Restaurant Week at Bar Boulud
I’m at Bar Boulud again. It’s been a year or so since I’ve been here and think I might as well have a RW lunch because it’s relatively accessible for me and my friends, Helen and Giulia, to come over.
I know the whole concept of this restaurant is to look like a wine cellar but it always make me feel like I’m looking down a long tunnel.
As for our appetizers, Giulia ordered the gazpacho. I’ve tasted a spoon and founded it to be good. Nothing exciting to note about. It’s purely tomatoes – sweet and minutely acidic with a touch of silkiness from the basil-olive oil emulsion.
Helen and I ordered the Pâté Grand Mere. The pâté was good – rich, coarse ground pork and chicken liver and nicely flavored with cognac and spices – though it’s sort of on the small side. It’s accompanied with tart, spicy whole grain mustard (which I like for this heavy meat, though my friends could care less about it) and a touch of frisée to make this a touch healthy.
For the entrées, Helen ordered the day’s special, grilled pork with polenta and a fried egg (with a $5 supplement, as we found out when we received the check). There was a lot of pork slices piled in her plate, on top of the pool of polenta. The fried egg was gloriously oozy. Just a prick from her knife, came out the flood of tasty cholesterol to coat the pork. Mmm..
Giulia’s raviloli de boeuf with sugar snap peas and rainbow carrots was pretty delicious. A little past al dente pasta sandwiching the smooth, almost creamy-like, finely ground black angus beef. What Giulia says, it has the texture of ragù, which it does. The sugar snap peas and rainbow carrots weren’t as memorable as what I had at Gramercy Taven two weeks ago. They’re fine but not as earth shatteringly awesome as GT.
For my curiosity of Bar Boulud’s preparation of their mussels steamed in wheat beer, lemon, coriander cream, onions, and herbs. I didn’t expect a heaping bowl of mussels. Arguably, it’s about the size of my head. Anyway, the mussels were tender, a bit sweet and briny on its own. With the broth/sauce at the bottom of the bowl, it’s very goodl it helps to have beer and cream mixed with seafood. If any complaint, I wished there were extra bread coming to our table. I wanted to sop the sauce with the bread whilst extracting the mussels from its shell. It’s a messy dish to eat but it’s worth getting my hands dirty.
Moving on to the final portion of our meal, dessert. Giulia ordered the Praline Rouge Bavaroise, a pink praline mousse with lemon anglaise with a thin brown butter cookie as the base for the mousse, with sliced tristar strawberries casually sprinkled on top. This Bavarian cream was creamy, slightly firm, and light. I don’t detect a praline flavor while eating it on its own. The accouterments does add in a lot of flavor though.
Helen’s been sticking with her recent obsession with all things frozen for her desserts. Her raspberry chocolate sorbet (came in two scoops) were very smooth, refreshing and light. The chocolate sorbet marbled in the raspberry made this a bit earthy and not terribly sweet nor tart, giving it a nice balance of chocolate and raspberry. It’s my favorite of the three desserts we tried.
As you might know about my obsession with French macarons, I jumped on ordering the Macaron au chocolat with coffee ice cream. I didn’t expect to see a macaron on steroids (it’s about 4.5 normal sized macarons into one) that’s standing up on my plate. Just looking at it when our server set down the plate, I was expecting to be disappointed. By the time I split a chunk of it off, the innards (seen below) proved my thoughts. It was terribly soft and cake-like. There weren’t any thin, crisp exterior at all. Meh. At least the coffee ice cream was good.
Overall the RW Bar Boulud experience was good. The food was fine. The portions weren’t stingy and the service was prompt.