kangaroo

Kate Kolenda

Burke & Wills Brings Spring to the Table on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Burke & Wills serves the best of the season in an indoor garden-like atmosphere

FCI graduate and executive chef Rodrigo Nogueira (Montmartre, The Monkey Bar, and The Four Seasons, among others) has created a menu for the Australian-influenced Burke & Wills that is appropriately produce-driven, and thus allows fresh, bright, and vibrant seasonal flavors to shine.

Highlights include the small plates of braised pork belly with chorizo and white beans and roasted kangaroo loin with eggplant, spiced yogurt, and confit lemon. Stand-out entrées are the cavatelli with ramps, garbanzo beans, peas, and Parmigiano-Reggiano crisp and the Hudson Valley duck breast with Mandarin orange and salsify.

The new spring cocktail menu — crafted by renowned mixologist Greg Seider (Summit Bar, Le Bernardin, The Mercer Kitchen, and author of Alchemy in a Glass) — draws its influences from Southeast Asia (a popular vacation destination for Australians) and makes use of flavors such as kaffir lime, Thai chili, lychee, and lemongrass. Examples include the Better Be Home Soon (combining DKA6100, rhubarb bitters, Thai basil syrup, and lemon) and the You Shook Me All Night Long (a combination of Citadel gin, fresh lime, kaffir lime syrup, and kaffir bitters).

While the bounty on the plates and the concoctions in the glasses bring the best of spring to Burke & Wills patrons, the experience is heightened by the venue’s design, with the main dining room positioned in the very back of the restaurant, in a kind of beautifully appointed glass-roofed atrium that affords diners the feeling of eating in a spring garden without the inconvenience of the sometimes unpredictable seasonal weather. So, break out your pastels and don your light jackets as you head on over to this Upper West Side spot and allow your palate to celebrate the new season.

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