NEW YORK CITY: DBGB Kitchen and Bar

With the opening of the huge, hip, new Bowery emporium, DBGB, the Americanization of Daniel Boulud is finally complete. For his first foray below 14th Street, Daniel does Downtown with a vengeance. Walk in, and the noise instantly assaults you; it is a raucous place filled with people having a very good time. They’re guzzling beer (the list is long) and drinking wine, which has been chosen with an eye to value. But mostly they are eating, for this fascinating menu offers an up-to-the-minute snapshot of what young New Yorkers crave right now. Where else would you find starters ranging from plateaux of seafood to matzoh ball soup, with stops along the way for iceberg lettuce and blue cheese salads, grilled octopus, and tuna crudo? I liked almost everything I tried, but it’s the sausages—from hot dogs to classically rich boudin noir—that take pride of place on the menu. The burgers are a draw, too; it’s hard not to fall in love with one that has a strip of pork belly (the meat of the moment) riding the beef. Timid souls can opt for steak frites, roast chicken, or salmon with cream sauce, while adventurers will head straight for the tablier de sapeur. I’d bet this is the only place in the country serving both crisp lyonnaise-style tripe cakes and red curry mussels in spicy coconut milk. “Look at those prices!” said a rival restaurateur I found prowling the sidewalk outside. He shook his head, a little jealously. “If he can keep them this low Daniel is going to pack them in and make real money here.”

DBGB Kitchen and Bar 299 Bowery, New York City (212-933-5300)



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