Duane Park: My First-Ever Burlesque Show Experience in New York City

Duane Park

My significant other wanted to do something special over the weekend and she decided to take me out to Duane Park on Bowery in Manhattan. She told me she went to this burlesque show for her cousin’s bachelorette party and enjoyed it. She also told me that it was the closest thing to her taking me to a strip club.

And she was right in one way and wrong in another. She was right in that there were 6 seductive performers on stage showing everything outside of their nipples and genitals. They each has pasties on and disrobed as they went through their act. Some of them sang, some of them talked comedy and others did a more complex dance routine. All of them were very talented.

She was wrong in that it didn’t feel like a strip club to me, even one that is classier. It was definitely more upscale than that scene and the food & drink selection was dynamite. Here’s a look at what I (I mean we) ate.

Adams Apple Gypsy Rose Lee British Blonde

Duane Park Course 1: Drinks

Once we arrived at Duane Park, we decided to go to the bar while our food was being prepared. We shared 3 different drinks, though we drank more than just 3. The first one was my favorite: the Adam’s Apple, which consists of apple-infused whiskey, apple cider, maple & thyme. There was a really unique flavor to this one and was appropriate for the season.

The second is the Gypsy Rose Lee, which consists of gin, rose syrup, lime, muddled rose & green apple, and was pretty good though I’m not a huge gin person. The last one is British Blonde, a cocktail with vodka, cocchi americano, matilde peche & lemon that doesn’t resemble any of the blondes I met in London. But it was still pretty flavorful, though my least favorite of the 3 ironically since I’m a vodka guy.

Duane Park Tuna Tartare Roasted Shrimp

Duane Park Course 2: Appetizers

I worked up an appetite looking at the menu. While they had octopus and figs with goat cheese & prosciutto as 2 appetizer choices, we would up wanting to share 2 items, the first being tuna tartare with a side of tahini sauce and long sesame tuilles that was very refreshing.

The second item was much more interesting: roasted shrimp. That might sound boring by itself, but the shrimp were cooked well and came with 2 side items: Georgia cheese grits and garlic sauce. Combining cheese and garlic is always a sure-fire way to enhance any food item and it worked here with perfection.

Duane Park Apple Cider Glazed Salmon Pan Roasted Organic Chicken

Duane Park Course 3: Dinner

By this point, I was ready for dinner. I love fish and don’t have it often as I like, but seeing apple-cider salmon on the menu really perked up my taste buds and it did not disappoint. The fish has nuts on it, as did the side salad that came on the plate and that combination was heavy enough to feel like dinner, yet light enough to leave room for dessert.

As was the pan-roasted organic chicken. This moist & delicious piece of meat was served with a starch I didn’t recognize by look or taste and broccoli rabe. The vegetable was the only flaw on the plate in my opinion since I’m not a fan of how bitter broccoli rabe is and would have definitely preferred some sort of heavier sauce to muddle that flavor profile.

Duane Park Banana Upside Down Cake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Duane Park Course 4: Dessert

I’m rarely one to indulge on dessert, but this night was one time I made an exception. Seeing banana upside down cake on the menu was intriguing and the flavor of it made my night. I don’t like very sweet treats and the cake itself was moist (thanks in part to the delicious sauce and hint of pineapple) and not too overly sweet.

I didn’t eat the dessert my significant other got, but if I have devoured this pumpkin cheesecake if I were a fan of cheesecake. Just look at how good it looks between the cinnamon crumbles, nice portion of whipped cream and that sauce that looks like it would wake you up & motivate you to drive home.

My overall experience at Duane Park was such a good time between the food and the burlesque show performance that it was worth the struggle to find parking in New York City, specifically in the Bowery area. I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you’re looking for an excuse to wear a suit.

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