Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Bar Boulud


Nathan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ate here last night, the second night that it's officially open.

When we arrived for our 9:00 reservation it was pretty much full and we were pretty much the youngest people in the room, besides staff.

Decor is a little corporate-sterile (think pre-makeover JG or the original Aquavit sans waterfall).

Staff are plentiful...albeit still getting the kinks worked out. Nothing unexpected there. I think there were multiple sommeliers working.

As a note on its first page informs you, the wine list is very much a work in progress. 13 wines by the glass (not counting dessert wines) at present. probably a couple hundred bottles....I would imagine that this will be heavily filled out with time.

There is a very long bar (though it was mostly full the entire night) so walk-ins shouldn't ever have a problem eating. The front tables are probably intended to be Siberia but they do overlook Broadway.....due to the arrangement of the restaurant, I'm not sure there are any great tables....the main bar or the wine-tasting bar are probably best.

the menu is composed of the fabled charcuterie and then a standard bistro selection (think Balthazar uptown) of soups, salads, fish, steaks and the like. the desserts are, however, more ambitious, numerous and varied (at least on paper) than other NY French bistros...

there are also a couple housemade sausages, boudin noir and the like...

we ordered:

a petit degustation of charcuterie, coquille st. jacques and a navarin.

the charcuterie are good...very good. not mind-blowingly transcendent, but very good. especially the lapin. my charcuterie-phobic companion was converted to the dark side.

both the coquille and the navarin (generously portioned) were exactly what you would expect: well-made, traditional, bistro classics. not something I would travel uptown for but for residents of the UWS it'll beat the heck out of Cafe Luxembourg or Nice Matin.

$140 all-in...including three glasses of wine (a blanc cote du rhone (very nice and mineral-y), an Italian pinot noir (something doesn't seem quite right with that nomenclature) and a chardonnay), tax and tip.

Edited by Nathan (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried it out as a walk in on Tuesday, the first night (report here). It was really just a stop-in for drinks, so we tried far less than Nathan did—only one pâté, in fact. On the strength of that small sample, all the raves seemed justified.

I was dismayed to find so few wines by the glass, and I thought the available selections were rather pedestrian. For a purportedly wine-centric restaurant, I am surprised they could do no better than that.

But they could be serving pepsi and orange juice, and if the rest of the charcuterie is this good, they will have plenty of my business.

Edited by oakapple (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

they're overt about the wine list being preliminary and it seemed like the sommelier was offering additional selections by the glass that weren't printed...

so I imagine with time that will be fleshed out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they're overt about the wine list being preliminary and it seemed like the sommelier was offering additional selections by the glass that weren't printed...

so I imagine with time that will be fleshed out.

Oh, I imagine that too. I just thought it was a peculiar thing for a wine bar not to have figured out in time for opening.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hit BB last night, with a friend. As they've only been open for two days, the service and operation still need a touch of polishing, so I won't go in to that side. The long, deep, slightly narrow space with its vaulted ceiling is just a little reminiscent of a subway station, but not oppressively, though Nathan's right about the general ascepticity.

A shout-out to my fellow foodies, who were much in evidence by their manic neck cranings and the occasional flash of their camera-phones. Otherwise the demographic, as pointed out by Nathan, skewed heavily towards the retired and older. (Mind you, this was at 6, the crowd may get younger as the night gets older.) There was much grumbling at the tables around us about the soft lighting, which made reading the menu a challenge, and the long flight of smooth marble steps down to the lower level restrooms was viewed with dismay. From the timing exhortations to the staff, it was clear that many people were trying the place out before making their way across the street for their habitual naps at the Met or the Phil.

As also noted previously, for a wine bar the wine list is at present miniscule, and the four options I tried were pretty disappointing, particularly the glass of Valle d'Aosta pinot noir, which my unsophisticated palate found completely lacking in any flavor or character. When I admitted this to the (one of the?) sommeliers, he generously offered to exchange it without charge for a glass of the cotes du Rhone, which was a definite improvement. The sparkling "Beaujolais" is just as dull as regular Beaujolais, but my companion's chardonnay (M. Boulud's own cuvee, thank you very much) was quite decent.

The menu is pretty much all brasserie, with apps in the $10+ range, and mains in the $20 - $30, tho more of the latter. There are no less than two pates, one grandmere and one grandpere. Interestingly, the latter "masculine" one with foie gras and truffles was very delicately flavored, to the point of not registering with me at all, while the latter, heavier on the liver, was much heartier and more satisfying. (What this says about French grandparents in general, or Chef Boulud's in particular, could make an interesting thread....). My companion's artichoke soup was very nice, a creamy veloute with chunks of heart and bits of tender leaves in it. With fond memories of all the earthy, cumin-accented morcilla I had in Spain last spring, in comparison the restaurant's boudin noir came off as pallid and wan, though very light and airy. The potato puree and lozenges of caramelized apple provided nice contrast. The standard bread's decent, though not as good as the thick, toasted multigrain you get with the pates. Four glasses of wine, two apps and two entrees came to $60 / person with tax and tip. Portions are modest, but this easily satisfied us.

I very much look forward to revisiting the place in a month or so when the operation's fully up to speed, and trying out the rest of the menu. This will definitely be a valuable addition to the Lincoln Center area.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a late dinner at Bar Boulud last night. The long narrow space is a bit disconcerting when you first walk in - not what I expected at all. Nothing about the decor really struck me, a lot of blonde wood, sleek and simple.

We ordered a degustation of charcuterie to start - I believe we had the grand mere (they were out of the grand pere), one composed of rabbit and vegetables and one made of shredded beef cheek. Oh, and a bit of ham. The grand mere was our favorite. The lapin needed salt and was almost flavorless, while the beef cheek was fine. Maybe I'm being a bit of simpleton, but umm... the ham was ham?

We started with a bottle of Cuvee Daniel champagne - so delicious. With dinner we had a wonderful Burgundy - brimming with strawberries. I have no idea what it was. Sorry! We let one of our beautiful and knowledgeable friends handle the wine.

Ordered 5 dishes, all of the portions were larger than we expected, which was a nice surprise:

Skate: it came highly recommended by our server; a very flavorful and well-executed dish, but not certain I would order it again. Just not my cup of tea, I suppose. I think it was a bit rich for my palate that night.

Pasta w/ cuttlefish: for some reason this one jumped out on the page to a couple of us - not sure why, as it is very simple and something you might normally overlook. Anyway, it was very tasty - not too buttery, with the right amount of acid (lemon) to balance. Big portion.

Frisee salad w/ chicken liver, poached egg: I just had a small bite of this and it was quite lovely. Again, a larger portion than I expected.

Scallops: Only had a bite. Well-prepared and someone mentioned, perfectly cooked. The accompanying red cabbage was especially good.

Coq au vin: AWESOME. ORDER IT. EAT IT. BE HAPPY. It was so good we gave some to a neighboring table. It was so good, I wanted to lick the plate. A very generous portion, yet again. I am going back for this dish specifically.

One of my friends mentioned that although the music wasn't that loud, it was still hard to carry a conversation across our 4-top. The space doesn't "feel" noisy, though. Hmm. Btw, loved the music that they played. Coolio, Erykah Badu, etc. Being in our late 20's/early 30's, we thought is was fun and a bit nostalgic - not certain what the mostly older clientele thought.

For dessert, we had the spiced pear tart, custard cake, coffee/chocolate tart and baba au rum, plus the orange-cinnamon, coconut and pistachio ice creams. I have a harder time talking specifics about dessert - suffice it to say, they were all good. Sorry I don't have more insight than that. Oh, one thing I should mention - sliding your fork into the coffee/chocolate tart is incredibly, devastatingly sexy. Something about the way the tart gives way... the texture, the softness - I can't explain it.

They were also nice enough to pour us matching dessert wines - such a nice way to finish our meal.

I am so happy that we have Bar Boulud now - I'm usually depressed when I have to think about where to eat when I'm going to Lincoln Center. No more - there's only one place I'll be going from now on. Ok, maybe Bouchon Bakery. Oh, and the bar at Jean-Georges. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hit up BB last night with a crowd of 5 - service as mentioned above is still being worked out... there were so many front of house people working last night it was almost comical at one point...like 6 servers at one table, and we couldn't get our water glasses filled without asking.

On to the food - had the large tasting of charcuterie along with the two hot specials - pork belly and the sausage in brioche, which were both tasty. Liked the pate grand-mere and pate grand-pere the most, but I felt the rest was fairly average - needing seasoning (lapin and chicken, for example) and just not that great. Ham is ham, in this case. And though I know it's dept. of health season and all, some of the stuff was served refrigerator cold.

The mains, though, were all really good. Roasted chicken, nice and juicy, braised flat-iron, steak frites, loup de mer, all really good and executed at a high level...nice and rich too.

Since we didn't try any salads, pastas or soups, I'm looking forward to going back and having a traditional appetizer and entree, and skipping over the charcuterie degustation.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I also stopped by for a late dinner a week ago. At 9:30pm, there was about an hour wait. Good thing we live a couple of blocks away.

We ended up sharing the large charcuterie tasting and the pork belly. I thought the pork belly to be just eh. Could have been a bit more crispy and the fat portion was huge! The charcuterie was fine. I think we enjoyed the beef cheek the most. One or two just didn't have enough punch.

We're definitely glad to have Bar Boulud open in the neighborhood. We'll have to go back to try the rest of the menu and give the service a chance to settle.

BTW, the crowd gets younger as it gets later in the evening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Went here for lunch/brunch early afternoon Sunday dining.

Was not impressed with the space, the wine list, the menu, or the resulting food that was served off the menu.. The only thing that was impressive was the 250 dollar bill..

The way the lunch menu works is you can choose two or three items off the menu and the prix fix is either 39 or 49 bucks I think..

Miss A started with a Sunchoke Veloute with a mushroom flan.. I went with a pate sampler which was an extra 16 dollar addition and the steak frites which was another 10 or 15 dollar addition.. Miss K went waffles and then went with the floating island dessert..

For an extra 16 bucks you get three sickly tiny slabs of pate.. One of which was better then good, the other two which were average to boringly average.. In addition to the bounty of pate, I was served a heaping pile of frisee, two measly cornichons, and a container of carrots and cumin, and mushrooms with water I believe..

Above is the Grand Mer Pate.. This was the only one which I felt was decently made.. I was surprised at not only how small the portion was but, how average everything was. The mushroom side was pointless and really showed the lack of care that went into this plate.. It was sitting in literally water, with no flavoring.. The carrots with cumin tasted of no cumin but, made have had some tumeric in there..

A trip to close by Zabars would have resulted in a much better pate lunch.. Even if the local bodega had three little pigs in the meat counter I would have been more impressed.

2291483220_3037208c8a.jpg

Miss A's sunchoke veloute was exactly how it sounds.. Very smooth texturally, no surprises in the taste..

2290690365_639a24f7fd.jpg

Steak Frites, was served with a salad and a side of bernaise sauce.. Steak was seasoned well, pan seared, it was ok.. In deciding between walking across the street from my apartment and going to French Roast or here.. I would have most likely enjoyed the steak and fries better there.. As well as having close to 170 dollars more in my pocket..

2290690341_5dc59e8019.jpg

Fries are good.. Fries are good at a lot of places..

2290690405_79172eab54.jpg

Belgian Waffles for Miss K.. Tried them, they were good..

2291483152_a345be09d3.jpg

Croque Madame.. Did not have this but, miss A didnt finish it.. It was a pressed sandwich.. She said it was really good..

2291483094_5ca4cf4912.jpg

For Miss K's second course she went with a floating island.. Liked how they cut it into a triangle..Most likely pressed into a spring form.. Cute idea.. It was the best thing that we ate there..

2291483348_0ecb42a519.jpg

Place was a madhouse with people screaming at hostesses for not having there reservations, the people sitting next to us left after they were not spoken to for 20 minutes after sitting down.. Our waiter happened to be really nice..

Would not be going back unless someone was not only paying the bill but, paying for my company..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anybody (like Fat Guy, for example) know - or care to speculate - on if, or how Adam Platt's recent NY Mag review will have any meaning to Daniel Boulud or cause any changes to the food?

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anybody (like Fat Guy, for example) know - or care to speculate - on if, or how Adam Platt's recent NY Mag review will have any meaning to Daniel Boulud or cause any changes to the food?

I don't think any one review would do that, but perhaps a succession of them would. Boulud isn't likely to make radical changes before the Bruni review comes out, but he might be kicking some ass in the kitchen if the staff isn't getting it done.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

I've had a number of highly enjoyable meals here recently (two with a most delicious duck confit that has just been taken off the menu). The other night we decided to come and make an after-theater meal out of only the charcuterie (sort of).

We had (and I'm quoting directly from their menu):

gallery_11181_6280_52555.jpg

Pâté Grand-Mère

Fine Country Pâtê

Chicken Liver, Pork and Cognac

gallery_11181_6280_109543.jpg

Pâté Grand-Père

Coarse Country Pâtê

Foie Gras, Truffle Juice and Port

gallery_11181_6280_4568.jpg

Tourte De Gibiers Au Genièvre

Pheasant, Scottish Grouse, Elk

Wild Boar and Foie Gras "En Croûte"

gallery_11181_6280_103981.jpg

Compote De Joue De Boeuf

Shredded Slow-Braised Beef Cheek

Onion Confit and Pistachio

gallery_11181_6280_80418.jpg

Terrine De Lièvre A La Royale

Wild Scottish Hare, Black Truffles, Foie Gras

gallery_11181_6280_25244.jpg

Frisée Lyonnaise

Chickory, Chicken Liver, Poached Egg, Lardons, Sourdough Croutons

The salad was the least interesting. The dressing wasn't biting enough and had the sweet flavor of Balsamic vinegar, and the chicken livers weren't exceptional.

But the chacuterie was quite delicious. And as we were taking our time photographing them, and slowly enjoying them as our entire dinner, we got the opportunity to taste them as they finally came up to room temperature, which to my mind is the way they should be served, and when they lost their chill they became especially delicious, and the textures were more pronounced.

I guess it's Fat Guy's contention that:

the best Benoit charcuterie items are superior to what's being served at Bar Boulud. I haven't tried 100% of the BB charcuterie items but I've had the BB grand assortment and there's nothing in that assortment to rival the Lucullus-style tongue or the pate en croute at Benoit.

And I used to agree, but having alternated these two restaurants for a while, I think that the variety (and the extremely high quality) at Bar Boulud makes it the more interesting choice for charcuterie; the only great items at Benoit are the Pâté en Croûte and the Tongue, and that's not enough variety, for me anyway, to make an all-charcuterie pig-out.

But this was an especially good Bar Boulud meal.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

This past Sunday we attended both the afternoon, and evening (final, closing) performance of "Spring Awakening", and we needed a place to hang out between the shows where we could kill some time and pick at some food, and Bar Boulud came to mind as one of the perfect places to do this.

In addition to some of the regular charcuterie, we had both daily specials that were offered; I don't have their complete descriptions in writing, but basically they were a dish of sweetbreads with blood oranges and macademia nuts (and a "foam" whose name I cannot remember):

gallery_11181_6280_28667.jpg

and a dish of home-made pasta noodles with "shrimp" (that's all the description they got) and shavings of fresh black truffle:

gallery_11181_6280_182320.jpg

Both of these dishes were extremely delicious, and vibrant. I don't think that I've had a daily special here ever, in all the times I've eaten here. (I must do more of this!)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...