"Why does this place only get two stars?" Mika asked in disbelief last night, while our party massacred several burgers at Daniel Bouloud's new downtown establishment, DBGB. He was in utter disbelief at the injustice wrought by online critics on this place, which has had us dreaming of juicy beef patties tucked snugly into a toasted brioche bun with scrumptious pork belly confit and crisp bacon since our first visit last week.
"Maybe," I said, "the people who gave those reviews secretly love this place and just want to make sure they can always get a table here."
Our friend Foster, who kept his eyes closed in rapture after taking his first bite of the Monster Frenchie (the aforementioned burger/pork belly wonder except with TWO beef patties—hence the "Monster" moniker), said, "I would totally do that."
Okay I'm sure that some online critics actually have very valid reasons for disliking DBGB, but after two visits to DBGB, we have not found any. The beer selection is solid. There are 22 craft beers on tap originating from Brooklyn to Dusseldorf that will satisfy every beer craving, whether it's for a light white beer, a crisp and hoppy lager, or a satisfying oatmeal stout.
The dishes we've tried so far have been wonderful. On our first visit, we tried the escargots with persillade custard, tomato, almonds & mushrooms ($14). It's something like a deconstructed escargot tart (if such a thing exists). The plump snails and juicy roasted tomatoes sit on a bed of parsley-infused custard, and are accompanied by crisp filo puff pastry. I do love the classical preparation of escargots but this was very good as well. Last night we flirted with beef bone marrow seasoned with pickled mustard seeds and garlic, and served with a few slivers of Katz's famous pastrami, some watercress, and rye bread toast ($11). The seasoning was a bit overpowering to me as I do love just plain old bone marrow, but it was still quite a treat and I would come back for more. DBGB also offers a hefty selection of sausages. I'm not sure which one we had last night but it was so good that I'd definitely want to try more.
What I appreciate most about this place is the great service. Everyone from the bartenders to the runners are just impeccable. That's something that's not always easy to come by in this neck of the woods. I also love the interiors of this place, which tell so many stories. Copper pots owned by star chefs adorn the shelves in the main dining area, while the bar's mirrored walls are etched with funny quotes from celebrities and gastronomes. Given a choice, I would always eat at the bar. They have these super comfy bar chairs for two (great date place!), and you never have to wait for your beer. Definitely coming back here again and again and again ...
DBGB is located at 299 Bowery between Houston and 1st Street, New York, NY. Tel. (212) 933.5300