Whatever you do, don’t call DBGB Kitchen & Bar a burger joint. Do, however, make sure at least one person at your table orders a burger, and make it a Piggy (topped with jalapeño mayonnaise, pulled pork, and placed on a cheddar-cornbread bun) or a Frenchie (topped with crispy pork belly, sweet caramelized onions, a sour cornichon, and arugula). Daniel Boulud brings his fastidious show downtown to the Bowery, and, in the spirit of the location, tries his hand at truly casual dining. Of course, since it’s Boulud, it’s a well-oiled machine.
No matter how relaxed the clientele and polished the haute “mess hall”—walls lined with open shelving that hold stacks of dishware and the copper pots of culinary legends past—the “grub” is seriously good. Take note: Make sure you book a reservation for the dining room so you can access the full menu. Although he’d like you to think of it as a Lyonnais brasserie (both the house-made charcuterie and sausages are as close to the French articles as you’ll find in the USA), matzo ball soup, the selection of 22 on-tap beers, make-your-own sundaes, and burgers and fries render DBGB a lot like the most sophisticated diner you’ll find in Manhattan. (212.933.5300)