First Brunch at DBGB Kitchen and Bar – NYC
Sometimes you have such high hopes for a new restaurant when it doesn’t live up to your expectations, you’re crushed, angry, and resentful. In this case, none of that happened. (Sorry to disappoint you haters!) DBGB Kitchen and Bar turned out to be everything I wanted and expected it to be: great menu and delicious food in a casual setting.
Brunch began as usual; one Bloody Mary ($10) and one coffee ($3.50) for me. Both were solid. Olives aren’t my garnish of choice in a Bloody Mary (I prefer celery or caper berries), but presented by a little neon monkey, how could I refuse?
David, forever with the sweet tooth, ordered the sugar-dusted Brioche French Toast ($9) with fresh blueberries and braised apples. Maple syrup was served on the side. It was very eggy French Toast, wobbly and slightly crisp on the outside. For a person who usually gets sick of French Toast after a few bites, I liked DBGB’s delicate French Toast. It was small, but it tasted more like breakfast as opposed to dessert. David, however, who enjoys French Toast griddled or fried to a crisp and drenched in syrup, wasn’t entirely pleased.
I ordered the Boudin Basque ($14), blood and pig’s head sausage served atop whipped scallion mashed potatoes. (Sausages are the natural choice at DBGB. Fourteen varieties are house-made.) DBGB’s blood sausage wasn’t spicy as the menu suggested (it was more peppery sharp), but I loved it just the same. The innards were silky and rich with the exception of a few earthy offal chunks; the discovery of which was like finding a prize. For those familiar with Korean blood sausage (soondae, 순대), this was similar, but more refined and with no filler. And the scallion mashed potatoes underneath were oh-so-creamy, in parallel to the smoothness of the blood sausage.
Craving something green, I also ordered the Spring Pea Fricasee ($6). It was buttery medley of sugar snap peas, green peas, and yellow beans; all cooked gently so each still had a bite. It was nice uncomplicated side.
DBGB takes reservations for the main dining room, but the front bar area is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ll be dropping by often. I’ve only scratched the surface of the sausage and offal-friendly menu. (They have a section called Tête aux Pieds or Head to Feet!) David won’t mind I’m sure. He wasn’t won over by the French Toast, but DBGB’s extensive dessert menu which includes sundaes and ice cream sandwiches is sure to satisfy him.
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
299 Bowery (b/n Houston & 1st St; map)
NY, NY 10003
I’ve been meaning to go to this place since they opened, glad to hear the brunch didn’t disappoint. Love how the food is all so simple, but knowing DB’s rep, the preparations must be pretty flawless. Everything looks so delicious!
@Connie – Was worried DBGB wouldn’t live up to the DB name since it’s his more casual restaurant, but it definitely did… at least for brunch. I’ll report back on dinner in a few more weeks.
The french toast looks amazing! I had some at The Smith last weekend and now I’m craving some after seeing your post. I live 4 blocks away from DBGB so I think it’s up next on my brunch list.
@Helen – I’ve only been to Smith for a catered party, but I remember all the food being deliciously fried and/or greasy. DBGB is more simple, so as long as you don’t go there expecting the same type of food, you’ll be happy.
Isn’t DGBG also an arcade? Or am I confusing it with something else?
@Eileen – DBGB is a riff on CBGB which closed in 2006. Can’t believe it closed so long ago… An arcade? Are you talking about Dave & Buster’s?