Restaurant Review: David Burke Fishtail

I have been reading menus and reviews non-stop in an effort to make the most out of this summer’s NYC Restaurant Week and so far have had 3 stellar experiences.

My fist trip was to a late lunch at David Burke’s Fishtail on the Upper East Side with two friends, because let’s be real, the more people you go with, the more items on the menu you can try!
(Three people = three apps!)

I had heard a lot about David Burke’s restaurants, and any place that specializes in seafood is right up my alley.  David Burke has a ton of restaurants in New York City, including David Burke Kitchen and Burke in the Box (located in Bloomingdale's). He’s also got restaurants in
Chicago and Foxwoods Casino.

With 3.5 stars on Yelp and 4 on OpenTable, and a menu that had me going back and forth on what I was going to order, I was really excited for this place. We got there and I instantly loved it.  It’s one of those New York City restaurants where you walk in and you feel like you’re someone for eating there.  That sounds ridiculous, and snobby, but whatever.  For me, food tastes better in an airy, well decorated, bright, fancy atmosphere.

As far as service was concerned, our waiter spilled an entire glass of sangria on my friend, mispronounced gazpacho, and generally seemed uneducated about the menu.  But he was really hot, so we were able to forgive him pretty easily.

We got three different appetizers. I ordered the lobster scramble and oh my word, it was such a huge serving! Typically, restaurant week servings are pretty tiny, but not this! I legitimately could have eaten this as my meal and been satisfied.

(Lobster scramble)

The lobster scramble was FULL of lobster that actually tasted like lobster, along with lots of fresh veggies, a tomato fondue sauce that was creamy and delicious, and a brioche toast that was phenomenal for soaking up my friends’ gazpacho.

I really want to come back here for brunch just to get the lobster scramble again.

Fishtail, from what I gather, kind of has a thing for lobster.  Every Sunday they offer a $40 prix fixe brunch called Lobster Louie, with all lobster-based dishes.

So naturally, one of my friends went with the other lobster appetizer and ordered the lobster dumplings.  The presentation was awesome, with the little claws sticking out so you could eat your dumpling like a little lobster lollipop.  I only had a small bite, but these weren’t anything spectacular to me.  They were a solid little lobster dumpling though.

(My dumps, my dumps, my lovely lobster dumps)

Unfortunately, they were out of the other appetizer we wanted to try, the pastrami spiced smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraiche, mustard oil and watercress pancake.  So my other friend went with the other seafood option and got the gazpacho with crab salad, avocado and cilantro.  It was verrrrrry tasty, and that’s coming from someone who in general, isn’t a fan of her soup being cold.


While the appetizer selection was a little stressful, there was really only one entrée that anyone was interested in, and that was the grilled salmon.  One of my friends decided it would be silly to get three of the same thing though, so he ordered the steamed black bass that had a $7 supplementary charge.

The salmon dish was right up my alley and had so many of my favorite things! Red quinoa tabbouleh, hummus, giant grilled artichokes (which was probably my favorite part of the meal) and za’atar spiced naan. The za’atar spiced naan were actually just pita chips, if we’re being real.  And the salmon was a little undercooked/slimy, but overall, the dish was awesome. And the presentation was spot on, which always adds to the experience!


My friends black bass looked beautiful on the plate, and tasted delicious too.  It was much more flavorful than the salmon, though I liked everything that came with the salmon better.  The black bass was served with green onion miso, chili, grapefruit and cucumber slaw, grilled spring onions and lotus chips (crunchy, salty and delicious).

(Presentation adds so much!)

At this point I was stuffed (again, lobster scramble = huge portion!) But I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, so it was inevitable so I would stuff myself to an uncomfortable level by eating every last bit of David Burke’s incredible desserts. I had read online all about the cheesecake lollipop tree, which is meant for two people, so we ordered that first and foremost.

It came with 9 different cheesecake lollipops! 3 each! So sweet, so delicious, so rich, so fattening, so great. And I’m not even a big fan of cheesecake! The most interesting part of this dessert was the bubblegum whipped cream that it was served with. I don’t like bubblegum, and I don’t really understand where the idea of bubblegum whipped cream with chocolatey cheesecake pops came from, but it was certainly unique and tasted EXACTLY like bubblegum.

*My friend said if you eat dark chocolate with bubblegum the bubblegum disappears in your mouth- just in case you’d like to try it out.

(Awesome desserts!)

Shockingly, I passed on the peanut butter and jelly mousse bar because I had read that it wasn’t very peanut buttery or jelly-y for that matter.  Instead, we went with the salted caramel and roasted peach parfait and oh dear lord am I glad we did.  It was incredible. There was a little pot of salted caramel to pour over the parfait that was pretty much like crack.  And the ginger oat crumble on top? Also crack.

I was a huge fan of everything I tried here.  The atmosphere, the presentation and the food all were spot on, in my opinion.  And for the price, it was an absolutely steal.

If you visit David Burke Fishtail, which I recommend you do, make sure you take some of their peanut brittle on the way out! If you’re like me and like things that are almost sickeningly sweet, you’ll be a BIG fan.

Bravo Fishtail, you set the bar high for the rest of my Restaurant Week!