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David Drake

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My wife and I had dinner at DD Friday evening, our 5th time there. We have also been to Nicholas 4 times in the past year.

FOOD --- David Drake is better

Service --- Nicholas is better

Decor --- I prefer Nicholas but consider this a matter of personal preference

Bottom line is I go out to a fine dining restaurant for the food so I give the sdge to David Drake.

Friday night I had an appetizer consisiting of a steamed egg with mushrooms and some type of foam that was fantastic. Tasted great, very creative and unique. I have been impressed each and every time I have been to DD.

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My wife and I had dinner at DD Friday evening, our 5th time there.  We have also been to Nicholas 4 times in the past year.

FOOD         ---     David Drake is better

Service         ---   Nicholas is better

Decor          ---    I prefer Nicholas but consider this a matter of personal preference

Bottom line is I go out to a fine dining restaurant for the food so I give the sdge to David Drake.

Friday night I had an appetizer consisiting of a steamed egg with mushrooms and some type of foam that was fantastic.  Tasted great, very creative and unique.  I have been impressed each and every time I have been to DD.

Jeffreys1 - I pretty much agree with your assesment except I believe the food between the two is quite even (though the styles are different). I still come back to one question however - which restaurant would you send friends you were trying to impress? To me, Nicholas is the complete package while DD is a close second. With regard to dish, I believe you had the steamed Hen Egg with truffle foam. I almost ordered that one.


Edited by bgut1 (log)

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My wife and I had dinner at DD Friday evening, our 5th time there.  We have also been to Nicholas 4 times in the past year.

FOOD         ---     David Drake is better

Service         ---   Nicholas is better

Decor          ---    I prefer Nicholas but consider this a matter of personal preference

Bottom line is I go out to a fine dining restaurant for the food so I give the sdge to David Drake.

Friday night I had an appetizer consisiting of a steamed egg with mushrooms and some type of foam that was fantastic.  Tasted great, very creative and unique.  I have been impressed each and every time I have been to DD.

Jeffreys1 - I pretty much agree with your assesment except I believe the food between the two is quite even (though the styles are different). I still come back to one question however - which restaurant would you send friends you were trying to impress? To me, Nicholas is the complete package while DD is a close second. With regard to dish, I believe you had the steamed Hen Egg with truffle foam. I almost ordered that one.

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My wife and I had dinner at DD Friday evening, our 5th time there.  We have also been to Nicholas 4 times in the past year.

FOOD        ---    David Drake is better

Service        ---  Nicholas is better

Decor          ---    I prefer Nicholas but consider this a matter of personal preference

actually i would think that "food", "service" and "decor" are *all* a matter of personal preference. :wink:


Edited by tommy (log)

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We went to David Drakes for Thanksgiving - I've got photo evidence!

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A tiny cup of warm spiced cider was brought out as an amuse bouche. It was perfect! It was a chilly afternoon and we needed something warm. We asked if we could order a cup and they brought us two complimentary full cups. Steamy and delicious!

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We both ordered the Pumpkin Gnocchi and Braised Pork Belly with fuji apple, rosemary foam, six spice appetizer. We were expecting mostly gnocchi and a bit of pork belly. It was the other way around. I found the pork belly to be heavenly. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The rosemary foam added some nice extra flavor. The pork belly was sitting on matchsticks of fuji apple. I loved this dish.

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The entree was everything you'd want for a Thanksgiving dinner. Slow Roasted Organic Turkey with homemade brioche-herb stuffing, natural gravy, cranberry sauce and 2 sides - brussels sprouts and wild rice. (We were able to choose 2 from 4 total sides.) It was fabulous. Side note - my friend said they were the most perfect brussels spouts she'd ever tasted.

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My friend's dessert: Individual Hot Apple Pie, calvados soaked prunes, cinnamon ice cream. She liked it very much.

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My dessert: bread pudding with vanilla carmelized fruit and olive oil chocolate mousse (I know my description is a little off - this dish was a last minute addition and not on the Thanksgiving menu on DD's website). A masterpiece. The chocolate mousse was one of the best bites of the day.

I finished the meal with Monk's Mead herb tea with apple, mango and chamomile. It was so fragrant, and was perfect with the bread pudding.

Another memorable meal at DD's!


"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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Going Thursday lunch. Looking forward to it.

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Got an email today with the following:

REMINDER:

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER

AT RESTAURANT DAVID  DRAKE.

Restaurant David Drake is pleased to announce that we will be open

on Christmas Eve, Sunday December 24th.

We will offer a special three course menu to celebrate the holiday,

featuring a variety of seasonal selections to choose from.

The cost of this menu is $65.00 per person.

Reservations are available from 4:00 to 8:00

Valet parking available.

NEW YEAR'S EVE DINNER

AT RESTAURANT DAVID  DRAKE.

Restaurant David Drake is pleased to announce that we will be open

on New Year's Eve, Sunday December 31st.

The early seating features our seasonal three course menu at a price of $65 per person,

with reservations available at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00.

Our later seating features a special five course menu created just for this occasion.

There will be choices offered for each course.

Reservations can be made for 7:30 or later, and you are welcome to stay and ring in

the New Year with us while enjoying a complimentary champagne toast at midnight!

The price of this menu is $95.00 per person.

Valet parking available.

The valet parking is a good idea - the parking deck was closed on Thanksgiving.


"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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NJ Monthly named us the Most Romantic restaurant in NJ in the January issue!! Now when I accuse my husband of not being romantic enough, he tells me to go sit in the restaurant!! That's cause he decorated it!!!!!! :rolleyes:


Lori

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NJ Monthly named us the Most Romantic restaurant in NJ  in the January issue!!  Now when I accuse my husband of not being romantic enough, he tells me to go sit in the restaurant!!  That's cause he decorated it!!!!!! :rolleyes:

Congrats Lori. A well deserved honor. Kudos to your husband too for designing such a beautiful and romantic space. Much continued success.

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Another wonderful meal at David Drakes. It was my department's (belated) holiday lunch, and my boss treated my coworker and me. You can guess who chose the restaurant!

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My boss got "The Chef's Salad" - maytag blue, greens, haricot vert, parmesan, walnuts, aged balsamic vinegar.

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My coworker and I shared this "Terrine of Foie Gras and Duck Confit", poached seckel pear, pear essence, pickled shallots. Yum.

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My coworker got "Panko Crusted Cod Cakes" with pickled red pearl onions, mixed greens, caper sauce. He let me taste it - it was terrific.

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My boss got "Sautéed Line Caught Monkfish" with shrimp hash, celery root purée, lemon thyme, bouillabaisse sauce. She let me taste it - wow! I would order that.

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My lunch - Hand cut fettuccini, grilled scallop slices, steelhead caviar, carrot-shiso salad, carrot caramel. It was incredible.

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A better view.

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My coworker and I shared a dessert. It was the "Chocolate Parfait" with roasted peanut biscuit, caramel, chocolate creameux and peanut brittle ice cream. Even my boss (who eats like a bird and rarely eats sweets) couldn't resist taking a few tastes.

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The chef sent out some little treats. Macaroons with dark chocolate bits and strawberry gelee. My boss ate a macaroon before I thought to take a pic! She also ate the strawberry gelee after I took the pic, so you know it had to be special.

Have I mentioned lately that DD's is my favorite restaurant? I think I'm due.

: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

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Whoo! I'm going for dinner tonite...hubby looked at the website and drooled over the short ribs, hopefully they will be on the menu!


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Whoo! I'm going for dinner tonite...hubby looked at the website and drooled over the short ribs, hopefully they will be on the menu!

Be sure to report back!

I was looking at their menu last night and I am really excited about their tasting menu. Sounded great - I'd want to try everything!


"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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Had a fantastic dinner last night, first visit to David Drake and we will definitely come back. Most of the items are on the web site, some menu items slightly different. No pic's...

Amuse- mini cod cake (tasty, perfectly crunchy)

Appetizer- I had the celery root/pear soup. Very tasty, it was garnished with sweet little mushrooms and walnut. Not sweet, and I didn't actually taste pear until the bottom of the bowl. Husband had shrimp risotto which came with a nice garlic broth.

Entree- I had the honey roasted duck breast. Nicely done, cooked more medium than rare, very tender. Crispy delicious skin. Root vegetable fricasse had spaghetti squash (formed into a "bowl") with bits of lobster, baby beet, baby brussel sprout, and carrot. Served w/tamarind sauce.

Husband had a roasted flatiron steak, served with red wine sauce. Looked like a nice piece of meat, tender.

We each just had one glass of wine, I had the sauvignon blanc and he had the malbec. Very nice.

Amuse after entree: chilled green apple soup with blue cheese foam served in shot glasses - fantastic. Tangy and refreshing.

Dessert: I had papaya consumme, which was different than the description on the web site. They present a bowl with the dessert layered in the center (roasted pineapple bits, lime creme fraiche, coconut ice cream) then pour the papaya into the bowl. Very good, flavorful and not overly sweet. Husband had the chocolate parfait (a very popular option) which Randi has pictured above).

Extra: plate of fruit jelly and little cookies

Extra #2: husband had told them it was my birthday when making the reservation and I got a special plate with a cookie made in a grid pattern topped with a "tube" of strawberry mousse filled with mango puree.

Overall an excellent experience, service was great. We sat at the round table in the corner by the fireplace, which was nice because it gets you a little outside the "traffic path". Some of the tables are pretty close together.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Today's Star Ledger Morris County edition gave David Drake 4 stars.


Edited by unleash (log)

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DD is having a promotion through March (extended from Feb):

We would like to encourage current patrons of our restaurant to bring friends that have not yet dined here. On Mondays through Thursdays, we will discount 25% off of the entire check , including tasting menus! (minimum of 4 people, maximum of 6 people).

This is an offer that truly benefits all involved. It gives you an excuse to indulge yourselves by dining with us during the week instead of fighting to get in on the weekend. For us it's a great opportunity to have new guests discover our "gem" of a restaurant where you might least expect to, right here in downtown Rahway!

Please mention that you received this offer when making a reservation to ensure that the discount is applied properly. We hope you can come and take advantage of this offer.

I'm dying to go, but I've already brought most of my friends. :raz:


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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DD is having a promotion through March (extended from Feb):
We would like to encourage current patrons of our restaurant to bring friends that have not yet dined here. On Mondays through Thursdays, we will discount 25% off of the entire check , including tasting menus! (minimum of 4 people, maximum of 6 people).

This is an offer that truly benefits all involved. It gives you an excuse to indulge yourselves by dining with us during the week instead of fighting to get in on the weekend. For us it's a great opportunity to have new guests discover our "gem" of a restaurant where you might least expect to, right here in downtown Rahway!

Please mention that you received this offer when making a reservation to ensure that the discount is applied properly. We hope you can come and take advantage of this offer.

I'm dying to go, but I've already brought most of my friends. :raz:

Pretend you are with friends who have never been to DDs before!! I'll never tell!!!! :wink:


Lori

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It's been way too long since I've been to David Drakes. A friend is coming in from out of town this weekend and we've got reservations for Saturday night.

We're going get the tasting menu, order one of each selection, and share. I can't wait!


"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 a little late posting these, but better late than never! As I mentioned above, we each chose the 6 course tasting menu with wine pairings and shared everything.

I am just beginning to have an appreciation for fine wine, and I really enjoyed the wine pairings. We each got 2 glasses for each course so they were able to split each wine selection as well as the food. Unfortunately I don't have a list of the wines we tried. But they were wonderful.

Take a look at the food:

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An amuse-bouche. Left: Fresh Oyster on the Half Shell with champagne granité, topped with a little smoked steelhead caviar. Center: Seared New York State Foie Gras with roasted pineapple quince, red grape, and a port wine reduction. Right: (I don't have an actual description of this, so I'm winging it) - Grilled Octopus over marinated onions and olives.

When they put this in front of me, I felt like an Iron Chef judge. Sometimes I wonder how they eat all that stuff. Anyhow, I am not a raw seafood fan, not an octopus fan, and sometimes I have issues with the texture of foie gras. But I figured, if i am going to eat these things, this is the place to do it! The oyster was actually delicious! The caviar was a nice touch. The foie gras was one of the best bites of the evening.

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This is a Cannelloni of Applewood Smoked Salmon with celery root remoulade salad, fried capers and leek sauce. Delicious.

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This is a Terrine of Foie Gras and Duck Confit with plum-onion confiture and a balsamic reduction. The terrine has a firmer texture, which I really like. And the confit - yum. This is one of my favorite dishes at David Drake's. Just heavenly.

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Here are our wine glasses - the pour was just the right amount for the small tasting of each dish.

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Fall Squash Bisque with PEI mussels, saffron and toasted pumpkin seeds. This was AMAZING. The toasty crunch of the pumpkin seeds made this dish.

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Chilled Apple Soup Duo with Maine crab meat salad, creme fraiche and lemon balm. The wine was getting to us - my friend began to stir this before I was able to snap the pic! I liked the soup but the bar had been raised after tasting the squash bisque.

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Atlantic Cod with yukon gold potato purée, chanterelles, haricot vert and a chanterelle sauce. The potatoes were silky and creamy. Dreamy!

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Miso-Kaffir Lime Poached Lobster with crispy eel, salsify, cardoons and braised romaine. This dish was my biggest disappointment. The lobster itself was barely cooked - I don't like rare lobster, unfortunately. And I dislike miso, so this dish was doomed. The eel was actually better than the lobster, and I wasn't exactly crazy about the eel. :raz:

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Steamed duck egg (already cut in half, but photographed from behind) with polenta croutons, plum tomatoes and chipotle foam. See below to see the interior...

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As I mentioned we had cut this in half before getting the pic (we blame the wine!) but that's not a bad thing. You can see the interior this way. I thought that "steamed duck egg" sounded boring but much to my surprise - it was one of the best bites of the night. The yolk was so rich and creamy. Very luxurious. And the chipotle foam added just a hint of heat. Just awesome.

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Squab Ballotine with carmague red rice, cauliflower purée and juniper sauce. Again, we split this dish before taking the pic. This isn't how it was served, we'd replated on the smaller plate they brought us so we could share each course. The squab was excellent. I especially loved the crispy skin.

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Pan Roasted Venison Loin with ricotta gnocchi, brussels sprouts, plum coulis. Terrific!!

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Braised Short Ribs with sweet potato purée, toasted pecans, pomegranate reduction. Very nice dish! The short ribs melt in your mouth and the sweet potatoes? Once again, so silky and just perfect with the pecans and the pomegranate seeds.

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A pumpkin nutmeg shooter - oooh la la! This tasted like pumpkin eggnog. I could drink a full cup of this. OK, a vat. This was sent out compliments of the pastry chef.

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The Cheese Course was very nice. My fave was the one on the left - it was a camembert, I think. Very runny and mild. I wish I had a list of the cheeses. Or even better - a good memory!

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Dessert was Papaya Consommé with macerated mango and pineapple, lime creme fraiche and coconut ice cream. Very refreshing. Would have liked more than half of the tasting portion!!

Another incredible (and gorgeous) meal at David Drake's.


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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Interesting thread over on another site (aka, the 'hounds)...

seems that several people who have been to DD in the past couple of months have found the experience to be lacking recently vs. before Daryl (the new place) in New Brunswick opened...say it ain't so!

It's given me some pause, since I was considering a return visit for my b-day and funds are tight...we enjoyed our meal so much last year...

Anyone have any recent experiences?


Edited by BeeZee (log)

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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That's interesting you say that, because my wife and I just went to DD for the first time two weeks ago and were a tad disappointed. Everything was fine, a couple things were very good, but nothing wowed us. The desserts in particular were a little boring. We're not exactly experienced gourmets, but we've been to Blu a few times and we felt that the dishes at Blu were on another level than at David Drake, on this occasion at least. I do have to say though, the atmosphere and service at David Drake were the best of any restaurant we've been to and we still had a very good time. But for the price and reputation, we expected to be more impressed by the dishes.

Interesting thread over on another site (aka, the 'hounds)...

seems that several people who have been to DD in the past couple of months have found the experience to be lacking recently vs. before Daryl (the new place) in New Brunswick opened...say it ain't so!

It's given me some pause, since I was considering a return visit for my b-day and funds are tight...we enjoyed our meal so much last year...

Anyone have any recent experiences?


Edited by FaxMachineAnthem (log)

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I have been going to DD about once a month since they opened. We ate there Saturday night and it was as good as ever. David was in the kitchen and wowed us all as usual.

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I have been going to DD about once a month since they opened.  We ate there Saturday night and it was as good as ever. David was in the kitchen and wowed us all as usual.

I agree. We ate there last night. Great time as usual.

Cirilo


"There is something uncanny in the noiseless rush of the cyclist, as he comes into view, passes by, and disappears."

Popular Science, 1891

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I am glad to hear that some are still enjoying DD. I have reservations to go for Valentines Day and have been really looking forward to it!

Do either of you have any specific recommendations?

I will be sure to put in my two cents after I've been.

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Made it back to David Drake's this past week. Got to sample his current menu just before the fall changeover.

I hadn't been there in a while and I was pleased to see the neighborhood looking much nicer. The hotel next door (an Indigo) was finished and it made a big difference. I like the atmosphere of the area now, and I am sure that, along with the hotel clientele, must be good for business. I'm really glad.

I took a friend for her birthday. I got the 5 course tasting and she got an app, main and dessert. Photos follow:

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An amuse bouche of octopus and garlic aioli. Very tasty, tender and obviously garlicky.

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Crispy Potato Gnocchi with forest mushrooms, oven dried tomatoes and arugula. Really good! I am not usually impressed with gnocchi, but I was impressed!

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um. yum. damn. This is a Terrine of Foie Gras (on the right) and peach gelee (on the left) with upland cress and a muscat reduction streaked across the top of the plate. Swoon-worthy. Seriously.

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This is a Red Bell Pepper Bisque with goat cheese cream and garlic croutons. Really good, fresh-tasting, warm and satisfying.

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Seared Sea Scallop with Pork Belly. This is the tasting portion. Every bite of the crispy pork belly transported me a happy place. Can you tell I loved it?

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My friend chose the same dish as her entree. It was triple the size (I was envious of her 3 slabs of pork belly!) Oh - the rest of the dish description - it was served with braised leek, saffron potato and sauce romesco. (For those unfamiliar - romesco sauce is traditionally made with hazelnuts and/or almonds, bits of fried bread, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, sherry and paprika.)

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My main (but still a tasting portion) was the Slow Cooked Rib Eye with warm German potato salad, wilted greens and a Riesling reduction. That's an onion ring on top. And yes, bits of bacon in the potato salad. See next photo for the inside scoop!

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I cut into the steak and it was a juicy medium rare (on the rare side). And delicious, by the way.

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The chef sent out a palate cleanser - a small glass of orange/lemon slush. It was refreshing and did the trick!

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Coffee Panna Cotta with carmelized bananas and Sambuca foam. Those little round beads had a cookie texture.

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I got the Lemon-Scented Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Creme Fraiche, salted caramel and pistachio dust. The chocolate tart was amazing, with a rich, deep chocolate taste and smooth, dense texture. Not sure where the salted caramel was unless it was the streak on the plate, which was dry and really not able to be tasted. Overall this was a delicious dessert.

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The chef sent out a treat for my friend's birthday - tres leches cake. It was wonderfully milky and had a kind of almondy flavor!

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The chef also sent our a pair of little sweet biscuits with the check. I think one was almond the other raspberry. Another nice treat!

Another wonderful meal at David Drakes. My only negative comment might be that the cost of the 5 course tasting was high in comparison to the a la carte menu. My friend's 3 full sized dishes totalled $50 ($13 for the app, $27 for the main, and $10 for dessert), but my 5 small tasting portions were $85. I realize there is extra work preparing 5 dishes, and I got to taste 5 dishes that way, but I think the significant extra cost (70% more!) was not justified.


"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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