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.

DB Bistro Moderne


glenn
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just a few weeks after lunch there with Steve Klc, I ventured back to find a new menu loaded with morels and asparagus - oh my!

I had the asparagus and morel tart (more like a mini-pie, Jinmyo!). Very thin and crisp pastry shell, with bright green asparagus puree, dotted with whole morels. Garnished with thinner-than-thin asparagus tips. Interesting note to the plating thread, my round tart was served on a square plate. One friend had the scallop ceviche Basque-style, the other had a salad of asparagus with fresh crab and mustard sauce.

Then, a morel and asparagus risotto with sauce a L'Americaine. Plated with risotto in middle with morels and 'gus, and sauce foamed around the edge. The sauce provided an antidote to the sheer creaminess of the risotto, and the orange color brightened the plate as well. Other two entrees were fresh pasta with fava beans, roasted tomatoes and lobster, garnished with tiny chervil leaves. Dressed to perfection, and the tomatoes were bursting as if they were picked in August. And some scallop dish that I can't really recall but that was demolished happily.

We were all floored by the clarity and yet complexity of each dish. Every note was heard separately, yet played together as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only a tropical fruit salad with pineapple sorbet. I really liked the presentation: each fruit (mango, pineapple, kiwi, papaya) was diced into the same size, and plated in a ring mold. Topped with the sorbet, it was a lovely ending. The dessert menu had changed as well, by the way, to reflect the spring season with two rhubarb offerings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mmmm, very good.  had the tart and risotto that liza spoke about.  guest had a fish dish, though i forget what fish it was.  brilliant.

the place is very casual, especially in the front room.  a bit cramped though.  our server was very good.  however, the guy on the phone who took the reservations, and who was most likely at the host stand when i arrived, needs a little lesson in manners.  gruff  and rude to some extent.  i'd say that's a bit surprising for a boulud restaurant, but i had a negative experience at daniel as well.  oh well, the guy can cook at least.  :confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, this sounds wonderful. Not only Pie but asparagus and morel Pie.

Liza, about plating a round tart on a square plate. This kind of contrast is standard policy in Japanese plating.

I like square plates! :wink:

tommy, what are your reasons for disliking Boulod's places? Have you ever had the burger?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tommy, what are your reasons for disliking Boulod's places? Have you ever had the burger?

strangely enough, i thought i took out that bit about "negative experience at daniel", because i had mentioned it elsewhere, and i didn't want a negative comment to taint my feelings about DB.  oh well!  (i didn't like the server or the overall stuffiness of daniel, though i'm sure many will disagree with that).

i had the burger at DB on my last visit.  it was very good...and fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tommy, thanks. I've yet to hear anything bad about that burger.  :wink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll bite.  The burger is a bit pricey and if you're the only one in your party who ordered it, you have to share more than your primal instinct would like.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Below were the items ordered during a recent fairly good meal at db bistro moderne (write-up to come): :wink:

Escargots and Wild Mushroom Fricassee, Sauce Bordelaise and Quail Egg ($17)

"Poule au Pot" Henri IV, Morels, Fava Beans and Wild Asparagus (26)

      Glass of Napa Chardonnay (12)

Menu Items Not Ordered

-- Tuna

Salad "Saint Tropez", mesculun, tuna "cru et cuit" [raw and cooked], spring vegetables (AP 16)

Moroccan Spiced Tuna, vegetable compote, citron confit (MC 29)

Champignon Des Bois

Wild Mushroom Veloute with duck confit (AP 13)

Laitue

Spring Lettuce Salad, roasted beets, crudites and lemon vinaigrette (AP 14)

Roasted Halibut, braised lettuce, "petits pois a la francaise" [peas] and crispy bacon (MC 30)

Canard

Tamarind and cumin glazed Pekin duck breast, braised legs, mustard greens and turnips (MC 29)

Crispy Duck Confit with wild asparagus, wild mushroom fricassee (MC 27)

Volaille

Guinea hen terrine with foie gras, housemade pickled vegetables (AP 16)

Petit Pois

Chilled pea soup with lobster and rosemary cream (AP 12)

Duo of lamb, spring peas fricassee, savory lamb jus (MC 29)

Asperge

Warm tart of asparagus and morels (AP 14)

Asparagus salad with Maryland blue crab, mustard dressing (AP 17)

Roasted cod "Amandine", white asparagus, lobster cream (MC 27)

Boeuf

Boeuf en gelee, foie gras and horseradish cream (AP 13)

Beef tournedos, green peppercorn sauce, glazed root vegetables (MC 32)

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Ceviche of diver sea scallops, "Basquaise", lovage oil, and arugula (AP 15)

Seared Maine diver sea scallops, shiitake mushrooms, spring potatoes, watercress (MC 30)

Legumes

Pommes Frites (Fries) SD 6

Mushroom Fricassee SD 11

Mesclun salad AP 11

Super green spinach SD 8

Specialite de la Maison

Tomato tarte tatin with goat cheese, Trevisano and black olives (AP 17)

Sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle, served on a Parmesan bun with pommes souffles (MC 29)

Dish of the Day (one daily)

Braised lamb shank, pork belly salad, Bouillabaisse (this dish is generally available Friday), crawfish fricassee, veal shank (for two), pig's feet

-- Dinner Hours: Sunday 4:30 - 10:00 pm; Monday 5:30 - 10:00; Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 - 11:00.

-- Lunch Hours: Monday through Saturday 12:00 - 2:15 pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Below were the items ordered during a recent fairly good meal at db bistro moderne (write-up to come): :wink:

Escargots and Wild Mushroom Fricassee, Sauce Bordelaise and Quail Egg ($17)

"Poule au Pot" Henri IV, Morels, Fava Beans and Wild Asparagus (26)

      Glass of Napa Chardonnay (12)

db bistro moderne is a restaurant I would like to explore a bit more. The two items I sampled were well-executed, the service friendly, and the decor modern and appropriate. I liked the large blown-up pictures of the insides of reddish flowers in the first dining area upon entry into the restaurant. I also liked the existence of two "communal" tables (each accommodating eight diners) where reservations are not required. Opposite the communal tables is a stretch of rows of bottles (presented with their full profile visible) behind a metal "mesh", with light effects.  That the restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week, and many nights late, is helpful.

I liked the food so far sampled at db, even though I have historically not thought Daniel compelling (no recent visits). The flavor combinations worked, and the format of the restaurant permitted a diner theoretically to order a single dish and a glass of wine and have a relatively quick meal.

The escargots were adequate in intrinsic quality, and were mixed with rich saucing and nice mushrooms (the night in question, not chanterelles, but something with a similar taste). The quail egg pleased me because it was served sunny-side up, with a runny mini yolk, and the edges slightly frittered.  :smile:

The chicken breast slices (smooth and nicely prepared, but lacking in some of the intrinsic chicken flavor of Bresse chicken) were appropriately prepared, with thin cream-based saucing. This was not a traditional "poule au pot".  The morels were nice, and the wild asparagus was of a type I had not before encountered. Their tips had tiny little "hairs" on them (in a good way), and they tasted almost like shoots of another vegetable.

I enjoyed this meal, and will return for further observations.   :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a walk-in on Saturday evening - on my way to twiddle my mustache at a hopping nightspot - and sat at one of the communal "bar" tables.  dB is one of the restaurants not now taking reservations from solo diners (boo!), so I was quite amused to have the communal table, which seats eight, to myself, while parties were packed at small tables in the two dining rooms.  :raz:

Boeuf en gelee with horseradish cream was attractively but impractically presented.  It came in a sort of squat martini glass, the chilled beef (and foie gras) topped with a layer of the horseradish, itself decorated with a pattern made, I think, from beetroot juice.  Pretty.  The problem, in eating it,was that as soon as one dug one's spoon in, the cream saturated the entire dish.  I like horseradish, but didn't want it in every mouthful.  As far as I can tell, the beef jelly basis of the dish was very good indeed.

Poulet au pot "Henri IV".  No, it wasn't.  Why bother adding an erudite tag to the dish if it's not authentic?  This was poached chicken in a little broth (veal/mushroom I think), with morels, wilf asparagus and fava beans (and I see Cabrales described it above).  High marks for peeling the fava beans; saved me doing it and leaving a meaningful piles of skins on my bread plate, as is my usual practice.  As poached chicken with morels, it was fine.  Henry IV, however, would have asked where the stuffing was.

Three cheeses to follow.  Delicious but, as often, irrelevant condiments: for example, a lovely, smooth and spicy pear puree.  But why would anyone smear it over a decent piece of roquefort?

Cheeky trick with my dessert wine.  The waiter first brought a suitable glass, and I awaited customary service from the bottle.  He then reappeared and replaced the empty glass with a very full one.  I was suspicious.  And indeed the full glass was the end of a bottle, and thick with sediment.  I let it settle, drank the two thirds of clear wine, complained about the sludge, and was brought a second glass from a new bottle.  Good result for Wilfrid, but one doesn't expect that kind of stunt from a restaurant of this calibre.   :sad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheeky trick with my dessert wine.  The waiter first brought a suitable glass, and I awaited customary service from the bottle.  He then reappeared and replaced the empty glass with a very full one.  I was suspicious.  And indeed the full glass was the end of a bottle, and thick with sediment.  I let it settle, drank the two thirds of clear wine, complained about the sludge, and was brought a second glass from a new bottle.  Good result for Wilfrid, but one doesn't expect that kind of stunt from a restaurant of this calibre.   :sad:

Wilfrid -- Your mention of sediment leads me to share my recent experience with the wine service at Bouley. The wine was served in the usual way. Halfway throughout our meal, the dining room team member (non-captain) responsible for our table felt it necessary to come by and share this observation -- "If you taste something grainy in the wine, it's sediment. The wine you ordered was unfiltered."  This was one of what I considered many service lapses. First, I don't need the dining room team member to advise me of whether the bottle was unfiltered or not.  Second, I don't need him to advise me of what sediment is like. While there were no attempts by this person to deceive, his assumptions regarding absence of knowledge were not helpful.  :confused:

Also noted that db's current menu is on the Boulud website. Perhaps his menus are updated with some regularity?

http://danielnyc.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks like the menu I chose from.  Also, like my menu, it's unclear whether specific slow-cooked-dishes-of-the-day are served on specific days.  I should have asked.  On Saturday, they were serving the bouillabaisse - I don't know if you've sampled that version yet?  (And I apologize for thus referring to a conversation Cabrales and I had in private.  Bad boy, Wilfrid.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wilfrid - I was told there's no pattern to slow-cooked dishes, except that bouillabaisse tends to be available Friday (members interested in the dish should confirm this point with the restaurant). Perhaps your Saturday bouillabaisse reflected less-than-expected sales on Friday?  :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Third time at dB on Saturday, and another "nearly" dining experience. Lovely greeting - genuinely remembered me - intriguing menu, good appetizers. And then...

Outstanding guinea-fowl terrine with a nugget of foie gras in the center. Really above average, and neat little pickled vegetables as garnish. Elaborate ecrevisses in duck gelee construction - another of their martini glass presentations- the distinctly flavored crayfish suspended in a light duck gelee, layered with a bright green watercress puree and some (I forget) sort of white cream on top. Refreshing.

We drank some Trimbach Riesling with the first course. Then I had another odd experience with dB wine service. Usually, the bottles are elaborately presented for your inspection, even before pouring by the glass. I suspected something when the waiter poured me a glass of red, rather quickly, with the label obscured by his hand. I had asked for a Syrah by the glass. It tasted of margerine. I grabbed another waiter, and asked what the Syrah was. She told me it was a Crozes-Hermitage, and I must have looked confused, because she started to spell it for me "C - R -O..." So I barked at her in French. This was the second time I have been served a poor - I suspect long open - wine at dB in this somewhat furtive manner. They should stop it.

I chose the special of the day, suckling pig, and it was the worst version I've eaten. Instead of being crispy, the skin was like an elastic band. The meat was dry. Only a small slice of belly was enjoyable. The Beloved had a correct confit de canard.

I was in a bad mood for the final course, and when I selected three cheeses from the list on the menu, only to be offered cheaper and less interesting alternatives (at the same price), I gave it all up as a bad job.

It's so close to being a good restaurant. Please try harder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

We arrived at db at 5:30 a few Friday's ago. The greeting was friendly and we were seated promplty in the mostly empty room. It gradually filled, but there were empty tables when we left. We let the waiter know that we had to be out at 7:30 for a Bway show. They were very courteous and reminded us towards the completion of the meal that they had our schedule in mind. The service throughout our meal was genuinely warm and professional.

I ordered from the prix-fixe menu, starting with the guinea hen terrine with foie gras and housemade pickled vegetables. My wife ordered a la carte, beginning with the tomato gazpacho with avocado and ruby red shrimp.

We found the gazpacho to be underflavoured. Unless some chilantro was included in the spoonfull of soup, the flavor was underwhelming. I loved the pickled vegetables that came with the terrine. They were bursting with flavour and firmly textured. The terrine itself was a disappointment. Nice texture, little taste.

Of course, my wife had to order the db burger--sirloin burger, filled with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle, served on a parmesan bun with pommes soufflees. Now, I know that everyone raves about this burger. The honest truth is that, that evening, it was simply unmemorable. For whatever reason, it was-- BORING. When the two gentlemen at the adjoining table both ordered the burgers and then asked for salt and pepper to be brought to the table, I rolled my eyes. But the fact is, the burgers needed condiments of some sort to give them flavor.

My main was the sauteed striped bass with artichoke, bacon, tomato water emulsion. The presentation was lovely. A nice piece of fish in a broth that was a spring green color with a few small red tomatoes in it. The broth looked so appetizing that I reached for a spoonful before tasting the fish. Disappointment. Underflavored again. The fish itself was fine.

For dessert, we shared the tarte du jour, a lemon tart. Although the lemon filling was nice, the pastry was tough. The thing resisted our forks and glided across the plate like a hockey puck.

In conclusion, I won't say that the emperor has no clothes. It's just that, at that particular time on that particular day, the food was disappointing. This was suprising in the extreme. One has to ponder the question--what's going on in the kitchen?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, indeed. Boulud is famous for his terrines in particular.

A good report, INNOCENT, and welcome to eGullet.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume this was your first visit and thus I can't ask how it compared with other visits. I can ask about restaurants you do like. Daniel's food is pretty subtle. I'm wodering if the food was off that night, or just not your kind of food. I can easily understand someone not liking the burger, but I found it interesting not boring. In truth it was one of the those things I appreciated as an idea more than a dish, but every now and then I think about it and my mouth waters. I guess I dont like eating a meal on a bun in a nice restaurant although as I recall it was hard to pick up and bite and I resorted to the knife and fork.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"subtle" is the word i immediately thought of in reference to the fish at db (although i've only experienced one, it was, well, to use a word that i hate, approaching "sublime"...but certainly subtle).

i have to try the burger again. i've been praising it for a year now, after having it only once.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Most expensive burger ever?

Correct me if I'm wrong but:

DB Burger Royale

The Original DB Burger Layered

with Freshly Shaved Black Truffles

59.

with Double the Truffles

99.

-From the online lunch menu at db Bistro.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...