A few weeks back, we wrote a preview of DBGB, the Daniel Boulud pop-up that’s residing inside Downtown Miami’s db Bistro Moderne. Known for its Americana fare like housemade sausages, giant burgers, and lots and lots of beer, the New York/D.C. restaurant is taking over the 305 now through July 31.
This marks the second year that DBGB has made an appearance at db Bistro, and the first year we get to savor these items. After recently checking out the menu and stuffing our faces, we’re hoping DBGB opens a Miami outpost very soon.
The DBGB offerings, available 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily at the lounge and dining room, are ample. Whatever you and your party’s tastes, there’s something for everyone. We had no trouble finding items to please both our palettes.
We started off our meal with some light bites, opting for the tuna crudo and sweet and sour eggplant. The crudo’s plating was phenomenal: delicate pieces of tuna laid out like an abstract painting. This atop a wide brush stroke of spicy Harissa-sesame sauce with spirals of cucumber, radish and mango cooling the dish. It tasted as good as it looked — which can also be said for the equally beautiful eggplant.
Now, we’ve had many a wedge salad and DBGB’s is quite possibly the best one we’ve had — ever. The salad was incredibly light and yet flavorful. The lettuce was crunchy and delicate. It might sound weird, but it tasted like you were biting into sheets of water (a good thing). The dressing, which makes or breaks a wedge salad in our opinion, was perfection. It was creamy but not heavy and had just the right seasoning. The bacon bits and walnuts sprinkled on top pushed the salad over the top. The saltiness of the bacon and the nuttiness of the walnut added another dimension of taste.
We knew that the second half of our meal would be very meat-heavy so we made sure to order some veggies to feel healthy. The grilled kale salad was perplexing. The leafy green is grilled and then chilled, confusing our mouths when we tasted the charcoal on the cold kale. However, keep eating: Your taste buds get past this and the salad really grows on you.
On to the mains. There are a plethora of housemade sausages offered on the menu, all ground and cased in-house. We went with a trio: the Vermont, the Thai and the Beaujolaise. The Vermont is basically breakfast for dinner. You’ve got a creamy sausage paired with a velvety hash brown. It all just melts in your mouth.
The Thai sausage has a mild kick the moment you bite into it. Interestingly, the rice that accompanies the dish was much spicier than the sausage. It was very tasty but fair warning: If you don’t like spicy, you may want to skip this one.
Of the three sausages, the Beaujolaise was our favorite. The sausage was the perfect mix of sweet, salty and a hint of smokey. With the mushrooms, lentils, and gravy, the dish felt like a complete meal.
Ah, the Spaghetti Alla Chitarra — a pasta dish from rock-n-roll heaven. It’s a hearty portion of handmade pasta tossed in spicy tomato sauce created by The Ramones’ Marky Ramone. Yep, The Ramones. The lemon ricotta balances the spiciness of the sauce while the Greek olives add a nice bit of saltiness. It is a must!
We had to order a burger for good measure despite our stomachs saying otherwise. We went with The Piggy, a beef patty topped with BBQ pulled pork. Sadly and surprisingly, this was the weakest dish of the night. The meat was bland and the pork could have definitely used some BBQ sauce. It’s possible we caught it on a bad night — our peers loved it on previous visits — but we’d rather opt for the Frenchie next time. On the plus side, though, the fries were awesome: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and salted just right.
All was forgiven with the deliciousness of the Baked Alaska — we had to make room for the flaming dessert. Presented in a literal blaze of glory, the dessert was filled with a moist layer of sponge cake and a palette-cleansing mix of pistachio gelato and raspberry sorbet. It was a wonderfully light finish to our overall satisfying meal. Word to the wise: Don’t try to set the Baked Alaska on fire a second time. It won’t work. We tried.