Business Food & Wellness South Orange

Club Transformation Continues With Debut of David Burke at Orange Lawn in South Orange

The newly renovated dining room at David Burke at Orange Lawn. Photo: Front of House.

After facing extinction just a few short years ago, the Orange Lawn Tennis Club continues its recent revival with the opening of David Burke at Orange Lawn.

The new restaurant — which is now officially open after some testing over the last month — is not only available to members of OLTC but is also open to the public every day except Sundays and Mondays when it is closed. Members of the public can dine at David Burke at Orange Lawn by enrolling in the dining club program (see more below).

Chef David Burke is a James Beard awarded chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who also studied at École Lenôtre Pastry School in Plaisir, France. Burke has worked with legendary chefs including Pierre Troisgros, George Blanc, Marc Meneau, Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer and Waldy Malouf. At the age of 26, he received Three Stars from the New York Times at the River Café and was chosen by his peers to represent the USA at The International Culinary Competition and won France’s coveted Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplôme d’Honneur — the only American to ever achieve this honor. And the list goes on.

Chef David Burke. Photo: Front of House.

From Park Avenue Café to Davidburke & Donatella, the David Burke Townhouse, David Burke at Bloomingdale’sDavid Burke Tavern (NYC), VENTANAS Restaurant and Lounge (Fort Lee, NJ), Drifthouse by David Burke (Sea Bright, NJ) and other restaurants in NYC and across the country, David Burke has literally put his stamp on fine dining in America. And now he’s doing it in South Orange, NJ.

A recent visit revealed the attention that Burke brings to his inventive but satisfying food — from lobster dumplings, scallops and octopus, pastrami smoked salmon, veal picatta to tea and honey roasted duck to eye-popping desserts such as green donuts served in tennis sleeves, creamsicle crème brulee and cheesecake lollipop tree. The restaurant features modern American fare with Italian influences, as well as a wide selection of wines and a bar serving specialty cocktails such as a rye-based Advantage Lillet and more. Staff were on their toes — if anything went amiss, it was immediately corrected and amends were made.

Crab & Pretzel Raft Cake. Photo: Front of House.

The building and club itself showed obvious improvements throughout. New finishes and furniture inside charmed, as did radio flier wagons outside sporting herbs and greens used by the kitchen.

The opening of the new restaurant comes more than a year after Bruce Schonbraun and a group of investors purchased the club and pledged to keep it open as a club in its entirety rather than develop the lower third of the property as housing  — as has been approved by the Township. “We are totally focused on one and one thing only, that being to restore Orange Lawn as the ‘best in class’ family tennis and social club,” said Schonbraun.

Schonbraun clearly sees Burke as part of the resurgence. “Chef Burke’s unparalleled creativity and extraordinary talent will create an exciting dining and entertainment experience that the surrounding community will truly treasure, and won’t find elsewhere in the Essex County area,” said Schonbraun via a press release. “Our historic club is once again making history.”

Green donuts in tennis sleeves. Photo: Front of House.

Can of Donuts — doughnuts in a tennis sleeveAnd while the club continues to seek members to enjoy its tennis facilities and swimming pool (which, by the way, provides good eats from Burke via the 40 Love Pub as well as a specially-curated craft beer selection), you don’t have to join to eat at David Burke at Orange Lawn.

The restaurant can be enjoyed by enrolling in their dining club program which entails a nominal, one-time fee ($10) on the first visit followed by a welcome package and a 10% discount at select David Burke properties around the country. Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling 973-552-2280 EXT. 318.

David Burke at Orange Lawn

[email protected]


305 N Ridgewood Rd,
South Orange, NJ 07079


Closed Sunday
Monday – Saturday 5-10pm
Weekend Brunch – Sept. 2019

Photo: Front of House.


“Founded in 1880, Orange Lawn Tennis Club has recently undergone 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 6 Grass Courts), 5 Paddle Courts, 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.”

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