AFTER A YEAR IN BUSINESS, DUAL RESTAURANT/BAR OPERATIONS IN SEA BRIGHT INVEST IN SALTWATER TANKS AND A SHORENOVEL HYBRID TAKEOUT PROGRAM
BY CHEF DAVID BURKE
Having concluded our first year at Drift house by David Burke and Nauti Bar in Sea Bright, I thought a small amount of self-congratulation was in order. New Jersey Monthly named Drift house one of New Jersey’s best new restaurants, and other critics have praised us for our remarkable patented dry aged steaks. After we installed our own pizza oven and kitchen in Nauti Bar, folks came flocking to this more casual spot for its own brand of high end food and cocktails.
But restlessness is a shared characteristic between my brother Robert (executive chef) and I, and we were determined not to rest on our laurels. Each year, we’ve committed to introducing something new and exciting. For 2019, we are making a $100,000 commitment to new state of the art sea to table lobster and oyster tanks for Drift house and Nauti Bar, as well as for our new Butcher and Seafood Takeout Program. Something entirely new to the Jersey Shore restaurant scene, it will make steaks, lobsters, and oysters available for customers to cook at home or to have prepared in our kitchens for takeout.
Quality means everything to my brother and me. Controlling that, especially when it comes to super fresh and highly perishable seafood like live lobsters and oysters, requires skilled, intensive labor and no small amount of capital. But we’re fortunate to have the space, the purse, and the support from the Stavola family, who own the Driftwood Cabana Club property where we’re located, right on the beach.
My prime steaks come from the best purveyors of beef in America. (Only two percent of beef sold in the U.S. is prime, and it’s what we serve exclusively.) We age whole sides of beef in specially designed refrigerators lined with pink Himalayan salt bricks the same bricks seen at Drift house as table toppers and steak serving platters. The salty air, combined with a 40 day aging process, makes steaks incredibly tender, with rich buttery umami flavor and both the three inch thick 34 ounce Porterhouse and 18 ounce bone in Kansas City steaks will now be available for takeout.
We’ll also carry a variety of East and West Coast oysters, including the Cape May variety with the lobster and oyster tanks on display in the dining area next to our kitchen. Plucked right from our temperature controlled briny saltwater and served directly to you…there simply isn’t a process that better ensures freshness. And if the decision is to take lobsters home for cooking, we can split them, too. Our chefs, trained specifically to handle lobsters and oysters, will prep them any way a customer might want. In house, they can be prepared in a variety of ways including as a Lobster Steak (seen here) and in the form of our Lobster Milanese. No food at the beach is loved more.
Here’s to us making this your most memorable Jersey Shore summer season ever!