Afternoon Tea at Épicerie Boulud
Épicerie Boulud is one of the latest ventures of super chef Daniel Boulud, found right across the street from Lincoln Center. This world-class, French deli and market is filled with ingredients, pastries, and some light fare (e.g. various salads and charcuterie) that has the same high standards that you would expect from any Boulud-owned venue.
I was visiting here for an afternoon tea with a friend. We perused the gleaming pastry cases, pretty much almost wanted to order one of everything! But knowing we had to go back to work, we picked with a couple of sweets.
The Galette Bressane ($4) is a Lyonnaise, brioche-based pastry that’s filled with vanilla crème fraîche and large sugar rocks. It would vaguely remind you of a Danish but it’s fluffy, cakey and barely sweet because of the tart crème fraîche. The crunchy, craggy sugar rocks added some pleasant texture to break up all things soft and creamy.
The Almond Bostock Brioche ($3.50) was textbook good. The brioche was almond-y and moist. The fine rich, buttery crumb of the broiche made this pastry rich but not overtly decadent.
The beverages we had were Cafe au lait and regular drip coffee. Their beans come from Fonté, a micro coffee roaster in Seattle, Washington. These coffee beverages were better than what I’ve anticipated and it does pair well with the pastries. It doesn’t compete with the coffeehouses in NYC like Stumptown or Blue Bottle but it does its job. The black coffee is strong without being bitter. The au lait was good.
We also picked up bags of madelines ($3.75 each) and raspberry pâtes de fruits ($1 each). The pâtes de fruits were very good. Slightly chewy and bursting with raspberry flavor. As for the madelines we took our own bag home. It was buttery and delicately flavored with vanilla. But, of course, it’s better when it comes out fresh from the oven so it still has the delicately crisp exterior.
If I were in the area, I would definitely come back to try their charcuterie and salads. I just wish they had some bar stools for seating at their communal-style tables.
To view more photos of my lunch, please click through the slideshow (or view my Flickr set):