Tavern 62, David Burke's new restaurant, features a rustic bar with an antique race car mounted to the wall. A painting of an American flag hangs by the door. Marble tables with banquette seating lead to the main dining area on the second floor of this East Side townhouse.
Prices range from about $16-to-$24 for appetizers, while most entrees are upwards of $30. A duck meatloaf for two is $78 while the Weehawkin bone-in $36-ounce sirloin runs $110, also for two.
There are reincarnations of Burke's classics like "Angry Lobster," this time served as a scramble with creme fraiche, basil, lemon and chili oil. "Clothesline" candied bacon, slathered with maple syrup and black pepper, is served with house pickles. The menu also features a selection of raw oysters, and tuna poké with avocado, cucumber, chilies and puffed quinoa.
Larger plates call for roasted sea scallops with corned beef cheeks, cabbage and quail egg. Tuna steak is also available along with Peking Pork Shank with plum sauce and a classic Shrimp Fra Diavolo.
But a tavern isn't worth its weight in salt without a good burger and Burke's Tavern Burger hits the mark. It's a healthy size patty on a toasted English muffin topped with smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and a special sauce. The flavors are wonderful but you made need a knife and fork to finish it off. It comes with rock shrimp cole slaw. It's an interesting combination and one that works. The dish at $27 also includes a batch of crispy hand-cut fries.
The restaurant, as you might expect caters to an upscale crowd. But the restaurant has a neighborhood feel and the staff is quite attentive.