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David Drake


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#1 xyz123

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:49 PM

Went to David Drake last week.
The restaurant is small and looks like a house from the outside
Two small dining rooms first floor, bar and a few tables second floor
They also have a patio, not sure if they serve food outside.

For a restaurant that’s been open just over a month things were
running very smooth.

….Foie Gras, the biggest piece I ever saw, cooked very good, but salad and baby onions
did not compliment or add anything to the Foie Gras
….Lobster Chowder, very good, the peppers in the soup added a nice crunch
….Tomato Dome, basic sliced tomato salad with truffle, very good, nice tomatoes
every table had one of these

….Halibut, overcooked
…. Squab, a very well prepared dish. Spaetzle had truffle flavor and a cabbage roll with
black trumpet mushrooms
….Lamb Loin, very well prepared also, with artichokes and something that I forgot

…..Warm Chocolate cake with ice cream. The cake was dense, crumbly and very chocolaty slight liquid in the center but not runny. Good flavor
….Banana mouse this was my favorite dessert, good flavor and texture
had some kind of foam
….Peach Melba, good but need something else, least favorite out of the three

Service is very professional, attentive without being intrusive, and very
knowledgeable. The only problem was that they gave me the check without
asking if I wanted anything else.

The menu is set at $49 with a few surcharges, I think it’s a bargain for three
courses , the wine list starts at around $30.

Don’t let Rahway turn you off, That whole area is being revamped
and looks very clean and nice.

#2 Rosie

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 05:29 AM

We dined at Restaurant David Drake, 1449 Irving Street, Rahway a few weeks after they opened and you should put this restaurant on your “must try” list. It is located in a cozy little house with small comfy rooms near the train station in Rahway. The upstairs area had a bar and I would request this room the next time I dine here. Since Chef Drake had only been open a few weeks the menu and wine list were evolving. But Chef Drake is still a master chef producing exuberant dishes that will have you licking your chops.

We started of with an amuse of tuna tartare with slivers of portobello mushroom. Appetizers were a Maine crab salad with pickled cucumber, mango, and lemongrass emulsion; an excellent warm mushroom napoleon with marrow dumplings and warm sorrel broth; and a don’t miss flavorful shellfish and corn chowder with saffron, fingerlings, bell pepper, and shallot rings. The seared foie gras with braised baby turnips, and clear oxtail broth were perfect but then I have never met a foie gras that I didn’t like. The foie gras came with a $5 supplement but don’t fret as the prix fixe menu was $49 which we felt was very reasonable for the quality of food and service that we experienced.

Entrees were equally delicious and all of our plates were squeaky clean. The scallops a la plancha with succotash of early corn, zucchini, fava beans, and pickled seaweed were excellent. Crispy red snapper with pea shoots, parmesan, and barley risotto was perfectly cooked as was the roasted black day boat cod with fresh English peas, potatoes, and Italian summer truffles. Cumin spiced lamb loin with 3 artichoke preparations—braised, pureed and shaved raw-- were so delicious that I hope this dish is still on the menu when I return.

Desserts? Of course we inhaled them although we were full. My favorite was a lemon pie with blueberry preserves and strawberry sorbet that had both a top and bottom crust. The Peach Melba with genoise, Tahitian vanilla ice cream and raspberry jam was palatable as was the beautifully presented chocolate sorbet (coulant) with dark cocoa and goat milk sauces. For reservations call 732-388-6117.

OH—FYI—the bread and coffee were great..
Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"
TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE


#3 Cornus

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 04:25 AM

Four of us had dinner there several weeks ago and agree that it's a great restaurant with excellent food and service.

Kudos to David Drake for his support of Rahway!

#4 Rosie

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 02:43 PM

Cody gave Restaurant Drake 3.5 stars in the Star Ledger on 8/7/05.
Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"
TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE


#5 Curlz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:33 AM

According to the email I just received, DD is on Open Table.
"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

#6 emmaline

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 06:52 AM

[SIZE=7]

My husband and I ate here last night for our anniversary.

We were certainly greatly pleased with the food, decor, ambiance and
service. I thought several dishes were top level, those being the amuse
bouche of vichysoisse with smoke salmon and dill, and the mixed fruit
dessert with the papaya sorbet.

The one thing that really upset us was the wine prices. There was not
a bottle of red wine for under $42 and no bottle of white wine under $35! We finally settled on 2 glasses of red wine each at $8 each for a total of
$32.

When we settled our bill, I mentioned their high wine prices to the hostess.
Her response was that others had said the same thing, but that the wine was
expensive for the restarant to purchase also.

In closing she told us the restaurant allowed people to BYO but that they charged
a corking fee of $25. For those like us who support reasonable wine prices,
that is the way to go.

#7 Cornellrob

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 12:21 AM

I had the opportunity to dine at David Drake tonight for the first time. It was my girlfriend’s birthday, and normally, for a nice occasion, we would find someplace to dine in the city. We were originally supposed to eat at the tasting room, but do to unfortunate circumstances had to cancel last minute. I made the reservation at Restaurant David Drake with the hopes that it would be good, but at the same time, was ready for disappointment. You see, I have had very few worthwhile meals in NJ.

With the caveat that I have not been to Restaurant Nicholas, The Ryland Inn, and Ratz, I have been to almost every well regarded restaurant in northern nj over the course of the past 5 years. I eat out a lot. With that as background – the meal I had at David Drake was by far the most enjoyable…. In many ways. As reference – I live very close to Fascino, and have been several times. David Drake was far better in terms of ambience, quality of ingredients, food preparation, flavorful sauces, and main ingredient accompaniments (whatever happened to accompany the main protein on each plate).

First, the food. I don’t think there is a way that you could go wrong with their current menu. I started with the fois gras appetizer. Although I ordered the preparation depicted on the menu (with port wine reduction and mushrooms), it actually came with roasted pineapple in a lemongrass-ginger broth. In spite of this difference, it was a sensational dish. I followed this up with the diver scallops in a carrot/orange sauce. Another phenomenal dish. What really did it for me, was the sauce… something I haven’t encountered in relation to scallops … but truly worked. Overall, I was really impressed with the quality of the ingredients, the doneness of the ingredients (perfectly cooked), and the inventive combination of sides and sauces which really bound each dish together. My girlfriend similarly had great dishes (the seafood risotto with an asparagus puree, and the braised shortribs with sweet potato gratin).

Second, the ambience. As described by others, it has the feeling of a small house. Each room only has a few tables. We were seated in the room to the right as you walk in – at the table for two towards the rear wall. In my room, there weren’t more than 5 tables, each adequately spaced so that no one felt like they were "on top" of another table. The room was elegant, not gaudy, and very comfortable. There was brazilian jazz playing in the background (I believe it was Getz/Gilberto) which was quite soothing.

Third, the service. The service was very professional. From the way the dishes were described or recited easily from memory, to the ability of the servers to answer questions about dishes or wine parings… it was really quite a welcome surprise. I had never had that kind of truly knowledgeable and professional service in a restaurant in NJ.

Lastly, the chef himself came over to see how we enjoyed ourselves. I was almost taken aback at the fact that he appeared at our table asking about our experience. Since I am an unknown at every restaurant I go to (I vary it up too much to become a regular), this virtually never happens to me.

In short, I would highly recommend David Drake. The food was really, really great. The ambience and service only added to that. Since I went back to school, my budget hasn’t been what I’d like it to be. And I therefore can’t really go out for the meals that I use to. David Drake isn’t the cheapest restaurant in NJ, at $49 for a 3 course pre-fix. Regardless, it was my girlfriend's birthday, and we wanted something special. David Drake delivered - big time.

Edited by Cornellrob, 10 November 2005 - 12:26 AM.


#8 Randi

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 11:41 AM

Cornellrob, thanks for the great (and timely) report. I will be going there in the next week or so for my (belated) birthday dinner! I was contemplating going somewhere else, but you've brought me back to David Drake's.

Thanks!
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#9 xyz123

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 10:01 PM

I'm surprised that so few people from this board have eaten at david drake.

#10 rhubarbd

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 07:06 PM

Elegant, delicious; well-made cocktails, too. And Rosie is right - coffee & bread couldn't have been better. Just dined there this week. Will be back for sure!

#11 Randi

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 09:36 PM

OK, we are going tomorrow night. Would it be totally tacky to bring my camera and take pics of the food?

I go back and forth on this.....

Is it really out of place in a nice place like this? I did take pics last year at Restaurant Nicholas. And I was sheepish about it.

So...what's the verdict? Pics or no? (and I know taking them without the flash is an option...but they just don't come out very good that way)
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#12 tommy g

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 05:43 PM

the only thing that keeps me from trying this new hot spot is that its in rahway....i bet it would be a home run in berkeley heights , millburn, or westfield etc

#13 lapasterie

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 07:52 PM

the only thing that keeps me from trying this new hot spot is that its in rahway....i bet it would be a home run in berkeley heights , millburn, or westfield etc

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It would probably cost 2x as much in any of those towns

#14 lapasterie

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 07:54 PM

Does anyone know if they are open for lunch?

#15 Randi

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 08:20 PM

We went to David Drakes tonight and we absolutely loved it! The food, the atmosphere, the service - all as good as everyone's been saying.

The only negative is the location - although I suppose that will be changing as they continue to revitalize the neighborhood. The parking was convenient - a very short walk to the parking deck.

I did end up taking pictures (since no one responded to my above post and said "Noooo! Don't!". Here's what we had:

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An amuse of Shrimp and Carrot soup. I got both - my friend doesn't eat seafood. Really delicious. Makes me want to go back and try their other soups.



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Her appetizer was the Salad of Tender Bibb Lettuce with walnuts, grapes, celery, pear, dijon-roasted garlic vinaigrette. She said it was perfect!



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I got the Charlotte of Maine Crab with papaya and cucumber salad, curried celery root remoulade and tomato gelee.



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Her entree was the Braised Short Ribs which she adored. It was served with a gratin of sweet potato, surrounded by autumn vegetables.



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I got the Deep Sea Diver Scallops which were AMAZING. They sat atop an endive, lobster and scallop tart. There was a carrot-orange reduction and a popcorn shoot garnish.



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For dessert she chose the Banana Mousse with milk chocolate cream, coffee caramel, brownie and candied walnuts. It was wonderful, but I think she was too full at that point to enjoy it completely.



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I got the Carmelized Apples with molasses marshmallow, creme fraiche ice cream with sweet rosemary emulsion. The ice cream and the rosemary were outrageous! The little balls you see were scoops of apple, topped with the homemade marshmallow. Oh, and the Happy Birthday message was a nice touch.


We made our reservation on Open Table and noted that it was a 50th Birthday celebration, and the waitress cleverly said something like "Neither of you looks like you could be 50" to which my friend replied "oh, she definitely is, not me!" So now they knew which dessert plate needed to have the Happy Birthday message.

We both decided that as much as we loved Restaurant Nicholas, we think we like David Drakes a bit more. And we'll definitely be going back (especially since it is only 10 minutes away!)
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#16 tommy

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 08:51 PM

I did end up taking pictures (since no one responded to my above post and said "Noooo! Don't!".  Here's what we had:

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i was going to. but now i'm glad i didn't. :biggrin:

where *is* the parking for this place? next door? down the block? on the street?

#17 Randi

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 09:06 PM

where *is* the parking for this place?  next door?  down the block?  on the street?

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It's just around the corner. The restaurant is 3 doors in from the corner of Irving and Lewis Streets. You turn onto Lewis and the parking deck is immediately on the right. A *very* short walk.
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#18 Lreda

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 10:17 PM

Tommy, I'm in. Let's do a Thursday, early dinner, or if they're open for lunch which no one seems to know.

Oh shit, I might be in trouble with ISO police. We'll do this from here on in with PM...................................................................anyone wanna go?

#19 Randi

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 10:41 PM

Tommy, I'm in. Let's do a Thursday, early dinner, or if they're open for lunch which no one seems to know.

Oh shit, I might be in trouble with ISO police. We'll do this from here on in with PM...................................................................anyone wanna go?

View Post



They are open for lunch during the week.

Expect a PM from me :raz:
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#20 Rail Paul

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:36 AM

Link to Lunch Menu
Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

#21 rhubarbd

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 06:18 PM

We parked directly across the street from the resto. If there's an available space, you don't need to park in the lot.

#22 Lreda

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 03:25 PM

In response to those who PM'd me, I'm afraid I have to push off until after the holidays for dinner. If interested, I'll look to put something together for after the holiday for an early dinner.

#23 John

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 06:57 PM

I haven't been to David Drake's, although I pass by it everyday on my way to work. I work at the Post Office on Milton Ave. and Main Street. Do yourself a favor. Instead of parking in the parking deck, drive a block down, make a left onto Milton Ave., then a quick right onto Main, then a left into the Municipal Parking lot where you can park for free. These turns are all within yards of each other.
John the hot dog guy

#24 Randi

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:57 PM

I haven't been to David Drake's, although I pass by it everyday on my way to work. I work at the Post Office on Milton Ave. and Main Street. Do yourself a favor. Instead of parking in the parking deck, drive a block down, make a left onto Milton Ave., then a quick right onto Main, then a left into the Municipal Parking lot where you can park for free.  These turns are all within yards of each other.

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I think the parking deck was only $1 for 2 hours. Not positive, since my friend paid, but it was about that. Not much different than a parking meter. And there is a guard there.

Also, I don't think I would feel 100% comfortable walking much further than the parking deck at night. I know the area is improved, but to me, they still have a ways to go.
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#25 lmkennedy53

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 02:09 PM

I haven't been to David Drake's, although I pass by it everyday on my way to work. I work at the Post Office on Milton Ave. and Main Street. Do yourself a favor. Instead of parking in the parking deck, drive a block down, make a left onto Milton Ave., then a quick right onto Main, then a left into the Municipal Parking lot where you can park for free.  These turns are all within yards of each other.

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I think the parking deck was only $1 for 2 hours. Not positive, since my friend paid, but it was about that. Not much different than a parking meter. And there is a guard there.

Also, I don't think I would feel 100% comfortable walking much further than the parking deck at night. I know the area is improved, but to me, they still have a ways to go.

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Lori

#26 lmkennedy53

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 02:24 PM

I haven't been to David Drake's, although I pass by it everyday on my way to work. I work at the Post Office on Milton Ave. and Main Street. Do yourself a favor. Instead of parking in the parking deck, drive a block down, make a left onto Milton Ave., then a quick right onto Main, then a left into the Municipal Parking lot where you can park for free.  These turns are all within yards of each other.

View Post


I think the parking deck was only $1 for 2 hours. Not positive, since my friend paid, but it was about that. Not much different than a parking meter. And there is a guard there.

Also, I don't think I would feel 100% comfortable walking much further than the parking deck at night. I know the area is improved, but to me, they still have a ways to go.

View Post

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Hi! My husband is David Drake's partner and i just wanted to say that I think the parking garage is the best place to park. Although sometimes there is parking on the street. Thanks for all the positive comments!
Lori

#27 Rosie

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:46 AM

Welcome to eGullet lmkennedy53 and be sure to let us know other restaurants that you like to dine at in NJ.
Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"
TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE


#28 lmkennedy53

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 02:57 PM

Thanks, I certainly will comment about other restaurants!! I love eating at ours but we like a wide variety of different foods. :biggrin:
Lori

#29 Randi

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 10:38 AM

I have a question for Lori as well as anyone else who has dined upstairs at David Drake. We are considering DD for our awards meeting in February, and I understand the upstairs room can accommodate a maximum of 20.

We will have our folks seated, but we will also have management speaking and giving awards.

Since we will be very close to, if not exactly 20, would this room feel small for a meeting of this type?

Just looking for opinions.
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

#30 Rail Paul

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:21 PM

I have a question for Lori as well as anyone else who has dined upstairs at David Drake.  We are considering DD for our awards meeting in February, and I understand the upstairs room can accommodate a maximum of 20. 

We will have our folks seated, but we will also have management speaking and giving awards. 

Since we will be very close to, if not exactly 20, would this room feel small for a meeting of this type?

Just looking for opinions.

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I'm sure they could configure the upstairs room for 20 people by adjusting the tables, etc. But, you would have guests walking upstairs to use the adjacent restroom at the head of the stairs. That could bother some attendees or speakers.

You might address your question to Richard at the restaurant and see what arrangements they could offer for a group
Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo