Last week Eater posted an item entitled “Here’s What Every Trendy Restaurant Menu Looks Like.” It makes me laugh even though many of the satirical items on the menu actually appeal to me. Painterly plate of beets and goat cheese. I order this on a regular basis. An unconventional riff on brussels sprouts. I’m in. Eight olives in a ramekin. Why I just had this at David Burke Fabrick in New York City.
Fabrick is Chef David Burke‘s latest addition to his growing restaurant group, which includes David Burke Townhouse, David Burke Kitchen, David Burke Bloomingdales (been there/ liked it), and more. I have a fondness for the chef after his appearances on both Seasons Two and Five of “Top Chef Masters.”
As described on its website, Fabrick’s “modern American small plate menu emphasizes sharing and seasonality served with a side of David Burke’s signature artistic flare.” Its garment district location makes the restaurant an ideal spot for pre-theater dining with three friends.
The menu is divided into sections: mostly veg, meat, fish, and sides. Our group confers and decides to skip the meat and focus on the “mostly veg” side of the menu. We order a healthy representation of the dishes. Warm olives with almonds, caper berries, and spicy orange zest may be cliche but they are incredibly appealing here. Burrata salad withwatermelon, asparagus, beets, quinoa, and prosciutto (which we omit) twists some now-familiar ingredients into an original dish.
Fake Eater menu has a kale caesar salad. Of course. Fabrick has fresh kale and escarole with shaved baby vegetables and citrus vinaigrette. Shaved baby vegetables may induce snickers among the trendy-averse, but it’s a winning dish.
The originality and best taste award at Fabrick goes to soba noodle nori roll with snow pea salad, togarashi lotus chips, and tomato miso vinaigrette.
Smoked salmon flatbread with fresh horseradish, capers, and shallots is not noteworthy, but it pairs well with our other dishes and is well-suited for sharing. Fake Eater menu boasts fish slivers doused in citrus juice. Fabrick’s version is tuna sashimi with yuzu tapioca, wakame salad, and crispy ginger. We are wowed by the presentation, but it has an overly fishy taste and lacks pizzazz when it comes to flavor.
Desserts are on trend with panna cotta, apple tart, and caramelized peach melba donuts. We settle on a frozen yogurt banana split with peanut brittle, fudge brownie, and strawberry-rhubarb compote. The clever use of frozen yogurt reduces the guilt felt by the calorie-conscious among us, as we pretend it offsets some of the effects of the other ingredients. Calorie-count aside, we are thrilled by the taste.
Executive Chef Adin Langille takes time away from the busy open kitchen to circulate in the red-hot modern industrial dining room. The buzzing restaurant clearly fills a void in this part of town.
Fabrick is indeed a bright spot in Midtown Manhattan, which earns its reputation for a number of lackluster restaurants. Sure the restaurant embraces the latest assortment of “hot” ingredients, but trends aren’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s enough innovation here to label Fabrick as being a cut above the standard cloth.
David Burke Fabrick, 47 W. 38th Street, NYC