Café Boulud, NY 2

December 12, 2007

John and Françoise asked us to dinner at Café Boulud December 11, 2007. Since our last visit, there have been two new chefs, a favorable review in The New York Times, a renewal of its Michelin star and inclusion in the top 25 in NY for food in Zagat’s. 

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We improved our appetite with the fifteen minute walk down Fifth Avenue to the restaurant. Glasses of champagne were served and we looked at the menus while we waited for our table to clear.  Thus we were able to order as soon as we were seated. 

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The delicious amuse-gueules were a truffled black-mushroom risotto ball and a spoon of salmon tartare with lemon. 

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John ordered a bottle of the 2004 Calera Pinot Noir. We were advised that this was the last bottle and so we switched to the 2003 Raye’s Hill (Anderson Valley) Pinot Noir for our second wine.  They were both very nice, elegant, but rich enough to go well with the food. 

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Françoise and Linda started with the Pâte en croûte, truffle coulis, baby mâache salad, pickled butternut squash. They liked its traditional French style.

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John started with and enjoyed the  Wild Mushroom Soup, fricassée of mushrooms, croutons, watercress.  

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My first course was the Wagyu Beef Tartare, truffle vinaigrette, celery.  The beef had a rich unctuous flavor heightened by the mild truffle aroma. 

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For their main course John and Françoise had the  Bacon Wrapped Veal Tenderloin, vegetable cocotte, soft polenta, natural jus.   John declared it to be the best veal he has ever had. 

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Linda continued with the Vermont Guinea Hen, crispy braised leg, confit foie gras, celery root, natural jus. The leg meat is braised into a confit and baked inside a pastry wrapper, a rich contrast to the vegetables and rounds of breast meat. She thought the whole dish was superb.

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I had the Moroccan Lamb Shank sweet potatoes, chickpeas, preserved lemon, which had just the right amount of spiciness. 

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For dessert Linda and John had the Molten Chocolate Cake with coffee ice cream. They loved it. 

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My dessert was the Gingerbread Caramel Mousse, Butternut Squash soufflée, Vanilla squash ice cream. The souflée was hot and light, contrasting nicely with the other two parts. 

The cuisine was well done without any lapses, easily meriting its high Michelin, Zagats and NYT ratings. The noise level is very high and we were glad we had a corner table where it was a bit quieter. 

http://danielnyc.com/cafeboulud/

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