 PM. And they do a Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11 AM to 3 PM. I highly recommend making a reservation.
I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for our second review on Apiary. Enjoy!