The food tour continued today with lunch at DBGB which is located on the border of the Lower East Side. While we waited for Ckoh, Mkoh and Professor SS to arrive, we were perusing the menu. The menu looked like a cross between a French bistro and an American gastropub with a little bit of chi chi. There were croque monsieurs and charcuterie alongside burgers and hot dogs.
In addition to fair number of tables outside, the inside dining room was equally spacious. The were a bunch of shelves along the walls kind making it look a little bit like a library, but instead of books, it looked like there were a collection of pots and pans that had been donated by a myriad of famous chefs including Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain.
We started with a sample platter of charcuterie which included some pâté de campagnard (country style pâté with pork & chicken liver), saucisson sec (Lyonnaise style artisanal dry sausage), rillette de jamboneau Provençal (pulled ham hock with tomato, zucchini eggplant, basil & olive oil) and fromage de tête (chilled pigs head terrine) with sourdough toast. It was all a little bit of a blur, so I can’t recall much about each of the meats individually, but it all definitely tasted good. With pâté, terrines and sausages, it is hard to go wrong. Although, instead of the sourdough, I would have preferred some other bread or toast.
I really thought the way the egg was prepared in this dish was interesting as it was essentially a hard boiled egg that was filled with a mustard dressing and then battered and deep-fried. Although the individual components tasted fine, I have to admit that it all seemed a little disconnected. I couldn’t see how the smoked duck and duck cracklins went with the asparagus nor the egg.
In order to maintain the balance of the meal, we ordered the Chop Chop Salad which had romaine lettuce, avocados, red peppers, carrots and a watermelon & ginger-sesame dressing. It was a quite tasty but not anything out of the ordinary.
Ckoh said the sausages were one of the signature things to get here, so we decided on the Canard and Louisiane. The Canard was a duck and pork blend served with kasha varnishkes and duck cracklins, and the Louisiane was a New Orleans-style garlic and pepper andouille that was served with a crayfish, ham and fried okra gumbo. Both of these were quite delicious. There was a lot of depth of flavors particularly in the Canard sausage and in the gumbo that went along with the Louisiane. I really liked the gumbo even though it was on the spicy side, but I thought it went very well with the andouille sausage.
The Piggie sounded rather sinful being that it was a burger made with a 6 oz. beef patty topped with housemade pulled pork, but it was absolutely delicious. The mustard-vinegar slaw provided some much needed acidity to cut the richness of the meat, and the cheddar bun was soft and fluffy while managing to soak up with juices without becoming soggy. This was truly one tasty burger.
The mussels were served in a broth of white wine, shallots and fines herbes. They tasted perfectly fine, but truthfully, it wasn’t all that interesting and I wouldn’t suggest ordering it unless you really like mussels. The real key to this dish is usually the broth, but in this case, the broth kind of fell a little flat.
I didn’t like the spinach that much. I know we were wanting to add some vegetables to the meal, but I thought they were bland and wilted.
The french fries, however, were thin and crispy just how true French fries should be. I liked them a lot.
I don’t really remember much about the desserts. This one had ginger marshmallows, roasted pears, shortbread cookies topped with a brandy caramel sauce.
The Peanut Chocolate tart was a chocolate caramel mousse on a cookie crust and topped with marshmallow truffles and chocolate ice cream. It was a little too sweet and rich for my taste buds.
Overall, the food was pretty good here. The french fries, sausages and the Piggie burger were probably the highlights of the meal, and the desserts were probably the most uninteresting. The rest of the dishes were very solid. This place is definitely worth a visit especially if you’re craving some very richly delicious food.
299 Bowery St
New York, NY 10003
PAFO Ratings for DBGB:
Ambiance 3½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars