David Burke fabrick, The David Burke Group’s fifth New York City venue, opened its doors yesterday in Midtown. Set on the ground floor of the new Archer New York hotel, in the heart of the city’s Garment District, Chef Adin Langille presents a menu of rustic American dishes spiced with Asian, South American, and Caribbean influences.

The restaurant concept, a collaborative effort between the David Burke Group and the Archer Group involved meetings between principals for the better part of a year. Stephen Goglia, CEO of the David Burke Group, says they discussed how the food and beverage operation will support the Archer brand. 

The end result is a sophisticated—it is in New York, after all—yet playful concept, evident in both the restaurant’s physical design and the menu. The eatery taps into the Garment District’s history, tying the restaurant to the industrial side of New York.

The name fabrick—derived from the Latin faber, meaning “an artisan who works with materials”—is a nod to the brick-and-mortar facades within the district and the city itself, as well as the bricks of pink Himalayan salt that line the patented beef dry-aging room. “This special process we have developed delivers a great finished product,” Goglia says. Burke’s hand in the development of the menu is readily apparent, with its homage to reinvented American classics.

Food: Adventurous Meets Traditional

The menu is engineered similar to the design, delivering an approach that is both modern and traditional, often layered with full-bodied flavors and textures. Guests can choose between snacks, small plates, and more hearty-sized offerings.

For the adventurous palate, there is Grilled Octo Tacos, prepared with pico de gallo, avocado puree, and chipotle aioli; Duck Sticks on a Salt Brick, comprised of duck breast, duck testicle, and sausage; and Tuna Sashimi with yuzu tapioca, wakami salad, and crispy ginger. But there’s also the Archer’s Club Burger, served with cheddar, bacon, primehouse mayo, housemade pickles, and fries, and a Market Salad that layers romaine and parley with bacon, crisp potato, goat cheese, tomato, and shaved button mushrooms.

Other menu highlights include Lobster Bolognese, Roasted Skate Chop, and Lamb Chops & Ribs Vindaloo-BBQ.

The minds behind fabrick wanted to make sure that they did two things, says Goglia. “One, the food had to travel to the core, to the roots of New York City. The food is prepared with a modern flair, a contemporary style, but one that is familiar to New York.”

Secondly, the food—and the restaurant overall—had to fit in with the Archer style, Goglia says. “It had to be very clean, elegant, sophisticated, and approachable.”

Design: Industrial Meets Modern

Tucked behind a courtyard off of 38th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the restaurant circles the lobby of the hotel. As guests walk into fabrick through a dining lounge, they see straight ahead into the open kitchen. To their right is the Bugatti Bar, to their left, hotel registration. In the warmer months, al fresco dining is available on the outdoor patio.

“Glen Coben (founder of Glen & Company) has created an open floor plan that incorporates a lot of elegance and surprises,” Goglia says of the design. “He brings the flair and history of the Garment District into play. There are lots of textures and colors.”

The use of colors and textures adds a sense of whimsy to the modern, industrial feel. The lounge is fashioned with warm leather couches, exposed brick, and colorful accents. Inside the restaurant, red enameled chairs surround wood tabletops. The two-story-tall ceilings are covered in fabric, while black-and-white photos of New York adorn the walls.

Throughout the restaurant, Goglia says, are “hidden surprises, nooks and crannies for guests to discover. It all comes together brilliantly under Glen’s design.”

The restaurant also had to welcome a variety of guests. “It’s okay to walk in off the street, and it also plays to the hotel guest,” Goglia explains. “It works if you’re wearing a suit and tie, here for a business meal, or just want a late lunch. You can come in and have one of our delicious steaks, or share a play of oysters or tuna sashimi. ”

And, says Goglia, it’s also priced moderately, offering guests a variety of price points.

“We spent a lot of time looking at the physical plan and the menu, so that fabrick supports a lot of uses,” says Goglia. “Even if those uses are for the same guest, there are a lot of options. Often when you stay at a hotel, you have breakfast there but also look elsewhere for dinner. This is that place, a destination, where you can meet that someone for dinner.”

By Joann Whitcher

Chef Profiles, Industry News, NextGen Casual, Restaurant Design