Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 1037 : Burke and Wills

Location - the old Sunburnt Calf on 79th street between Amsterdam and Broadway. A railroad space once full of boozy brunches and easy Australian inspired dishes. Converted less than a week ago to Burke & Wills, billed as an Australiasian bistro with seasonal fare with a front bar area, I was excited to see what the new space had to offer.

Walking into the rustic and warm space, the bar area already felt completely different than its predecessor -- more refined yet down to earth -- the perfect Upper West Side sort of feel. Continuing to the back dining room - wow it felt like a totally distinct restaurant. A cool hued room with a significant amount of rustic wood touches and fantastic little paintings and found drawings surrounding the exterior walls with a wonderful sky light roof -- design wise the space was off to a good start.

So what did we have?

We split the bass ceviche with coconut milk, kaffir and fresno chilis which was flavorful and fresh. A unique pairing of flavors that clicked. We also had the grilled montauk squid salad with sylvetta (a peppery arugula like lettuce), crispy artichokes, sesame and an artichoke vinaigrette. I tend not to love squid but these were grilled wonderfully -- complemented excellently by the crisp artichoke leaves, the bright peppery bite of the lettuce and the nuttiness of the sesame, it was delish.

Then I had their black kale salad with shaved pecorino, fennel, fava beans, roasted pumpkin seeds and tahini dressing. Now if that doesn't have my name on it, right? All my favorite things combined into one dish, done very well.

A welcome addition to the neighborhood. I'm excited to come back!

Burke & Wills
226 west 79th Street
New York

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