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Let David Burke's "Caesaristas" Toss Your Salad Tableside

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 9, 2012 5:20PM

Tableside caesar salad service is a relic of a (sadly) bygone era, when waiters in jackets mixed, flambe-d and de-boned dishes onto silver platers at the table. It used to be a mark of a fine restaurant, almost a contest - how many dishes can we move out of the kitchen and onto the floor. Steak diane, crepes suzette, cherries jubilee - the names are a litany of lost treasures. But David Burke's Primehouse is doing its best to reverse the decline. The restaurant has introduced a new group of "Caesaristas" who will create custom salads at your table.

Ok, the name is kind of dumb. But the salads aren't. Made with fresh ingredients and mixed to taste, the Caesar salads are a triumph. Purists may gripe about a few things - the salads can have anchovies (the original had none) the eggs actually dispense a pre-mixed, coddled egg dressing (food safety, bah) and you can get the salad topped with any number of fancy proteins. But, dishes evolve - and it's tasty enough that we don't care.

While the egg part of the dressing is pre-made, it's cutely put back into the eggshells to keep the experience pure. And the rest of the fixings are totally custom - garlic, lemon juice (with lemons encased in little booties), anchovy, olive oil, worchestershire sauce, parmesan, salt, pepper. Everything good in life combined in one salad, which is why we've always been fans of this classic recipe.

Unfortunately (like most things at David Burke's Primehouse) it doesn't come cheap. The basic salad, a hefty portion, is $14, and proteins cost more. You can get grilled shrimp, butter poached lobster, seared foie gras or fried oysters, plus the usual chicken and steak. It's definitely a splurge, for a special occasion or a treat-yourself lunch. But for a meal, a show and a bit of history, it just might be worth it.

David Burke's Primehouse is located at 616 North Rush.