restaurants
David Burke Kitchen
23 Grand Street
212 201 9119

A sense of fun exists at all of David Burke's restaurants and this one is no exception. On the south westerly edge of Soho, this spot focuses mainly on the food though and not the decor, which is why we think of it as Townhouse-Light (it's just more casual). Here the Burke creativity starts off with fun snacks such as maple bacon wrapped dates with a smear of peanut butter; jars of such fun spreadables as chicken liver, prune and pistachio and an ocean mix with horseradish. There's the Burke classics of his lobster soup with its coconut fennel cream and red watercress and his Ants on a Log (snails in parsley and garlic on bone marrow). A wedge of iceberg comes artfully decorated with candied pecans and dried cranberries. Some portions are pleasingly sized; a giant prawn spaghetti in a red curry broth is large enough for two. The top winners on the menu are three of the fishes, the bay scented hake with guanciale, clams and cauliflower; the idaho trout on a bed of leeks with a sour carrot base; and the black bass with its shiny accompaniment of gorgeous veggies. It would be hard to save room but try to do so for the David musts; the cheesecake lollipops and the sweet treats (little ice cream sandwiches with doughnut holes complete with three tubes of your own doughnut fillings.) So fun.

$$$

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