Burke & Wills
Credit: Burke & Wills Facebook Page

Can’t afford a trip down under? No worries! Burke & Wills, located in the super fabulous Upper West Side, provides scrumptious Australian-based dishes that will transport you to a land that Nicole Kidman, Olivia Newton-John and Hugh Jackman call home.

Burke & Wills
Credit: Burke & Wills

I first took a peek inside Burke & Wills over two years ago and was impressed by its laid back atmosphere, beautiful ambiance and dishes that were nothing short of absolutely delectable.

Nothing has changed too much inside its stunning space, located at 226 W. 79th street. A sprawling bar awaits you as you enter, perfect for the after hours crowd. The back of Burke & Wills is much more intimate, with green adorning its walls that contrast wonderfully with its brown seating and white tables.

Something that really tickled my fancy was their non-alcoholic beverages. They are named after two famous Aussies: Paul Hogan (Oolong Tea Infusion, Peach, Club Soda, Ginger Beer) and Kylie Minogue (Hibiscus-Wildberry Cordial, Fresh Lemon, Club Soda). Both tasted wonderfully (LOL) and didn’t need alcohol in order to make them good.

Their dinner menu will make you scream AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE! the minute you read what it has to offer. Burke & Wills provides items that might be controversial to some, including a Kangaroo burger, but has other options that are a bit more common to the local folk of New York City.

I’m going to throw out some that are worth trying next time you find yourself there. Something as simple as their Warm Sourdough with salted butter and olives is a great way to start a meal off. Bread to me is the porn of the culinary world, and I’m always tuned in if its made right. This is a great example of that.

Other fab starters include their Crispy Brussels Sprouts (with jalapeno jam and panko) and their Baby Gem Salad (with spring vegetables, bacon, boiled egg and crème freiche vinaigrette).  Both are light, fresh and to the point and a great example of how you can take a simple vegetable and make it fabulous.

If you are looking for a great entree… go the pasta route. Their Potato Gnocchi (with english pea and basil pesto) is divine. I watch enough Top Chef to know that gnocchi is something you really can’t mess up, otherwise it will taste terribly. The chefs at Burke & Wills do the exact opposite with this dish and cook them to perfection with its supporting cast being a great addition.

For more information on Burke & Wills, please check out their official website.