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Cafe Boulud


Felonius
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Had friends visiting town and took them to Cafe Boulud last night.  I don't think I've ever had a more satisfying meal in Manhattan.  

Appetizer - tiny goat cheese ravioli with a squash puree, pecorino cheese and black pepper.  These were the lightest and most sublime ravioli I've ever had.  They just melt in your mouth.  The presentation is interesting - they are submerged in a sort of "foam" (not sure what it is, almost like a much lighter version of sabayon).  They are slightly sweet and  have a velvety richness without being heavy.   My date almost grabbed my plate and finished them off after I had given her a bite.  They are offered as either an entree or appetizer.  If you go, these are a must-have.

Entree - Venison medallions with braised red cabbage and chestnut compote in a juniper sauce.  Another marvel.  For starters, the venison was the most tender I've ever had, like butter.   The flavor was also excellent, just gamey enough to give it some punch, but not overwhelming.  The chestnut compote came with some sort of mini dumplings, and made a rich and earthy complement to the venison.  The sauce was the right combination of tartness and sweetness.  These types of sauces often spoil the wine, but here it was balanced enough to work well with red wine.  My date had a lamb shank in red wine sauce, which was also excellent, though not as exciting as the venison.

Dessert - a chololate mousse cake with blackberry compote and vanilla ice cream.  This was excellent, though didn't thrill me as much as the earlier courses.  I think the house standard chocolate soufflee with pistachio ice cream is a better choice in the chocolate department.  In a way, I don't really care what I have for dessert at Cafe Boulud, as their complementary basket of freshly baked madeleines usually ends up stealing the show anyway.  

Wines -The young sommelier at CB, Olivier Flosse, is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about wine.  After giving him some direction as to what I was looking for, I left the selections in his capable hands.  We started with a 1998 Meursault by Arnaud Ente, a difficult to find wine from a rising star in Burgundy.  It was lovely, great acidity and fruit, and classic Meursault mineral "gout de terroir".  Next we had the 1999 Gevrey-Chambertin "En Champs" by Denis Mortet.  I was hesitant to drink a 1999, but Olivier promised he'd take back the bottle if I didn't love the wine.  He was right.  A very rich and extracted burgundy, cassis/blackberry fruit, and again the classic mineral component.  Mortet uses very old vines and gets great concentration from his fruit.  This bigger styled and lush burgundy was a good match for the venison, which otherwise I might have matched with a Bordeaux.  The tannins were balanced enough to enjoy the wine now, though certainly 4-5 more years would have been even better.

Overall just a marvelous dinner.  My guests were equally pleased.  The only downside was a packed and rather loud dining room. I'm not used to eating at Cafe Boulud at prime-time on Saturday night, and like most restaurants, the service suffers a bit due to the hectic pace.  Still everyone was extremely friendly and helpful.  If you try Cafe Boulud and enjoy wine, I suggest you spend some time talking to Olivier, as he is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on Burgundy.  The wines are quite expensive, but at least when you pay the piper you will likely get something that is both excellent and not found on many wine lists outside of France.  

I have had meals in fancier dining rooms and more exotic settings, but can't remember any more satisfying in terms of sheer pleasure from the food.  I haven't eaten at Daniel since May, so it's difficult to make a direct comparison.  However, I doubt it could top the meal I had last night at its little sibling Cafe Boulud.

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I concur with Felonius on this one, run (do not walk) to Cafe Boulud and eat the venison.  I just ate the same sequence of dishes (save dessert 24 hours after the fact). I trust Felonius's taste enough at this point, after recent off board conversations made it clear that there were certain commonalities of taste, to at least try CB tonight  (I was torn between a trip to eat at the Tavern at GT and eating at CB).  I eat at CB a lot more than I do at GT, mostly because of its location convenience.  A few more thoughts about CB-their soups are among the best in NYC, their fish main courses are not as good as their meat dishes, and their desserts are very good, but not great.  Claudia Fleming is a national treasure, and I should have left CG for GT for dessert. That said, the ravioli were excellent, though the venison was truly amongst the best main courses I have tried this year (Bouley Bakery has been only competition).

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I was torn between a trip to eat at the Tavern at GT and eating at CB
For out of towners, it should be noted that there's some difference in price between the Tavern at GT and Cafe Boulud, although both offer what I consider good value for the money. Daniel, Cafe Boulud, The Tavern at GT and Gramercy Tavern are four rather different restaurants, although I am a fan of Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini and Tom Colicchio.

Cafe Boulud is an interesting place. It's gets far less notice than it deserves. I suspect it's because it's seen as Daniel Boulud's second restaurant. For that reason alone, I suspect it will be omitted from many best restaurant lists. I think Felonius hit it on the head when he described his food in terms of "satisfying in terms of sheer pleasure." I think I could sum up my last meal there in one word--"delicious." It's sort of comfort food raised to a whole other level. I'm sure the venison is worth seeking out, I've had it last fall or winter, but I'd really like to get uptown and try Andrew's grandmother's pierogis. I can get venison at Daniel.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I have to take some people out for dinner who are treating us to a big night on Broadway. What's CB like price-wise? With thanks in advance.

What else do you like in or near the theatre district?

Robert

(Edited by robert brown at 9:28 am on Oct. 22, 2001)

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Robert - although CB has the reputation as being Daniel Boulud's "second" restaurant, the prices are still pretty steep.  The current menus with prices can be viewed at their website:  http://www.danielnyc.com/cafe.html

Bux - After a long Sunday at the office, I couldn't resist another visit to CB.  Went back and had the pierogis and the smoked and roasted king salmon.  The pierogis were another hit, though I still prefer the tiny ravioli by a narrow margin.

I would agree with Mao's comments that the desserts at CB, while quite good, are not it's strong point.  Not sure why, as their pastry chef certainly has the credentials to do major league desserts (not to mention the name "Remy Funfrock", which I think is a great name for a pastry chef).  I just have never been blown away by the desserts as I have by the other courses.  As I mentioned before, a basket of their fresh Madeleines and a nice glass of Sauternes or Baumes de Venise isn't a bad way to finish the meal in lieu of a regular dessert.  As for their fish, this was the first fish dish I've tried and it was outstanding.   A big slab of fresh salmon was lightly roasted and smoked, to the perfect point of rare/medium rare tenderness, and served over a bed of lentils with a a bit of mustard sauce.   While less complex than the venison dish, the simpler formula here allowed an absolutely perfect piece of salmon to bask in its own glory.   Seafood of this quality and freshness (and on a Sunday night no less) needs little dressing up if properly cooked.  The smoked flavor gave it just enough weight to go well with a glass of pinot noir.

One final note for those who may often dine solo after work as I do.  I just dropped in CB and ate at the bar.  I was treated like a king, despite the fact that I was in jeans and boots and looked rather scruffy after a casual Sunday at the office.  

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I've known Daniel Boulud for some time. For one thing, I originally did his web site. His concept for Cafe Boulud was a casual place where his friends, regulars and people in the neighborhood could drop in wearing jeans and sweaters. The neighborhood works against it. I often find the patrons in CB better, and more formally dressed, than in Daniel. My explanation is that casual to many of the people who live on Park and Fifth Avenues in the seventies, means a blue shirt and tie. On the other hand, Daniel is a destination restaurant attracting all sorts of out of town tourists, who may be very intrested in food, but who don't normally dress. CB, as a second restaurant, doesn't get that destination restaurant tourist trade and sometimes seems to have a more formal clientele. In keeping with Daniel's ideal of his two restaurants I wear a tie to Daniel, but not to CB. Sometimes I feel out of place at both, but the service tells me otherwise. ;)

What else do you like in or near the theatre district?
Robert - The CB dinner menu with prices is at http://danielnyc.com/cafe/cbdinner.html and the db Bistro dinner menu is at http://danielnyc.com/bistro/dbdinner.htm. Cafe Boulud (20 East 76th Street) is not in the theater district, but db (55 West 44th Street) is. I've expressed my thoughts on trying to have a great meal and go to the theater on the same night elsewhere. I don't think it works. I prefer a light supper afterwards. Nevertheless, I like Le  Bernardin (155 West 51st Street) http://le-bernardin.com/. How about the less formal Nougatine at Jean Georges (1 CPW) http://starchefs.com/JeanGeorges/home.htm although the last time I was near Nougatine the noise at the bar was overwhelming.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I'm also a big Cafe Boulud fan, and I'm much more likely to take in a meal there than at Daniel. When I dine at the ultra-luxe level, I tend to go either to Lespinasse or Jean Georges. There isn't much room in my life for another restaurant of that caliber, unless I'm visiting for professional reasons (which I've done at Daniel about five times now). But the Cafe Boulud niche is woefully underserved -- there just aren't many restaurants like it. And I've got to say, the last time I did a full-throttle tasting menu at Cafe Boulud it was better than any of the meals I've had at Daniel in pure food terms. Of course the restaurant is cramped and uncomfortable, and I'd add unattractive (though not as bad as it was when it was Daniel), and the service isn't on par with that at Daniel, nor is the wine list, etc., but on food alone it was one of the better meals I've had anywhere. I don't think it was noticeably cheaper than Daniel would have been for a similar meal, though, and two things I miss at Cafe Boulud are the Daniel amuse bouche tray (the best in town, perhaps) and Daniel's superior bread.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I believe the bread at Cafe Boulud is the same bread as at Daniel. It's baked at Daniel and therein may lie the difference.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Bux, I'm pretty sure the Cafe Boulud bread is baked at Daniel, but I'm also pretty sure it's not the same bread as is served at Daniel. Maybe you can check with one of your inside sources, but I recall Cafe Boulud serving sliced bread from large loaves, whereas Daniel serves individual rolls, which I think are much better in this instance. I especially like Daniel's bialy-like roll, which for some reason I think he calls focaccia, and I'm about as certain as I can be that you don't get that one at Cafe Boulud, or at least that I didn't last time I was there.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have to say the meal enjoyed by Felonious (second name funk? lunk? hunk even?) sounds wonderful, and as a resident of Brighton (UK) I am very envious about being able to drop in on the way back from a Sunday in the office.

I could drop into to our local Co-op supermarket, or at a stretch the Elizabethian Tandoori (don't laugh) if it ever gets it's act together and re opens after last year's flooding. Oh the joys of semi rural Southern England.    

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I completely forgot that I had lunch at Cafe Boulud about three years ago. It was pretty mediocre. Apparently it has gotten better as I'm not willing to bet against the consensus. As much as I would like to go back, I'll never get my wife to try it since when it was plain Daniel, they tried to hustle us out at the end of the first seating; something she's never forgotten. I guess a lot has changed in three years. Anyway, we've settled on Gallagher's after a really good steak quite some time ago. You don't suppose it's underrated?

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CB opened about three years ago in September with the Daniel staff. Andrew Carmellini was hired as executive chef almost from the beginning as I recall, and Remy Funfrock, the pastry chef, had been Daniel's pastry chef. A new pastry chef was hired for Daniel. I haven't noticed a great change since CB opened. That puts our opinions at odds, but I've had an occasional lousy meal at some of the best restaurants in the world, so I believe it happens to others as well.

I've heard a couple of reports that Daniel overbooked and handled reservations poorly when it opened. I chalk it off to the problems of a new restaurant. I only ate lunches there in the beginning. As I mentioned in another thread, it was a good time to meet Daniel Boulud. Lunch was always calmer. I know how your wife feels and I'm the last guy to chide anyone else about cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. Forcing yourself to go back to a restaurant often puts too much pressure on the meal anyway. Gallagher's, of course, is another kind of place and I don't know much about steak houses.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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There's certainly a lesson to be learned from the number of enemies Restaurant Daniel made in the old days through its staff's poor behavior regarding reservations and table turns. I have to assume the leson has been learned, because complaints of such behavior -- which I used to get via e-mail once or twice a month -- have tapered off and disappeared in the past couple of years. My own experience squares with that: Having long ago been asked to vacate a table at 8:00pm after a 6:00pm reservation (for a large party, no less), and having boycotted the restaurant for some years afterwards, I've never been subject to any such similar behavior since I started going back -- either at Cafe Boulud or the new Daniel.

Having a mediocre meal at Cafe Boulud is certainly a possibility, and I have my suspicions about the strength of the kitchen there at lunch as opposed to dinner. The two lunches I've had there were good, but did not compare to my dinners. The service team seemed a bit distracted at lunch as well, and the crowd seemed embalmed and uninterested. Not all restaurants are as good at lunch as at dinner -- Cafe Boulud may be one of them. I'm willing to stake my reputation on the excellence of Cafe Boulud's dinners, though. That is to say, if you have a bad dinner there you're either crazy or possessed of very bad luck.

Cafe Boulud faces some challenges that better-defined restaurants don't: At a place like Lespinasse, you're pitching to a fairly unified audience. It is only the occasional hyper-clueless individual that shows up there expecting a quick, casual bite. There is virtually no pre-theater business or anything like that. Cafe Boulud, on the other hand, is misunderstood by -- if I had to guess -- maybe a third of its customers. Some think they're eating at Daniel, and are annoyed to find out they aren't. Some think it should be a cheap bistro and are annoyed at the prices and the lack of any recognizable bistro fare. The waitstaff has to try to size up each table to determine whether that particular party is in for a light bite or to dine in high style. It can't be easy. And I assume anybody who is incorrectly assigned to a particular category is going to have an unsatisfactory meal.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I don't think I've ever had lunch at Cafe Boulud. In fact, I'm pretty sure I haven't. Why do you think the restaurant is less well defined? Is it just the name or do you think there's some dichotomy between the quality of the food and Daniel Boulud's concept of a casual cafe. I've always had the feeling there was some connection between the use of the word cafe and cafe society as well as society cafe. I also get a sense that most of the diners there know pretty well what sort of place it is, and that many are regulars. This is more a feeling based on observatin than on any inside knowledge. Of course I believe every one visits the web site before they dine at a new restaurant and thus they know the prices and menu very well. ;)

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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On the lunch vs dinner thing, I must confess that I have never eaten lunch there so I can't comment.  I can concur with Steven that the food is rather consistently excellent, though I also have yet to eat a meal there where both appet and main couse were equal in quality.  Perhaps my luck, but one or the other is usually awesome and overshadows the other.  

The one oddity that CB has is not really their doing. Maybe its age discimination on my part but the great majority of people who eat at CB are well above 60 and dressed to the nines (by my standards).  One of CB's major appeals vs Daniel (the latter is 10 blocks closer) is that I can walk in not dressed to the neck is a strangling tie.  This may be purely a function of the demographics of higher end food - people who are older have saved, no longer have to pay for college, mortgage etc- and thus can afford to enjoy CB. But whenever I am there, I am definately the odd person out age & dres wise, which is not the case at the other high end places I eat.  I also don't think its something CB intentionally cultivated.  Sometimes it feels a bit like the crowd still thinks that CB is Daniel and flocks here out of ten year old habit.  I have seen young people come in casually dressed, but I would say that on an average night suited couples in their early 60s represent 90% of the clientele. Demographic diversity is not teh resuarant's strongsuit, despite the casual image they saught to cultivate.

One other thing, Steven mentioned the tasting menu there.  I have yet to encounter a tasting menu at the restauarant, and was wondering when you last saw one.

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Mao: There is no printed tasting menu; you just have to ask for a degustation and they'll happily put one together for you. This, by the way, is the case at most any good restaurant that doesn't have an official tasting menu. Cafe Boulud puts out plenty of degustations, though. The times I've had them, there have been other tables doing it as well.

Bux: By ill-defined, I mean there is a disconnect between what Daniel Boulud wants his restaurant to be, what some customers want or expect it to be, and what other customers want or expect it to be. Of course this is true at any restaurant to some extent. But because there is no archetype for Cafe Boulud -- it is, if not sui generis, at least part of a very small subset of restaurants -- the disconnect is far more noticeable. There is also a nearly complete lack of reliable information available about Cafe Boulud. If you look at guidebook entries, and even most full-length restaurant reviews, it's hard to know what you're getting yourself into. Even the history section on the Web site is rather obscure -- I might say misleading -- with regard to letting a potential customer know what kind of restaurant to expect. It states, at best, what Daniel Boulud wanted the place to be before it actually opened. I think his mission may have changed at least a little bit since then, in response to customer perceptions and demands, and the expansion of his family of restaurants. It also strikes me as likely that Andrew has become much more independent -- within Daniel's range of preferences, of course -- as his talents have grown and Daniel has developed more trust in him. The restaurant seems to bear Andrew's personal stamp as well as Daniel's.

If you go, I think you'll both see a lot more non-Upper-East-Siders -- museum-goers, etc. -- at Cafe Boulud at lunchtime. Certainly the businessperson clientele is totally absent, because it's too far out of the Midtown core to attract most corporate types.

Thinking about it last night, I remembered a third lunch at Cafe Boulud when I simply dined at the bar and had only a bowl of white truffle risotto. It was ์, but the truffle allotment was generous. There was a charming bartender. I'd characterize that meal as pretty much flawless, and perhaps that sort of dining is the best use of the restaurant by day.

(Edited by Fat Guy at 8:08 am on Oct. 23, 2001)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Mao: There is no printed tasting menu; you just have to ask for a degustation and they'll happily put one together for you. This, by the way, is the case at most any good restaurant that doesn't have an official tasting menu. Cafe Boulud puts out plenty of degustations, though. The times I've had them, there have been other tables doing it as well.
This may be the sort of thing that puts some people off, but also makes the regular client feel even more at home. I've known people who refuse to eat in a restauant because they've seen other people getting special hors d'oeuvres or desserts. They'll go on to tell me they had a wonderful value for the money, but they can't stand to see others get more. I'm perplexed.

Maybe this board will serve to further democratize the best restaurants. I say further because I don't think a restaurant is good, if it's not democratic. This is not to say, you can't improve your service in some way as you become known. In another thread, Felonius asked how to become a regular, which I interpret as meaning how do I join the inner core that gets the better service, treats, exceptions, etc. Ask for a tasting menu and you'll be noticed favorably. Call ahead and request a tasting menu. If the restaurant already had a tasting menu, call ahead and make a special request. If it's a fancy haute cuisine French restaurant, you might ask for a regional specialty from the chef's home region. Whatever you do, don't confuse asking for something special with telling the chef how to cook or alter one of his existing dishes. If you have a friend who asks for sauce on the side, leave that friend home until you have established your credentials.

Fat Guy - You've defined your terms well enough, but I wonder if CB hasn't defined itself pretty well. I found Mao's last post interesting. To a great extent, he echos my observations about the clientele, although I think he exaggerates the percentage of 60 year olds in dark suits, white shirts and ties. Nevertheless, if the clintele appears to be homogeneous, it's harder to argue that the restaurant is undefined. That Mao at 20 ;) and I at, my age ;) can walk in without a tie and be treated as well as some socialite in tie or media star in a sweater just adds to the definition.

The restaurant is under publicized in the media and in guidebooks. I'm not sure why. That it's Boulud's second restaurant is part of the reason. Danny Meyer doesn't have that problem, nor does Vongerichten. It may be that they don't use different parts of their name in each restaurant and thus each restaurant appears more separate. It may also be that their personal style doesn't carry over so much from restaurant to restaurant. Whether that's a weakness or strength of Boulud may be subjective. Our views on this are also probably too subjective to be resolved, but it's an interesting academic issue.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Fat Guy - Thanks for redirecting me to the CB History page. That's where I saw the phrase "cafe society" used by Daniel Boulud. My take on this was that Daniel recognized his neighborhood and used "cafe society" with its double entendre. In this neighborhhood, jacket and tie are the local dress as they were in Vonnas 100 years ago. In any event the village locals surely know the prices and willingly pay them. Part of Boulud's definition of CB was as a village gathering spot and that DB gets little regard in guides and the press, if anything keeps it a neighborhood spot and not a destination restaurant.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Fat Guy:  I'm also pretty sure it's not the same bread as is served at Daniel. ... I recall Cafe Boulud serving sliced bread from large loaves, whereas Daniel serves individual rolls, ... I especially like Daniel's bialy-like roll, which for some reason I think he calls focaccia, and I'm about as certain as I can be that you don't get that one at Cafe Boulud, or at least that I didn't last time I was there.
Correct. the loaves are baked at Daniel but served at CB and I believe only at CB. Daniel bakes an olive roll and a garlic focaccia. Only one of the two is available at CB. I'm not sure if it's the same one all the time.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Quote: from Bux on 12:50 pm on Oct. 23, 2001

My take on this was that Daniel recognized his neighborhood and used "cafe society" with its double entendre.

My take on it is that Daniel had no idea the vast majority of his customers would refuse to dress down at his restaurant. I've never asked him, but I'd be fairly confident in declaring that the restaurant developed in a manner unanticipated by him. That is to say, I hypothesize that the customers demanded and eventually shaped a fancier place than Daniel had imagined. At the same time, I think he may cling to a certain fantasy of casualness, all of which goes back to my point about the restaurant being somewhat hard to pin down.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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I would have to agree with Mao that the majority of patrons at Cafe Boulud are older folks, that appear to be very wealthy and dressed-up Upper East Siders.  These are people who probably put on a suit and tie (or for the ladies a Chanel suit and Gucci Shoes)  to walk their dogs in the morning.   Not exactly the more casual "cafe society" where people drop in for good company and a relaxed meal with old friends, as is envisioned on the website.  

Then again, the atmosphere and personality of Cafe Boulud don't really fit this more casual vision either.  The room is rather formal, the prices are similar to those at Daniel, and the menu is very refined despite the elevated "comfort food" dish here and there.   I agree with Steven that it is hard to pinpoint the identity of the place.  Was it any different when it first opened?  I paid my first visit just this year, and wonder if the cafe has moved upscale since its inception.

This is all fine with me (and I am being selfish here I know), because it seems to keep CB from becoming a destination restaurant for tourists and business types, and maintains a pleasant neighborhood feel.  The only catch is that in this neighborhood, the "locals" are more likely to have just returned from their summer house in the south of France in a blue blazer and ascot than from the Catskills in a pair of jeans.

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The only catch is that in this neighborhood, the "locals" are more likely to have just returned from their summer house in the south of France in a blue blazer and ascot than from the Catskills in a pair of jeans.

I think you've adequately described what I think Bux looks like :)

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Then my real identity is safe., at least for the moment.  ;)

Felonius, I believe those whose goings on were reported in the society pages in the forties or fifties were referred to cafe society. That's what I meant when I referred to Daniel Boulud's double entendre use of the phrase. I believe the regulars who wear a coat and tie, to drop in for a casual meal with friends, understand and appreciate it as much as you do and share your feelings about having it as a neighborhood place. It is, of course, a much more New York place than Daniel in that it serves a neighborhood.

Fat Guy, I doubt it was ever meant to be a place where you had to wear jeans, just a place where you could be comfortable if you were wearing jeans and I think it serves as that for a neighborhood where many never wear jeans.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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When I was young, I was offended by dress codes.  Recently I saw a young man seated at March wearing low slung khaki cargo pants, and a polo shirt - unshaven too.  I have become my father.  I would prefer only to see very expensive and clean jeans at restaurants where entrees are ฮ and up.

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I have become my father.
Welcome to the club. However it's much scarier when you realize your wife has become your mother. Oh well, maybe it's better than her becoming her mother.  ;)

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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