Drifthouse by David Burke

Drifthouse by David Burke
1485 Ocean Avenue
Sea Bright, NJ 07760
(732) 530-9760

Owners David Burke and Bill Stavola

Opened Feb. 27, 2018

Signature Dish Maple Bacon on a Clothesline

David’s Favorite Dish Roast Chicken

Seating Capacity 142

Hours Tuesday –Thursday: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday –Sunday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday Brunch & Lunch Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Monday


World-renowned chef and Hazlet native David Burke has re-established a culinary presence in Monmouth County, partnering with Bill Stavolaof the wellknown Stavola contracting company in opening the Drifthouse in Sea Bright.

Located on the site of the former Ama Risto­rante in the Driftwood Cabana Club, David Burke and Bill Stavola revamped the dining space to allow patrons to soak in the ocean­front ambiance, while brightening up the dining area and refining the menu to offer some lighter dishes that still span the food spectrum.

The Drifthouse opened this year, as an un­planned coincidence, on Burke’s birthday, Feb.27. The early response from the community has been encouraging, which he says is an ex­citing prospect for him.

“We’ve regrouped and have a brand that people appreciate. We have an outstanding team, and it’s a good feeling to execute our con­cept along the shore,” said Burke, who closed his former Rumson restaurant Fromagerie in 2015 after being in business for more than 30 years.
Burke retained the staff from Ama, while sprinkling in some former members from Fro­magerie. David’s brother, Robert Burke, is theexecutive chef who leads the kitchen in crafting the restaurant’s entire cuisine, including its pas­tas, from scratch.

Some popular menu items include the Maple Bacon on a Clothesline appetizer, seasoned withhoney, pepper, lemon and pickles, main courses of roasted branzino, chicken, or steak, salt aged with Burke’s patented technique, as well as scrumptious desserts such as baked Alaska and Creamsicle crème brulee. The menu changes seasonally, and specials are routinely offered.

Inside the Drifthouse’s second floor dining room, nautical décor and table centerpieces comprised of natural salt complement the ocean views. Paintings of other celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and John Lennon also line the walls, providing a fa­miliar, inviting atmosphere to the elegant din­ing space. An outdoor dining area with its own bar is open every day, weather permitting, and live music will also be offered on Tuesdays throughout the fall.

Burke said he didn’t necessarily have his eye on renovating Ama, but after consulting with Bill Stavola, whose family has owned and oper­ated the club property since 1957, the two de­cided redesigning the restaurant could help it realize its full potential. But Burke said that project is far from complete.

During the winter, a chef’s table that can ac­commodate about 10 guests in the kitchen will be built, and plans to construct an outdoor TikiBar that will move indoors from fall to spring,are also underway.

“We’re happy with the results so far, but res­taurants are always a work in progress,” Burkesaid. “We’re always chasing happiness for our customers. That’s our number one goal.”

Although Burke owns restaurants around the county, including one at the Trump Interna­tional Hotel in Washington, D.C, another inManhattan and two more in Saratoga, NewYork, serving the Monmouth County clientele strikes a special chord with him.

“It’s great to be back home at the shore,” he said.

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28 Nov 2018