Along with opening a new restaurant in White Plains, N.Y., and another in Manhattan, acclaimed chef-restaurateur David Burke has brought his flair to Rhode Island, his first location in the state. Earlier this month, Burke and David Burke Hospitality Management (DBHM) took over food and beverage operations at the Preserve Sporting Club & Residences in Richmond, R.I., including the 3,500-acre luxury resort’s centerpiece restaurant, Double Barrel Kitchen.
“I got a phone call from the owner of the Preserve Sporting Club & Residences, Paul Milhailides, last fall,” Burke told Wine Spectator via email. “It’s a great partnership. He’s got an energy that matches mine.”
Now called Double Barrel Steak by David Burke, the restaurant offers an overhauled menu featuring everything from regional favorites (lobster dumplings, oysters dressed with crab) to dishes like burrata and prosciutto salad and butternut squash ravioli. This is, of course, in addition to a wide range of steaks that are Himalayan salt–aged on site (from an 8-ounce filet mignon to a 40-ounce tomahawk), classic steak-house fixings and other seafood options such as swordfish chops—a Burke mainstay. “The location itself is the main inspiration,” said Burke, “the surrounding nature and resources, like Rhode Island’s fishing and agriculture industries.”
The new menu is a fitting match for a Preferred Hotels & Resorts destination that is centered around the outdoors and country sport. “[Burke is] perfect for a high-class, white-glove, sportsman–oriented property,” said Milhailides. “He loves working with game and saltwater fish.”
General manager Steve Lieberman oversees a list of more than 200 wines, distilled from a cellar worth around $1 million. The main focus is on steak-friendly reds from regions such as Napa Valley, the Rhône Valley, Bordeaux and Piedmont, but also well represented are Burgundy, Sonoma Pinot Noir, dessert wines and more. “We are privileged to have adopted the Preserve’s list, which is a great Old World classic one, like that of a collector who’s been curating it for 20 years, with a lot of big red verticals,” Lieberman explained, noting that he plans to add picks like Malbec and Petite Sirah, working with the resort’s director of operations. “Our goal is to make it the best list in Rhode Island and one of the top on the East Coast.”
The restaurant stretches across an impressive 7,000-square-foot space, with seating for 350. In addition to wood and leather elements and original art depicting horses, the space now boasts a new Himalayan salt wall, a hallmark of Burke’s restaurants.
Alongside Double Barrel Steak, the Preserve’s room service and special events, Burke’s team will oversee operations at the resort’s H2O Café, White Birch Café, Bourbon-focused Maker’s Mark Hobbit Houses and Cohiba & Laphroaig Safari Tasting Tents, where guests pair small plates with Scotch and cigars.
“The natural beauty of the Preserve is astounding, and it puts people in a relaxed, happy mood,” said Burke. “It’s up to us to assure that continues and actually improves. They’re in a special place, and they expect a special dining experience; we have to meet—and are meeting—those expectations.”
Double Barrel Steak joins a wide collection of restaurants, bars and event spaces where the culinary vision is led by David Burke and his team, including the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence–winning Red Horse by David Burke in Rumson, N.J.—C.D.
Left Bank Brasserie Expands into Oakland, Calif.
Since the first Left Bank Brasserie opened in 2003 on San Jose’s vibrant Santana row, the Parisian-inspired restaurant—today a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner—has gained two Award of Excellence–winning siblings in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Larkspur and Menlo Park. On Feb. 17, a fourth location opened in Oakland’s Jack London Square, a waterfront dining and retail area.
Owned by Vine Hospitality, the brasseries are part of a group of diverse establishments throughout the Bay Area, including two Best of Award–winning LB Steak restaurants and Award of Excellence winner Meso Modern Mediterranean.
“When I first became aware of the opportunity at Jack London Square, I was thrilled by the thought of bringing our brasserie to such a vibrant part of Oakland,” said Left Bank Brasserie and LB Steak CEO Obadiah Ostergard. “The moment we saw the space, we knew it was perfect for Left Bank. Who wouldn’t want oysters and Champagne on this beautiful waterfront?”
The all-day menu will look familiar to those who have dined at Left Bank’s other restaurants, with dishes such as the popular “Left Bank Petit Plateau,” a platter of raw seafood (including oysters) for up to three guests. In addition to brasserie hallmarks like salade niçoise, moules frites and boeuf Bourguignon, executive chef Larry Finn has added a personal touch with new menu items like the poulet frit, fried chicken served with root vegetable remoulade inspired by his experience dining at New York’s Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken.
The wine program, too, sticks to Left Bank’s roots, with an impressive mix of selections primarily sourced from California and France. However, wine and spirits director Serena Harkey said the Jack London space allowed them to offer more, including a dedicated Champagne room. “We currently have just under 150 wine selections, but I hope to double this over the year,” she detailed, noting that Oakland is a community of wine lovers. “We aspire to provide them with one of the more seriously impressive, yet approachable programs in the area.”
Per Harkey, cocktails are also a highlight at the new restaurant, including twists on American standards, as well as alcohol-free options “that have the look and feel of a cocktail without the buzz.”
The restaurant occupies the former Belcampo Meat Co. space, a sprawling 5,500-square-foot warehouse with an additional 2,000 square feet for outdoor dining along the waterfront. The interior of the restaurant is reminiscent of a classic French bistro, with mosaic tiled floors, tin ceilings, wooden bistro tables and tufted leather banquettes. In addition, Ostergard said the team refreshed Left Bank’s typical design palette, opting for light blues and deep hues of red, along with custom wallpaper with images of the Port of Oakland and Bay Bridge.
Francophiles can also enjoy Left Bank’s “Fun and French” events throughout the year, including Bastille Day, an Oyster Fête and a celebration of the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau.—A.R.