Tuesday, May 31, 2011


As part of my "PLAYING CATSUP (CATCH UP, get it? Oh.... I made this awkward) Series", I owe you quite a bit of yummy banter. For example, a report from my cousin's going away party in December and yummy brunch dates. I know... I KNOW! Shake your head all you want, Vanessa. Some of us have been busy doing important things, like unfriending people with babies on FB and chatting up the Starbucks barrista in hopes of a discount.

Recently, my cousin Ali decided to attend culinary school in Paris. While I don't doubt that she would have eventually figured out that she'd be a great chef, I do have to note that her decision to leave was quickly made after I beat her in Scrabble and then forced her to watch a "Sister Wives" marathon, whilst snuggling up on her arm. As she also inherited the foodie gene, her friend quickly planned a going away dinner. Now, you might be thinking "why the hell do I care about a going away dinner?". Two reasons: 1)DBGB has awesome food and 2) I said so.

 As a typical gastropub, DBGB serves jazzed up burgers, soups, and other classics. Untypical of other gastropubs, DBGB is Daniel Boulud's proof that he can turn regular food and into a dish that you literally will have dreams about for weeks. Additionally, any place with a 29 page beer and wine menu is worth talking about.

As I usually approach a restaurant after doing a substantial amount of research, I was well prepared for my night at DBGB -- until I got there and immediately wanted everything on the menu. Soon my mind was panic stricken. How is it possible to choose between the Frenchie or the Piggie? Can I flip a coin? Maybe I'll get mussels.. who am I kidding? Oh, there's lamb! I quickly scanned the drink menu, ordered myself a Session Lager (delish!) and collected my thoughts. Now now, you know you want the matzoh ball soup and everyone's getting the Piggie so you can steal a bite of theirs and get the Frenchie all to yourself... Decision made.

Reader, I may or may not have previously mentioned my strange love of all things soupy. Whether it's Top Ramen or the chicken noodle soup at Morimoto, I love soup. Perhaps I never fully got over my phase of only eating soup or canned black olives (yummy and metallic!) that I had when I was three. Whatever the reason, I was super excited when the waiter brought my soup. This soup, I feel, epitomizes the reason gastropubs are so fucking fantastic. Something so mundane as matzoh ball soup is made delectable. Don't believe me? Well this soup is so good that NY Mag listed it as one of the city's 50 tastiest soups. So there. I may not have a bubbie, but if I did this soup would be better than her's (of course, I wouldn't have the heart to tell her).

DBGB also knows how to cook a burger. I may have only had a few bites of the Piggie, but I know that I will crave that burger sporadically for the rest of my life. The Piggie, a burger topped with Daisy May's pulled pork, jalapeno mayo, and lettuce on a cheddar bun, makes your backyard grill jealous. But, there's a better burger on the menu. Now, ordering the Frenchie may have been one of the best decisions I've made in a while. The Frenchie - topped with confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote, and morbier cheese -  is a superior burger. And I had it all to myself. There were a few seconds where I nervously thought my sister would have wanted a bite, but she is also cursed with being petite and decided to concentrate on her own food. CLOSE CALL.

299 Bowery
New York, NY

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