Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cafe Boulud (Manhattan) 01/10

Crowded, cramped and on the noisy side, this restaurant is much more casual than Daniels fine dining establishment that we wrote about last. Prices are in the good restaurant category and the food and service match that. The venue is simply furnished
and could not match the beautiful people.
Our table was so crowded
with a centre piece, candle, wine and water glasses, cutlery and crockery so there was hardly room for food. Undaunted we ordered a handsome meal starting with an appetizer of foie gras (2.5 oz) seared and barely cooked ($28).We are becoming addicted to this stuff, despite its history and origins. Served with bosc pears, tonka beans, toasted walnuts and sherry sauce it floods your mouth with a rich sensation beyond taste with its light and almost fluffy texture. Mushroom and barley soup ($16)was an excellent winter soup, full of goodies including parsley and garlic herb croutons. Braised Moroccan lamb shank with chickpeas,mint, preserved lemon and eggplant ($38) was cooked to super tenderness but was a bit boring, the flavours being extremely mild. They have half a dozen "Market Specials" each day and Sandra chose the roasted Monkfish with winter squash, dandelion greens, wild mushrooms and sauce meurette ($34)
which had her almost drooling. The meat had a very fine texture and tasted sweet, close to lobster. We completed the meal with a cheese platter
and a deconstructed tart tatin.
This is an excellent restaurant, somewhat misrepresented as a cafe, which, in a better appointed venue would compete comfortably with many of New York's fine dining establishments. I was not able to move my chair back far enough to prevent the flash washing out the subject matter which made the photo's worse than usual.
Zagat recently scored it 27 for food, 28 for service and only 22 for decor scores with which we agree.
Comments: To convert the menu prices to the real cost of the meal, which includes an almost mandatory gratuity of 18% to 20%, to A$'s add one third thus a US $100 meal translates to about A$133.
Score:15.25 /20


John Salisbury said...

Is Zagats a food guide?

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi John
Zagat is a food guide, published annually, created out of public opinion. There are about 350,000 contributors in New York. They amalgamate the opinions and get an average score for food, service, ambiance/decor and price. They have spread to half a dozen major US cities and now moved into other areas e.g. clothes. Anyone can contribute. I do!

John Salisbury said...

Thanks Elliot.

Anonymous said...

shouldnt use a flash in a restaurant. highly disrespectful to other guests.

Elliot said...

We usually ask if it is permissible to photograph the food. As far as the respect for guests many take flash pic's, 'tho it's usually of their friends. Servers frequently offer to take our picture and never has anyone suggested that they were in any way disturbed by the flash. So I don't really think it's a problem. Do a few flashes disturb you as much as, for example, loud conversation and raucous laughter?

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