That’s really the best word to capture my feelings about Cafe Boulud. You really don’t care that you traveled all the way to Upper East Side or that the atmosphere is as stuffy as your grandmother’s closet because the food is just that damn good.
Everyone knows Daniel Boulud is one of the best chefs in the world. But not everyone has had the pleasure of enjoying his creations. In the last four weeks, I have eaten at Bar Boulud twice due to the delicious food and casual atmosphere. Well, casual for a Daniel Boulud restaurant. His champion restaurant, Daniel, is one of New York’s finest, but not so trendy and fun, so I’ve always chosen a destination downtown instead. After being mesmerized by Cafe Boulud, I’m getting over my fear of stuffy and moving Daniel to the top of my list immediately.
Back to Cafe Boulud. There are 4 small themed menus to choose from: Classic Country, Autumn Flavors, Market Inspired, and World Cuisine. And of course the tasting menu, which is strongly recommended, but I had to pass on all of that food. Instead, I chose Fall Squash Ravioli and Vermont Raised Chicken. Usually I don’t order chicken, but the French really know how to keep chicken juicy. Across the table was the Thai Coconut and Lemongrass soup and Monkfish. Every bite was blessing. The French white (the name escapes me) was so refreshing after all of the California Chards and Pinots I had been drinking.
And after all of that, I couldn’t pass up peeking at a dessert menu that is longer than some dinner menus. After much debate, I went for the classic molten chocolate cake which did not disappoint.
Overall, it was one of the best meals I’ve eaten all year. Definitely the best French cuisine I’ve had since I was in France last summer.