The Palm Beach Post
One of New York’s most iconic chefs will open a fine dining restaurant on Lake Park’s sleepy waterfront.
Chef and restaurateur David Burke, famous for his bold and often playful contributions to modern American cuisine, will bring his talents to the upcoming Nautilus 220 luxury residential development. He plans a June 2024 debut for the not-yet-named restaurant.
“We’re playing around with three or four names. It’s going to have a nautical name, something related to water,” says the exuberant, James Beard Award-winning chef.
Burke’s hospitality portfolio currently includes 17 restaurants in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Colorado and Saudi Arabia. His flagship restaurant, David Burke Tavern, is in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“He is a successful and passionate culinary master who will create a true destination restaurant for our residents and the community,” Peter Baytarian, managing partner for Nautilus’ developer, Forest Development, said in an official statement.
The 7,500-square-foot Lake Park restaurant will not share the name of any of his other establishments, says Burke.
“It’ll be a new name with a new logo. It will have some signature dishes, a wood-burning oven,” says Burke, who first made his mark on New York’s culinary landscape in 1988 as a 26-year-old phenom chef at the legendary River Café in Brooklyn.
He would wow diners with his edible sculptures, parfaits of salmon and tuna tartare with crème fraiche and landmark dishes like pastrami-smoked salmon.
He would go on to create other now-iconic dishes including cheesecake lollipops with bubble-gum whipped cream. Several decades and many restaurant ventures later, the bursts of ideas keep coming.
“We’ll probably get creative with some Florida-style dishes, maybe some throwback Breakers inspiration, maybe some Mango Gang references. Some Latin flair. A little bit of fun,” he said by phone this week. “Stone crabs. Grouper throats. Just throwing things against the wall right now.”
For those who have followed Burke’s prolific career: Yes, he plans to include his famous clothesline bacon on the menu. And his signature Himalayan salt blocks will make an appearance, says Burke, who popularized the use of the pink salt blocks for serving grilled meats and patented a dry-aging technique using Himalayan salt, lining the meat-aging rooms with the pink bricks.
“The pink Himalayan salt walls will be in there,” he says of the Lake Park restaurant, which he envisions as having an “ultra-modern brasserie feel, with a nod to the sunshine and sea.”
He says he’s also loving the idea of decorating with blown glass and is considering adding a blown glass studio by the kitchen for restaurant and possible retail use.
“These are just ideas for now. But I’m thinking of something artistic that would pique people’s curiosity,” says Burke, who joins a wave of New York and other big-city restaurants opening locations in Palm Beach County.
His upcoming restaurant is sprawled across two levels at Nautilus 220. It will offer marina and waterfront views from its al fresco terrace and its floor-to-ceiling dining room windows.
Those views and sense of place sold Burke on the location, he says.
“You’re looking out on the water and thinking, ‘This is not so bad,’” says Burke, who purchased a pool-level condo in the Nautilus building.
Compared to the rest of his career, his Florida restaurant adventures have been few. They include opening the South Beach outpost of Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in 1997 as managing partner, a position that kept him in the area for about five years, he says.
“I’ve always liked Florida. Our brand resonates in Florida,” says Burke, who has headlined various events at the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival in years past.
Presently under construction at 220 Lake Shore Drive, the Nautilus development sits well north of West Palm Beach’s and Palm Beach’s buzzy dining districts and just south of the expanding restaurant scene in Palm Beach Gardens.
And while Lake Park’s own small entertainment hub is just a mile to the west, its eclectic art/brewery/dining scene seems a world away from the luxuries planned at Nautilus, where pre-construction prices for residences run from $800,000 to more than $3 million, according to the development’s website.
“I think we found a great spot,” says Burke. “I like that we’re not in a saturated area.
David Burke restaurant
The yet-to-be-named restaurant by New York star chef David Burke is expected to open in June 2024, once the Nautilus 220 residential complex is constructed.
Nautilus 220 will be located at 220 Lake Shore Dr. in Lake Park; Nautilus220.com
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