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David Drake

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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.

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.

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

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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

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


Lori

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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

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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.

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

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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

I didn't realize the rest room was upstairs. That's good to know, and we will keep that in mind.

I have already been in touch with Richard regarding the room - but was hoping for opinions on the space, since I haven't seen the upstairs yet.

Thanks for the info!


"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

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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

I didn't realize the rest room was upstairs. That's good to know, and we will keep that in mind.

I have already been in touch with Richard regarding the room - but was hoping for opinions on the space, since I haven't seen the upstairs yet.

Thanks for the info!

Several companies ( Merck, NUI. United Water and Englehardt have used the space for same purposes you are referring to..... guest speakers etc. I think the room would be fine for that amount of people and I'm sure the guests dining downstairs could be directed to use the restroom on the 1st floor only, leaving the upstairs bathroom for the privacy of the guests on the 2nd floor. It is a very nice space and actually my favorite part of the restaurant!


Lori

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Several companies ( Merck, NUI. United Water and Englehardt have used the space for same purposes you are referring to..... guest speakers etc.  I think the room would be fine for that amount of people and I'm sure the guests dining downstairs could be directed to use the restroom on the 1st floor only, leaving the upstairs bathroom for the privacy of the  guests on the 2nd floor. It is a very nice space and actually my favorite part of the restaurant!

Lori, thanks for the info. I have passed this on to the powers that be at our company, and it is in their hands now!


"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

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Several companies ( Merck, NUI. United Water and Englehardt have used the space for same purposes you are referring to..... guest speakers etc.  I think the room would be fine for that amount of people and I'm sure the guests dining downstairs could be directed to use the restroom on the 1st floor only, leaving the upstairs bathroom for the privacy of the  guests on the 2nd floor. It is a very nice space and actually my favorite part of the restaurant!

Lori, thanks for the info. I have passed this on to the powers that be at our company, and it is in their hands now!

You're welcome! :biggrin:


Lori

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Lori,

Just wondering if there is a spring menu in the works? Is the website menu up to date - or are there some new delights that haven't been added to the site?

I am ready to go back for more!

Randi


"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

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Lori,

Just wondering if there is a spring menu in the works?  Is the website menu up to date - or are there some new delights that haven't been added to the site?

I am ready to go back for more!

Randi

He adds and removes items all the time from the menu, especially some of the fish items. Unfortunately , he doesn't always keep the web site up to date. My son is working on a new website as we speak! I know there are 3 new dessert items that have been added, I was forced :huh: to try them on fri..... like a nontraditonal creme brulee that has chocolate on the bottom (unbelievable!) a lemon dessert that is served in a glass and has blueberries on the bottom and a meringue like topping (my favorite!!) and a chocolate tart with bananas and maple walnut ice cream on top!! :biggrin: So I gave in and tried them all!! It's a dirty job but someone has to do it!!! :blink: I'm sure other new spring items will be added as well.

Thanks for asking!!


Lori

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I had a wonderful time at David's place. They have a great team there. So much care was taken with everything! The bartender makes the best Whiskey Sours!!

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I returned to David Drake's for lunch today. And I am so glad I did. This place is terrific.

My friend and I shared the terrine appetizer ($12): Pressed terrine of foie gras and braised pork (foie gras, pork, red wine poached pears, bitter greens). It was heavenly. Every bite was so rich and flavorful. This is the way I like foie gras - I loved the firmer, silky texture.

He got the paillard of pork tenderloin ($15) with yukon gold potato purée, Mediterranean spiced relish and fried capers. It was delicious. The fried capers were a delight - little crispy bites that burst with flavor.

I got the burger with applewood bacon, foie gras and aged cheese on a sour dough roll. I was getting full so I deconstructed, and just ate the burger, which was stuffed with the bacon and foie. It was very good, although the bacon was a bit salty. And after the wonderful texture of the foie gras in the terrine, I had a bit of trouble with the cubes of foie in the center of the burger. I know I'm odd, but as much as I want to love foie gras, I can't seem to get past the texture.

The beef itself was great - I was wondering what type of beef it was.

We didn't have time for dessert - we were very late getting back to work. But the desserts Lori described a few weeks ago were on the menu, and I plan to return to give them a try.

DD is now on my "go to" list when I have time for a relaxing lunch.


Edited by Randi (log)

"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

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Well, I had some extra time for lunch today and was pleased to see that David Drake's was open on Monday!

My friend and I had a wonderful meal (as always). I got the foie gras terrine appetizer again, but didn't share this time. :wub: He got a pea and proscuitto risotto (if I recall correctly). It was delicious.

For our mains, I got the organic roasted chicken with spaetzel and carmelized root vegetables. The chicken was moist, tender and flavorful. And I loved the skin! He got the Open Faced Pulled Barbeque Pork Sandwich (fig barbeque, tender braised shoulder) with mixed greens. He enjoyed it very much.

Dessert was a non-traditional Creme Brulee (dark ganache, vanilla anglaise, caramel foam). The rich chocolate on the bottom tasted amazing with the large plump raspberry that garnished the brulee. My friend got the Pan Seared Pineapple - a gorgeous presentation with carrot-lime cake, coconut tapioca, basil ice cream, and passion fruit sauce.

With bottled sparkling water, and one coffee, this meal was $100, with tax and tip.

And worth every penny, believe me.


Edited by Randi (log)

"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

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Well, I had some extra time for lunch today and was pleased to see that David Drake's was open on Monday! 

My friend and I had a wonderful meal (as always).  I got the foie gras terrine appetizer again, but didn't share this time.  :wub:  He got a pea and proscuitto risotto (if I recall correctly).  It was delicious.

For our mains, I got the organic roasted chicken with spaetzel and carmelized root vegetables.  The chicken was moist, tender and flavorful.  And I loved the skin!  He got the Open Faced Pulled Barbeque Pork Sandwich (fig barbeque, tender braised shoulder) with mixed greens.  He enjoyed it very much.

Dessert was a non-traditional Creme Brulee (dark ganache, vanilla anglaise, caramel foam).  The rich chocolate on the bottom tasted amazing with the large plump raspberry that garnished the brulee.  My friend got the Pan Seared Pineapple - a gorgeous presentation with carrot-lime cake, coconut tapioca, basil ice cream, and passion fruit sauce.

With bottled sparkling water, and one coffee, this meal was $100, with tax and tip.

And worth every penny, believe me.

I'm going there for lunch this week since I have off from school and now I know just what I want to eat!! :smile: I've never had lunch at our restaurant, so this will be a first!! Too bad I didn't go today, I would have gotten the chance to meet you!! :wink:


Lori

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At the risk of being boring, I have to confess I went to DD again for lunch today. I took a friend for his birthday. I brought my camera, so hopefully the photos will hold your attention :raz:

A-BSalmon.jpg

We shared an appetizer of Applewood Smoked Salmon sitting on a crispy potato galette, topped with a fennel salad. Pommery mustard was piped around it. This was superb! The flavors together were outstanding. One of my favorite dishes at DD.

A-BSkatewing.jpg

My entree was Sauteed Skate Wing, crispy and delicious, with a flavor similar to lobster. It was served over tender braised navy beans, topped with upland cress salad, with a lime bouillabaisse. The fish was cooked perfectly, and melted in my mouth.

A-Bribravhv.jpg

My friend got a short rib ravioli, and I was surprised when it came out - there were two huge portions, not traditional ravs - these were square sheets of pasta folded over the large pieces of short rib. I don't have the actual description of this one, but some of the additions included onions, blue cheese and fiddleheads. Yum. Pictured above was my friend's view, below is the view from my side of the table - you can see the generous pieces of meat.

A-Bribravmv.jpg

A-Bcheese.jpg

We decided to get the cheese course, as we'd heard great things about it. And we were not disappointed. I especially loved the soft cheeses. The cup in the center held warm honey, which was the perfect accompaniment. (I wish I knew what kind of honey it was.) As you can see, there was a card listing each cheese.

Needless to say, this is my favorite restaurant at the moment. :wub:

Lori - David told us that you'd been in and that you'd mentioned me :smile: Were you there for lunch? What did you get?


"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

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Those pictures are wonderful!!! I finally got to go to lunch last week and I had the new risotto dish with the prosciutto and peas. I loved it!!! I also had the chicken dish with the spaetzle and the root vegetables. The chicken is only on the lunch menu not on the dinner menu. And I ordered the new raspberry tart with the vanilla ice cream. That was delicious!! It was nice having a leisurely tasty lunch for a change!! At school we only get 30 minutes and I usually eat a Lean Cuisine!!! :sad:

Hope to see you at the restaurant sometime!! :biggrin:


Lori

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I noticed David Drake's updated their website, and this caught my eye:

D A V I D   D R A K E S   T O   G O . . .

During the typical work week, many people find themselves in

need of something convenient and timely for dinner, yet do not

want to sacrifice quality. Imagine bringing home a four star meal,

at an affordable price, to the comfort of your own home

(paired with a great wine from your cellar).

We at Restaurant David Drake are providing just that.

We are creating a special to go menu in order to provide our

loyal clientel with an amazing "take home" dining experience.

Beginning October 2nd, Monday through Friday, you will simply

call us and place your order by 5:00pm, either at the office or on

the train and we will have prepared a supurb dinner ready to pick up!

(menu will be posted shortly)

edited to add: I'm excited!


Edited by Randi (log)

"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

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My wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary with a dinner at DD on Saturday. I look forward to letting all you know how the meal was.


Edited by bgut1 (log)

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My wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary with a dinner at DD on Saturday. I look forward to letting all you know how the meal was.

Looking forward to hearing your report. I haven't been there in ages, but we have reservations for Thanksgiving!

Hope you have a wonderful Anniversary!


"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

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My wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary with a dinner at DD on Saturday. I look forward to letting all you know how the meal was.

Try the chocolate parfait dessert!! It is wonderful!!! My new favorite!

Have a great time!!


Lori

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My wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary with a dinner at DD on Saturday. I look forward to letting all you know how the meal was.

Try the chocolate parfait dessert!! It is wonderful!!! My new favorite!

Have a great time!!

Thanks Lori. I will give it a try tonight. BTW, congratulations on your husband's re-election.

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My wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary with a dinner at DD on Saturday. I look forward to letting all you know how the meal was.

Try the chocolate parfait dessert!! It is wonderful!!! My new favorite!

Have a great time!!

Dinner last night at DD was fabulous. First and foremost, this restaurant is one of the best in the state and the meal ranks up there with the finest I have ever had. I have a problem however comparing the experience with Nicholas. While the food is equivalent in quality, plating, and originality the dining experience was quite different. The service and the room were not up to the same level as Nicholas (I’ll elaborate below). I am not saying that this is a bad thing since some people may enjoy dining in a more casual atmosphere. The meal while excellent was not without its faults.

Having arrived a few minutes late, we were lucky to have found a parking space in front of the restaurant. While the parking garage is not too far around the corner from the restaurant, my wife and I felt more “comfortable” not making the walk. Upon entering the restaurant, I found the restaurant to be very nice but much smaller than I had imagined. We were immediately seated in the room to the right (the fireplace room) behind the screen separating the reception “stand” and along the front window. While I recognize that the restaurant is small, I found that they were trying to squeeze in too many tables. The location of our table made the waiter, wine steward, and servers squeeze in between our and the adjacent table. For the quality of this restaurant I expected not to be crammed in. This situation was short lived as our neighboring table left after about a half hour alleviating the need for people to squeeze by. Once seated, we were presented with both menus and the wine list. Our first problem was that neither menu matched those posted online. My wife was hoping to try the skate wing entrée and I had chosen a very interesting Riesling. Regrettably neither was available. Richard the sommelier came over and recommended a perfect replacement, an S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese. Now off to the next faux pas. The wine list said this wine was a 2002 vintage but instead I was presented with a 2003 without an explanation. While I brought this to Richard’s attention I was more than willing to accept the replacement and the wine was fantastic. Next came time to order our meal. Everything sounded great so we had difficulty choosing. We decided instead that since we were celebrating our wedding anniversary we would spurge and add two additional courses to the typical 3 course menu: a second appetizer course and a cheese course. We ordered as follows: first course - cauliflower soup and foie gras; second course - acorn squash risotto vegetarian preparation (no rabbit as my wife can’t get past the peter cottontail thing) and the chef salad; entrée course – short ribs and tuna; dessert course – chocolate coulant and chocolate parfait (per Lori Kennedy’s recommendation). Now to the next difficulty – it was about 20 minutes from the time we were first seated before we were presented with anything to eat (in this case the bread). Being famished we both attacked the bread basket when it arrived. Bread was okay (would have preferred crustier bread) while the butter was excellent. Next came an amuse-bouche consisting of calamari with black rice and basil emulsion of some sort. While each tasted fine, the combination didn’t do anything for me. Now, at this point I was feeling a bit disappointed with the dining experience. I went to DD with the expectation that it rivaled the best in the state (e.g. Nicholas). Since you read the first sentence of this review, you know I found the meal to be excellent, therefore it must have taken off from there. Indeed it did (except for one more faux pas). Both the foie gras (a beautiful sear with fleur de sel and apples) and the cauliflower soup (very silky) were exemplary. Next came the second course of the chef’s salad and the risotto. Both were served and my wife immediately noticed that the risotto was prepared with the braised rabbit on top instead as the vegetarian preparation as ordered. Again an honest mistake however, had my wife and I not intended to share our courses, the delay in preparing another risotto would have ruined the pace of the meal. The salad was perfectly dressed – a primer on how salads are to be made. After finishing the salad, the risotto was delivered. As other posts had noted, the risottos prepared at DD are phenomenal and this one was no exception – creamy and beautiful. At this time we were feeling no pain and looking forward to our entrees. The pace was starting to pick up and we were timely presented with our main course. My short rib entrée was perfection. A beautiful large and de-boned short rib resting atop cabbage, pomegranate seeds and pignoli nuts. The sweetness of the pomegranate perfectly complemented the sourness of the cabbage. This had to be the best rendition I have ever had. I was in heaven. My wife’s tuna was also very good but at this point I was in la la land. Having cleaned up our entrees we were quite full but decide to plug along. Next came the cheese course that I had read quite a bit about. The plate (eight samples if I recall) consisted of mostly goat cheeses with a couple of blues. Very good however I would have preferred less with larger samples and maybe a few “stinky” cheeses like an Epoisses or an Alsatian Muenster. Very good none the less (especially liked the raw honey that came with the plate ). Next came an unexpected palate cleanser of a granny smith apple essence with a blue cheese foam. This was pure genius and unbelievably delicious. Now onto the desserts. Lori’s recommendation of the chocolate parfait was spot on. One of the best desserts I have ever had – chocolate, carmel, ice cream with peanut brittle crunch – pure ecstasy. My wife’s chocolate coulant was also good but I was truly happy with what I had. While enjoying our desserts, I had commented to my wife that we had not received any acknowledgment of our wedding anniversary having advised of same while making the reservation. Right on queue we were presented with a small extra dessert (an almond fudge of some sort) with happy anniversary painted on the plate. A very nice touch. At this point I couldn’t eat another bite but had to oblige when presented with some passion fruit jellies which were delivered with the check. All in all, quite the amazing meal. Had some of the above service issues been avoided, this meal would have been perfection. A few more points. I was quite impressed with the reasonableness of the pricing of the meal. I was surprised to only be charged a total of $19 for both the added salad and risotto. Quite the bargain. Going back to my earlier point about the comparison of DD to Nicholas, notwithstanding the compliments made with respect to its food, the service at DD is not up to the precision and “crispness” of Nicholas. That being said, I would not hesitate returning to DD and recommend it wholeheartedly.


Edited by bgut1 (log)

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made with respect to its food, the service at DD is not up to the precision and “crispness” of Nicholas. That being said, I would not hesitate returning to DD and recommend it wholeheartedly.

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