Seafood Dish

NJ Monthly Food Critics Say Drifthouse by David Burke Among New Jersey’s Best New Restaurants

The 28 Best New Restaurants 2019

For rewarding food, atmosphere, variety and value, these new restaurants have earned enthusiastic followings.

Drifthouse by David Burke

Sea Bright

Grilled lobster with lobster dumplings at Drifthouse by David Burke. Photo by James J. Connoly

Burke, a longtime resident of Fort Lee, returns to New Jersey as a restaurateur for the first time since selling the Fromagerie in Rumson in 2015. He’s partnered with the Stavola family, owners of Ama, to transform their large, ocean view Italian restaurant into Drifthouse. Retaining his younger brother, Robert, Ama’s executive chef, and bringing aboard the stellar pastry chef Stuart Marx, Burke has created what he calls “a hipper, more casual, more approachable” Fromagerie update. Witty signatures, like his thick candied bacon strips pinned on a mini-clothesline and his tree of variously coated cheesecake lollipops, are fun to indulge in again. But there is serious food, too, like a recent lobster risotto special, with tender chunks of meat topped with a mound of black tobiko roe, and a lush bison short rib with wild mushrooms, truffle mousse and toothsome, house-made orecchiette pasta. Marx, who made his name at Avenue in Long Branch and was most recently at Halifax in Hoboken, immediately presented his signature angel food cake. Light and crunchy outside, creamy inside, the oblong construction merely looks like a Hostess Twinkie. Burke isn’t the only one with a delicious sense of humor.—EL
1485 Ocean Avenue, 732-530-9760

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