Chef David Burke is bringing his best-in-class fare to South Orange, New Jersey’s 140-year-old Orange Lawn Tennis Club, with the May 14 opening of a new restaurant concept, David Burke at Orange Lawn. The restaurant is open to the public through the club’s dining club membership, which entails a nominal, one-time fee on the first visit, followed by a welcome package, take-home gift, and a 10% discount at all other David Burke restaurant locations.
David Burke at Orange Lawn will serve Burke’s modern American fare with Italian influences, featuring dishes including his patented salt-aged beef, hand-crafted pastas, veggie-forward dishes and his beloved signature items—more on those later.
Keeping it Local
David Burke at Orange Lawn has partnered with local Well-Sweep Herb Farm in Warren County to build an on-site organic herb garden where the fresh produce grown will be utilized in cocktails and dishes at David Burke at Orange Lawn and 40 Love Pub. Well-Sweep Herb Farm is a hidden gem in New Jersey with many exotic herbs that no other farms in the country carry.
Jersey Bites had a chance to connect with Chef David Burke, Orange Lawn Tennis Club President Bruce Schonbraun, and Patrick McDuffee, Nursery Supervisor, Well-Sweep Herb Farm.
JERSEY BITES: What makes the David Burke at Orange Lawn project so appealing to you? What’s different and exciting?
Chef Burke: South Orange is a beautiful town, and I’m happy to be working with the incredible owners at Orange Lawn Tennis Club to serve delicious fare to dining club members. We have a great space and catering and banquet capabilities, so I’m looking forward connecting with the local community and being part of weddings, bar mitzvahs and other special celebrations held here at the historic club.
Bruce Schonbraun: When we assumed ownership of Orange Lawn Tennis Club last year, our primary goals were to return this storied club to its former splendor and cultivate a family-oriented community where our members would [want] to come play, dine, and enjoy time with friends and family.
With David Burke as our new executive chef at Orange Lawn Tennis Club, our historic club is once again making history as the first country/tennis club for which Chef Burke and his outstanding team will oversee the food and beverage and banquet operations. We think that says so much about Orange Lawn and the very special community of members we have here. We could not be more excited that our discerning Tennis Club members, dining club members, and their guests will now be able to enjoy David’s unique, creative approach to dining and entertainment in our beautiful and newly renovated Clubhouse.
We understand the onsite organic herb garden designed by Port Murray, NJ’s Well-Sweep Herb Farm is a passion project. What will you initially be growing and how will the herbs be incorporated?
Patrick McDuffee: This year is Well-Sweep Herb Farm’s fiftieth anniversary, so we are very excited to be partnering with David Burke at Orange Lawn for their on-site herb garden. We have thousands of herbs, citrus and vegetables on our scenic farm in Warren County and the team at Orange Lawn have purchased a selection of exotic orange and lemon trees, along with organic herbs and veggies. We look forward to tasting Chef Burke’s creations using the herbs, fruits and vegetables through Orange Lawn’s dining club membership.
Chef Burke: We are growing a range of herbs and vegetables at our on-site garden that will be incorporated into seasonal dishes and cocktails at David Burke at Orange Lawn and 40 Love Pub. We’ll have golden pineapple sage, lemon verbena, stevia, lemon trees, kumquat trees and much more. We’ll also be growing assorted lettuce including red oak, green oak, and butter crunch; yellow and red heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale, ramps, and so on.
The culinary concept is modern American fare with Italian influences. What are some of the can’t-miss dishes guests shouldn’t pass up?
Chef Burke: Our menu is modern American fare with Mediterranean influences. Our main dining room has a California vibe to it with its open, green, and sunny atmosphere. We’ll have seasonal and local fare including lobster steamed in a bag with squid ink pasta, roast chicken, dry-aged steak, and veal Milanese for the summertime along with fresh and light fish dishes such as roasted branzino, scallops and octopus, and Dover sole. We’ll also be serving some of my signature dishes including clothesline bacon, lobster dumplings, pastrami smoked salmon, and more.
About Orange Lawn Tennis Club
Founded in 1880, Orange Lawn Tennis Club recently underwent an extensive renovation program dramatically enhancing the club grounds, buildings and activities at the club. The storied clubhouse, while maintaining its historic feel, will have a newly decorated and modernized dining room, a gorgeous banquet space that can accommodate up to 225 guests, as well as a sports bar lounge. Sitting on 16 acres, Orange Lawn Tennis Club has 20 tennis courts (14 clay courts, and six grass courts), five paddle courts, an aquatics center, summer camp, a variety of fun programmed sporting activities throughout the summer, and the poolside 40 Love Pub to enjoy al fresco dining. Orange Lawn is a unique social club, with year-round offerings—providing exquisite meals and entertainment for families and friends to enjoy.
Play and Stay
Orange Lawn Tennis Club has undergone extensive renovations to enhance the overall experience for members. The clubhouse will have a newly-decorated and modernized dining room, a gorgeous banquet space for up to 225 guests as well as a sports bar with televisions and couches. 40 Love Pub will offer a larger service and seating area, a pizza oven and more. With the total redesign, members and guests will be able to delight in exquisite meals and entertainment after an afternoon out on the courts.
Orange Lawn Tennis Club
305 North Ridgewood Road
South Orange, NJ 07079
Photo at top, credit: Front of House