Friday, April 30, 2010
DBGB & Quartino
Ryan and I celebrated my official homecoming last night with dinner at Daniel Boulud's DBGB on the Lower East Side. The place fits its location on the Bowery- lots of raw materials- concrete piers in the dining room, and open kitchen, glass front- and the noise certainly gives the place a buzz. The tables are packed in tight- but booths along the side seemed to offer intimacy for some. The scene reminded me of one of the large food halls in paris, where the waiters buzz around as diners, packed in side by side, well, eat. Gives the place a better vibe for groups, parties, and fun, but not for a romantic, quiet dinner. More sceney and hip, less white linen than its big brother Daniel.
The menu had a ton of choices for meat and seafood lovers- and luckily, one vegetarian option for me. I have to admit, I must have either still been eating meat yet when I looked at the menu, or just didn't pay enough attention, but it wasn't until I was sitting there that I realized my options were fairly slim. Probably not the last time that will happen. I guess I could have asked them to turn out a vegetarian version of one of their other dishes, but I spotted a tasty pasta dish to try, so I went with that. It was really very good- a fresh marinara sauce, with onions and ricotta with lemon. Really clean, nice flavors, and it was a nice portion. (I couldn't finish!). I also had the butter lettuce and chive salad, which was as simple as the name suggests, and had a great 'green' spring flavor.
Ryan tried the tuna crudo, which came in nice size squares with a gingery dressing and cilantro. He then had the 2 sausage combo- and selected from maybe 10 different homemade choices. He went with the Beaujolais-which smelled so good I even tried it! You could taste the wine, and whole pieces of bacon, with a nice smoky finish. The second sausage he tried was the DBGB hot dog- which basically was the finest quality hot dog we've ever come across, garlicky and smokey. It tasted like it came off a camp fire. With a dash of the dijon mustard, nice and spicy- it was delish.
Unfortunately, we just didn't have the appetite to try one of the featured desserts- home made ice cream sundaes. But holy moses they looked good, and I sorta regret not forcing one down.
DBGB is also known for its beer menu, a large variety is on tap, and ryan tried one with his sausages that he really enjoyed.
Before dinner, We popped into this cute looking little wine bar- Quartino. They only serve organic wines, with selections mainly from italy and france. Each serving is a quartino (hence the name). I tried a white falanghina from Italy, and Ryan had a Barbera D'alba from Italy as well. Both were quite nice. I liked the romantic atmosphere and soft light! I'd pop in for a glass sometime again!