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“David Burke and Donatella Restaurant”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Midtown Break the Bank Great

David Burke and Donatella Restaurant

Aside from the name, which I consider an unfortunate exercise in narcissism, David Burke and Donatella Restaurant is a white-hot spot with a terrific and creative American menu.

Owned by the pastrami salmon king—Park Avenue Café chef David Burke—in collaboration with the stunning Donatella Arpaia, a corporate attorney-turned restaurateur (she also owns Bellini), the restaurant is set in an elegant townhouse on three descending levels. Enter at the top, and you stare through the center of a stark white room, straight back through to the main dining room two levels down, painted a blazing garnet red and lit with an opulent crystal ball of a chandelier. The room is sleek, and stylish, and feels almost like one of those clothing stores you are afraid to walk into. But instead of overpriced accessories and super-mod haute couture perched on the luxurious banquettes, you’ll find people, and very monied people at that. Let’s just say that the crowd is very Thurston Howell, the Third. Echoes of “LOVEY” can be heard throughout the room. Sure a couple of size two youngin's have made it up town, but for the most part they are seated next to men who appear to be their grandfathers, other than the fact that they are French kissing. Oh dear, a very disturbing scene.

Aside from the old men molesting their fresh young friends on gorgeous cushy banquettes, there were a few tables of lovely thirty-something women enjoying a night out together, and a couple of tables of cufflink-shirted men discussing what appeared to be some sort of boring business deals, but really the crowd is what you’d expect from the East 60s—lots of face-lifted, tummy-tucked, bejeweled women and men who believe that comb-overs are truly the most flattering way to style ones hair. Oy. My friend and I we were seated next to a table of four perfectly lovely and friendly neighbors. No comb-overs. No excessive jewelry. Just nice folks. Nice to know they do exist above 14th Street. News to me.

Now, enough with the UES bashing (for now), and onto the inventive and intriguing grub. The menu is a ton of fun to read, with whimsical dishes like Dayboat Sea Scallops Benedict ($14), loosely constructed loosely like the brunch classic. The foundation was a pair of crisp potato hash cakes, then spicy coins of chorizo under fat seared sea scallops, and to top it all off, a pair of poached quail eggs. Delish. There is also a fun dish ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Midtown :
+ Lever House   + Aquavit   + RM   + Joseph's (formerly Citarella The Restaurant)   + Town   + Artisanal   + The Oyster Bar   + Geisha   + David Burke and Donatella Restaurant   + Riingo   + Amma   + Cafe Sabarsky   + The Stone Rose Lounge   + BLT Steak   + V, The Steakhouse-- Closed   + Bar Masa   + Cafe Gray   + The Bar Room at The Modern   + The Cafe at Aquavit   + The Cafe at Aquavit   + Bistro du Vent-- Closed   + Shaburi   + Xing   + The Modern   + Bar Americain   + Alto   + Park Blue   + Mainland-- Closed   + Nobu 57   + Quality Meats   + Dona-- CLOSED   + Daisy May's   + 7Square-- CLOSED   + Amalia   + Fireside   + Anthos   + Patroon   + BLT Market   + Toloache   + Mia Dona   + Park Avenue Summer   + Convivio   + The Oak Room by guest reviewer Julie Besonen   + At Vermilion by guest reviewer Elaine Weiner   + Lunching at Inakaya, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Marea, by Guest Reviewer Susan Kane Walkush   + Le Bernardin   + New York Central -- A Reason To Eat at the Grand Hyatt Again   + Pampano Botaneria by Dara Pollak   

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