I was in the Upper West Side for lunch on Tuesday. All in the name of Bar Boulud! In case you haven’t read through blogs and press publications, it’s a huge deal since Daniel Boulud hasn’t opened any new restaurants around here and the fact that he migrated crosstown from the Upper East Side (just try to map where most of his places are: Daniel and Cafe Boulud).
Arriving there at 1 PM, in this drizzly, Tuesday afternoon, I was welcomed by a hostess whose greeting felt a bit forced and a bit too perky than what I am normally accustomed to. As I walked to my table, this place is adorned in pale golden wood, modestly decorated with paintings along the walls, and the long bar beholds a huge meat slicer and the highly touted charcuterie and hams.
I tried the Assiette Anglaise, which is a derivative of their charcuterie sampler – three terrines, two fromages (cheese), and two vegetable sides, or hors d’oeuvres as they called it. (Click on the photo to know what food item is what).
The terrines were sublime. Silky slices of ground meat that isn’t too jelly and balanced with enough fat, spices, and seasonings. My personal favorite of the three was the rabbit. The cheeses served that day were a smooth, firm, subtly fruity Pleasant Ridge Reserve and a creamy, bloomy, luscious, mushroom-y, Brie de Meaux. I just wish I had larger portions of the cheese. As for the hors d’oeuvres, I don’t really care for them much but it tastes fine. The choices given to me were the potato, fennel, olive and the celery-apple rémoulade. The flavors for the potato dish was a bit too subtle that nothing really enhances the potato, but the rémoulade fared a bit better in terms of flavor and textures – crunchy, sweet and tart with creamy mayonnaise.
As for the finale of this meal, I opted for the tarte mocha. Nothing strange in terms of funky combinations of textures or ingredients – just a straightforward, very good tart. The chocolate pâte sucrée was buttery, chocolatey, and barely sweetened; a great canvas for the intense, decadently rich, espresso flavored chocolate ganache, gilded with a flake of varak. The vanilla ice cream was delicious – smooth, velvety, sweet, and intensely flavored with vanilla. I would buy their vanilla ice cream by the gallon, if that’s ever possible.
After my paying my check, I took a short tour around this place and went downstairs to their wine cellar. It seems strange when it kind of looks like a labyrinth than a cellar, down the hall would be a large private dining room since I heard people talking down on that end and off to the left are the bathrooms.
Even though this isn’t about food, I took a photo of the bathroom sink since it looks kind of cool. The bathroom itself is nice, done with the same pale, blonde wood that you saw in the main dining room.
After looking at my watch, my lunch hour’s about up and I had to run back to the bus stop in the rain to take me crosstown to work!
I Need Your Suggestions!
Ok…my aunt and her son is visiting NYC (in less than 2 weeks) and my family’s planning on a day trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Yep, I’m going to Philly for one day just for sightseeing really, just to do something for the Easter weekend (and I don’t have Monday off [groans]). I need your suggestions on where to eat. Basically, I’m looking for something casual and something that ain’t so expensive like I eat since my family’s paying. We’re pretty much up for anything but don’t bother with Chinese (because we are and we know how to cook) and Japanese or Thai (since my aunt eats a ton of it in Hong Kong). Thank you!
New York, NY 10023