Bar Boulud is Daniel Boulud’s casual classic French bistro located across from The Lincoln Center in NYC. Daniel Boulud is a famous French chef and restauranter who now has restaurants in NYC, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Beijing, Palm Beach, and Miami.
He opened his first restaurant, and most famous, Daniel, in 1993 after his time as executive chef Le Cirque in NYC. Bo and I have often passed Bar Boulud during our long walks and Columbus Circle ventures and finally decided Friday night that we had to try it! After a work happy hour we wandered up to Lincoln Center around 7:30 in hopes of snagging a seat even though we didn’t have reservations.
We were escorted to the bar area while we waited for a table but after fifteen minutes were told that we could in fact eat at the bar if we wished. This was a perfect option as the bar area offers the full menu, a first hand look at some of the cheeses and chartucerie, and wines. We started the evening with a glass champagne and the Degustation de Charcuterie to share (3 types of pate, charcuterie, condiments, pickles, and mustard) and the escargots persillade (wild burgundy snails garlic and parsley). The pates were amazing though the chicken liver pate was definitely my favorite. The snails were a treat as i’d never tried these before and they were rich and succulent. The parsley added to the flavor against the warm snails especially when paired with the small hushpuppy like potato balls.
As for our main meal, we shared a classic French fish dish, local catskills trout, toasted almonds roasted cauliflower brown butter, verjus. This dish was absolutely divine as they used the cauliflower in so many different ways and the fish was perfectly crisp. Bo and I agree that Bar Boulud’s food and wine was absolute perfection. Everything we tasted was seasoned perfectly and bursting with flavor. However, it was all very classicaly prepared which means the flavors weren’t innovated (to be expected at a classic French restaurant) and the service was attentive but a bit pretentious for our liking on a Friday night after a long week. We would definitely go back but we’d probably take friends so we could make our own noise and laughter. This Friday night it was painfully quiet and reserved which was ironic since Zagat warns of the noise levels.