1900 Broadway between 63rd and 64th Streets
about $60 each for two, with drinks, with tip
The first time we tried to eat at Bar Boulud, we chose to sit outside with the theater crowd. We were looking at the menu when the heavy wind hit, taking fragile wine glasses with it, shaking the awning violently and scaring the diners enough to make them run inside and to the basement. When it was time for a second visit, I sat at the bar where one of the servers excused himself more than once to use the ham slicer. He heeded my joke about giving me a plate of the jambon for the inconvenience.
The Thomas Schlesser-designed space is stunning. The long vaulted ceiling reminds you of an old wine cellar as soon as you walk in. Even if the restaurant is full–and even if your purse gets bumped into by the runners multiple times–you still get a feeling of some intimacy and warmth.
I can’t resist a duck leg confit whenever I’m eating bistro food, so two of us split that after a serving of pea soup with mint crème fraîche and escargots with potato croquettes. The summer beans were a little too chewy for my taste and I wanted the duck meat to give more easily than it did. I can recall better duck confit at Balthazar.
One of the dessert specials involved blackberries and blueberries so it seemed like the best choice for a summery and tart end to our night. I’m no expert on sweets but I had no clue why whatever came out was chewy and candied. It looked unappetizing. We picked the berries and left the pie barely touched.
I still remember my experience at Daniel six years ago. It was my first foray into fine dining. The food was something I’ve only read in books and seen in photographs. The bill was the first time my heart skipped a beat inside a restaurant. Though I knew that Bar Boulud would be more casual, I still had high expectations of the food. It wasn’t quite what I expected Chef Boulud would put out and approve of.