FOOD: Burke & Wills — Upper West Side [NYC]

tuna tartar

Tuna tartar at Burke & Wills

While discussing what to do on Friday night, wanting to stay in the neighborhood on the Upper West Side, my friend suggested that we try the new place, Burke & Wills, that replaced the Sunburnt Calf.  I had no idea that Sunburnt Calf had closed!  Not that I went there a ton, and I have never been to Sunburnt Cow downtown, but it was still a place I would go to now and again.

Walking in, the setup is still the same, obviously not much you can do about where the bar is, etc.  But it’s MUCH nicer.  Burke & Wills  is definitely not like the Sunburnt Calf anymore, although the food still has that Australian angle.

The host told us that we could sit at the bar while we waited for a table upstairs at the cocktail bar.  We all looked at each other in surprise as we still couldn’t get it out of our heads that this was the old Sunburnt Calf.

The bartender was very nice, and very knowledgable and while we waited we decided to try a couple of appetizers.  We had the tuna tartar and the grilled octopus, both of which were very good.  The portion size was nice and they were both prepared very well.  The tuna tartar had apple in it, which was a surprise I don’t know I really appreciate or not.  But it did give a nice texture to it.


Grilled octopus at Burke & Wills

I don’t think it was actually 45 minutes, had to have been less, and we were brought up to the cocktail lounge upstairs.  There was a coat check, which was nice but not really necessary as we were seated on large couches with plenty of room.  I will say, we were not aware of how expensive the cocktails would be up there ($18!) but they were pretty good.  I don’t think I’m the right person to rate a cocktail bar, but I am getting better–I swear!

Overall, I have mixed feelings about Burke & Wills only because I know what it was before.  But I do think that this a place I would go to again–especially in the winter as it’s really dark and cozy.  I’d like to try dinner there or something more than appetizers.  Who’s with me?!

Burke & Wills
226 West 79th Street
New York, NY 10024