Burke & Wills is located at 226 W 79th Street, 646-823-9251, http://www.burkeandwillsny.com and is open seven days a week for cocktails, bar snacks, dinner, late night and weekend brunch: Mon-Wed 4pm-midnight; Thurs-Fri 4pm-2am; Sat 11am-2am, Sun noon-midnight. For more information, on private parties and special events, please contact Matilda Boland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploration is at the heart of Burke & Wills. Named for the pioneering adventurers who made an expedition across Australia in 1860, both the cuisine and the atmosphere at this neighborhood gem are shaped by the influences of the 1850s Gold Rush, post WWI immigration from Greece and Italy, and 20th Century Southeast Asia.
Owner Tim Harris and partner Matilda Boland (both formerly of Bondi Road, Sunburnt Cow and Sunburnt Calf) offer a complete experience not typically found on the Upper West Side, combining inspired modern Australian cuisine, world-class wines from the Southern hemisphere, craft beers and innovative artisanal cocktails. Offering three experiences in one, Burke & Wills contains a casual bar, a fine dining room, and The Manhattan Cricket Club, an exclusive cocktail lounge on the second floor. In each area, guests experience top-notch service and a spirit of fun, in a setting that is casual enough for guests to relax, but formal enough for quality service.
Harris, the very hands-on Director of Operations, who grew up in the restaurant business in Australia, can be found in the front of the house, behind the bar, on the floor, and helping guests to select wine. He worked closely with Executive Chef Rodrigo Nogueira (a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, who previously cooked at Montmartre, the Monkey Bar, Colicchio and Sons and Resto, and is of Brazilian descent) to create a menu that is seasonal, produce-driven, fresh and approachable with Mediterranean and Southeast Asian influences, and also features Australian ingredients such as kangaroo and barramundi.
Guests have a choice of experiences: In the front room, you can belly up to the long bar with plenty of seating and cozy two tops, a DJ booth, and reclaimed wood ceiling for a daily changing raw bar selections—oysters, little neck clams, shrimp cocktail or Jonah crab claws. Or choose from a selection of bar snacks such as toasts topped with chicken liver mousse with pickled onions, beef tartare with smoked egg and capers, and crispy pork belly with blue cheese and dates, in addition to flavor-packed bites such as crispy crab beignet accompanied by Japanese mayo and bonito flakes, creamy textured salt cod croquettes with a piquant h, pep h arissa for dipping or vegetarian risotto fritters with tomato jam.
The innovative yet creative cocktails are the invention of renowned mixologist and partner Greg Seider (Summit Bar, La Bernardin, The Mercer Kitchen and author of Alchemy in a Glass). Inspired by what’s coming out of the kitchen, Seider creates innovative yet accessible cocktails such as the Bushfire Margarita (Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, fresh lime, orange bitters and agave) and the Sydney Sour (Temptation bourbon, peach bitters, fresh lemon and agave).
In the more formal, yet still approachable dining room, you’ll find slate gray banquets and distressed stained wood floors under a sky-lit atrium. Harris scoured library archives for the photographs and paintings of flora and fauna, and maps of Australia. There the menu is more expansive. In addition to the raw bar, small plates include fork-tender, mouth-watering lamb crépinette with roasted cauliflower, capers and a deeply flavored lamb jus as well as very lean, nicely gamey kangeroo loin with roasted mushrooms and fingerling potatoes, cooked sous vide and then pan-seared to order. Best of all starters is a superb Foie Gras Torchon with seared scallop, confit lady apple, honey, brioche. As good as any 3 star restaurant in the city. Also wonderful were the 1/2 Dozen East or West Coast oysters with a cucumber mignonette and a lovely Jonah Crab Claw.
One special feature of the kitchen is the rotisserie used to create daily specials such as whole roasted joints of lamb or beef. A regular and popular menu item is rotisserie chicken brined with aromatics, and served with roasted patty pan squash in brown butter sauce, but the rotisserie is also inventively used with vegetables—for example, in the rotisserie carrot salad, with dates, oranges and pistachio vinaigrette and in the side dish of rotisserie beets.
Another classic signature large plate is spiced duck breast served with farrotto (a risotto-like side made with farro), roasted turnips and honey-turnip puree. Absolutely the best duck breast we’ve ever tasted. The pan-roasted scallops, mussels and clams show Asian influences with fennel and ginger broth. Meanwhile, the ‘roo burger, makes excellent use of Australia’s distinctive protein, blending the lean meat with pork, and topping it with a housemade tomato jam based on Tim’s mom’s recipe, and pickled onions. The burger comes with a side of irresistible triple-fried potatoes, as thick as streak fries, t, tthat should find their way onto every table.
Desserts are delicious and include a deconstructed interpretation of the whipped cream, passion fruit curd and fruit-layered Pavlova, an affogato (Kahlua ice cream from Il Laboratorio del Gelato doused with Kobrick’s dark-roasted espresso doused atop an icebox brownie), bomboloni filled with dulce de leche, and off-the-menu treats available by request.
For those desiring assistance with the wine list, Tim Harris is happy to guide them—and to offer a brief history of wines of the Southern hemisphere, a history that began in 1788 when Cpt. Arthur Phillip landed in Sydney with The First Fleet of settlers to the colony of New South Wales, and bringing with him the first grape vines from Brazil and The Cape of Good Hope and continued with phylloxera-resistant vines, leaving Australia as the home to some of the oldest vines in the world—and along with its neighbors New Zealand and South Africa, with an enviable reputation for innovative winemaking techniques. In addition to the impressive bottle list, diners can choose a selection of sparkling, white, rose and reds by the glass or carafe.We enjoyed an amazing white Bordeaux style Sauvignon, Semillon blend for just $56. ( Blend: 72% Sauvignon Blanc, 24% Semillon and 4% Vermentino. 2013 Route du Van Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon, Yarra Valley, Australia), and a sexy sparkling rose, served by the glass upstairs. For updates on wine dinners, tasting and events at Burke & Wills, follow the folks on Facebook and on Twitter @burkeandwillsny.
Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays and includes the special offer of four brunch cocktails for $15 with any entrée. Other specials features include $1 oysters at happy hour, live jazz, and DJs playing music on Thurs-Sat to set the mood in the bar and for the late-night dining scene, which includes a menu of featured bar snacks.
A third type of experience can be found at the Manhattan Cricket Club, an escapist throwback to the Colonial Era, the British Empire at the turn of the 20th Century, an homage to the classic cricket clubs in Australia complete with cricket paraphernalia and photographs of players.
Housed in an apartment restored to its original layout and aesthetic, it is located on the second floor, accessed through a stairway behind an upholstered door (hidden in plain sight), the Manhattan Cricket Club is a place where guests can experience the full range of Greg Seider’s classic and bespoke cocktails, including his special tea cocktails, as well as boutique champagnes, exotic aperitifs, top shelf spirits and wines in a luxurious setting. The décor includes a wood paneled living room and library (with real books) with an oriental rug, gold brocade wallpaper, leather sofas, and all the comforts of home. The marble bar is filled with everything you can imagine and more—handcrafted tinctures, syrups and bitters, garnishes, imported teas, and the proper style of ice for each drink.
Here drinks designed exclusively by Greg Seider for the club are built with care: The Rolling Stones-inspired Just A Kiss Away is composed with a house infusion of lemongrass and black pepper, Plymouth gin, lemon juice, and topped with cava. The Bonfire Of The Calamities has the fresh flavor of Southeast Asia, with kaffir lime-infused Russian Standard vodka, fresh lemon, agave, and smoky bonfire spritz. Paying special tribute to the traditional test cricket match tea break and colonial India, I’ll Have Another features Santa Teresa 1796 rum, garam masala spiced syrup, fresh Lime, club soda and shaved ginger. A selection of small plates including cheese platters, salmon rillettes, assorted housemade pickles and mixed olives are offered to accompany the drinks.
A private club that is open to the public, the Manhattan Cricket Club offers exclusivity without snobbery. When space permits, all are welcome. It is a gentleman’s club where women are equally welcome. But membership does have its privileges: priority seating with guests on a walk-in basis, reservations, access to member only events, gatherings and tastings, private liquor lockers, the opportunity to book a room or the entire apartment for private functions, and private menus with advanced ordering. Membership is your reward. For more information on how to join, visit the website at http://www.mccnewyork.com. Certainly one of the best restaurant options on the West Side! Here is the other website.
Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.
Dinner Menu Subject To Change
1/2 Dozen $15.00
East or West Coast oysters
1/2 Dozen $10.00
classic cocktail sauce
Jonah Crab Claw
apples, pecorino, walnut vinaigrette
lemon custard, smoked hon shimeji mushrooms
Rotisserie Carrot Salad
dates, orange, pistachio vinaigrette
Braised Lamb Belly
asparagus, romaine, pickled mustard seeds
palm oil, coconut, pickled vegetables
sunchokes, bacon, maple sherry
Foie Gras Torchon
seared scallop, confit lady apple, honey, brioche
onion subise, roasted mushrooms, fingerling potatoes
Housemade Potato Gnocchi
roasted mushrooms, pecorino, grilled scallion
New York Strip
eggplant puree, fingerling potatoes, chimichurri
red pepper romesco, baby carrots
roasted baby patty pan squash, brown butter sauce
The ‘Roo Burger
tomato jam, shaved onions, triple fried chips
Pan Roasted Scallops
mussels, clams, fennel and ginger broth
Spiced Duck Breast
farotto, roasted turnips, honey turnip puree
Roasted Leg of Lamb
rotisserie beets, sauteed kale, lamb jus
BRUNCH SPECIAL: Add $15 to any entrée & enjoy 4 brunch drinks!
Bloody Mary / Bloody Maria
Screwdriver / Greyhound
Burke & Wills’ Mimosa
Beer & Wine
Willowglen Sparkling Brut
House Red/White Wine
Australian Iced Coffee
espresso, milk, ice cream over ice
Burke & Wills Specialties
Add $4 per drink for brunch special
Greenall’s London Dry Gin, Lemon, Hibiscus Cordial, Willowglen Sparkling Brut
Bitter & Twisted
Aperol, Grapefruit Bitters, Agave, Willowglen Sparkling Brut
A Proper Pimms
Pimms No 1 Cup. Lemonade, Ginger Ale, Cucumber
Non – Alcoholic
rosehip, berry & hibiscus cordial. lemon. club soda
peach oolong infusion, lemon, club soda, ginger beer
Fresh Orange or Grapefruit Juice
Available Monday-Friday 4pm-late and Saturday & Sunday 5pm-late
honey, candied walnuts
goat cheese, hazelnuts
apples, pickled ginger
Shrimp on Toast
red pepper, greek olives
smoked egg, capers
Chicken Liver Mousse
grilled bread, pickled onions
Crispy Pork Belly
blue cheese, dates
Foie Gras Butter
honey turnip puree
pequillo pepper gremolatta
cornichon, pickled apple
japanese mayo, bonito flakes
japanese mayonnaise, pickled ginger, bonito
beets, scallion vinaigrette
Grilled Squid Salad
Salt Cod Croquette
harissa, pickled celery
asparagus, tomato jam
fresno chilli dressing
WARM CHOCOLATE CAKE 8
orange syrup, amaretto crunch gelato
please allow up to 15 minutes for heating
dulce de leche, cinnamon sugar, vanilla ice cream
icebox brownie,Kahlua gelato, espresso
add a shot of liquer $6
passion fruit curd, fresh berries, whipped cream
PASSIONFRUIT TART 8
carmelized sugar, berry salad
DeBortoli “Noble One” Botrytis Semillon 2008 (375ml) 12gls / 45btl
KOBRICK’S COFFEE 4
espresso, cappuccino, café latte, americano, flat white, decaf.
RARE TEA CELLAR TEAS 4
english breakfast, earl grey, chamomile, jasmine, French mint, pure
hibiscus, fields of france rooibos, georgia peach rooibos
follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram @burkeandwills
DIGESTIFS & LIQUERS
Taylor Fladgate10yr Tawny 10
RL Buller Fine Tokay, Rutherglen, Australia 12
RL Buller Fine Muscat, Rutherglen, Australia 12
RL Buller Victoria Tawny, Rutherglen, Australia 12
Grand Marnier 11
COGNAC & EAU DE VIE
Cognac, Piere Ferrand Ambre 14
Cognac, Remy Martin VSOP 12
Calvados, Chateau du Breuil 13
BLENDED & IRISH WHISK(E)Y
Dewars White Label 9
Johnny Walker Black Label 10
Jamieson 12yr 15
Redbreast 12yr 18
SINGLE MALT SCOTCH
The Glenrothes Select Reserve (Speyside) 15
The Glenrothes 1998 (Speyside) 19
Macallan 12yr (Highland) 12
Oban 14yr (Highland) 15
Auchentoshan Three Woods (Lowland) 14
Highland Park 12yr (Orkney) 12
Highland Park 18yr (Orkney) 17
Laphroaig 10yr (Islay) 14
Lagavulin 16yr (Islay) 21
Yamazaki 12yr 17
Yamazaki 18yr 65
Hakushu 12yr 17
Hibiki 12yr 17
BOURBON & AMERICAN WHISK(E)Y
Alibi Bourbon 9
Jack Daniels 9
Buffalo Trace Bourbon 10
Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon 12
Bulleit Bourbon 12
Blanton’s Bourbon 14
Jefferson Reserve Bourbon 16
Koval Single Barrel Bourbon 16
Koval 4-Grain Whiskey 18
Rittenhouse Rye 10
Bulleit Rye 12
Whistlepig Rye 10yr 16