Colin Devlin, the owner of Williamsburg's beloved DuMont, named his latest venture after Steven Millhauser's 1996 novel, Martin Dressler, about an up-from-nothing hotelier in turn-of-the-century Manhattan. - Nick Paumgarten
Last night I visited Dressler with a friend of mine, forgetting that I had actually already been there a few years ago.
After walking in, the attractive and affable hostess handled things well. I would have preferred for her to wait on us all evening, rather than our mediocre server.
I had a pan-roasted sweetbread appetizer, served on a bed of cauliflower and a bean puree of some sort. This was an excellent appetizer. My only compliment is that the tastes became a bit too muddied when combined and didn't hold their own, but the final taste from said combination was quite good.
For the entree I had the Cider Braised Pork Shank with braised red cabbage, creamy spaetzle & whole grain mustard. The pork was tender and easily fell off the bone, but the taste of it wasn't superb. The spaetzle was great and in combination with the cabbage tasted really "homey" and comforting. Overall I would say this was a good dish with the spaetzle being the best element but pleasurable as a whole.
For dessert we split the Warm Banana Tart Tatin with rhum ice cream, and macadamia nut brittle. I was excited to think about the nut brittle with the ice cream, but the dish didn't hit me as expected. I accompanied it with a Tokaji wine, which was excellent, as they so often are. The tatin was a bit difficult to eat and the crumb wasn't elegant and detracted from the experience. Next time I would go for something different, like the panna cotta or maybe even the cheese cake.
Our service was bland. She served, but that was it. The interior design is a bit too ornamental for my tasteâ€”the chandeliers are particularly uglyâ€”and give the impression that there will be more flare to your fare than there actually is in the style of food. It's sort of a French or Austrian turn-of-the-century inspired design, but for no apparent reason. Don't bother checking out the website photosâ€”they are embarrassingly bad.
I would return to this restaurant, and consider it to be one of the many quality destinations in Williamsburg. But, prior to returning, I will visit other restaurants on my list. It would take another visit for me to decide whether or not this has a permanent spot on my list.