I was sorry to read of Jim's disappointment with his recent lunch at Cafe Boulud while there to experience the $20 special.
Jim mentioned, "The only unsurcharged entrees were chicken and ravioli. Nobody gets pasta at a French place...." I hope you didn't miss Andrew Carmellini's ravioli, which I dream about (at any price!)! Andrew (who honed his pasta-making skills in Italy at San Domenico) makes some of the best pasta in NYC -- which might be a little counter-intuitive to order at a restaurant bearing the name of a Frenchman, but then again, the restaurant's well-known "Le Voyage" menu also features the dishes of a different region of the world every month, from Vietnam to the American South.
And I was surprised to read that you "couldn't find a decent wine for under $50." The restaurant's Web site (which can be accessed via www.danielnyc.com) confirmed my recollection that there are lots to be had in that price range -- the site indicates that "over 50% are priced between $30 and $80," and start at a mere $22/bottle. I usually get wines by the glass there (they offer 20+) so that every glass complements whatever I'm eating; and the Web site confirms that wines start at $7/glass.
In any case, sorry to learn of your experience, but thanks nonetheless for the heads-up of this amazing $20 lunch special at Cafe Boulud -- I'm calling to make my reservation today!
Shoot, sorry I missed good ravioli. Just shows that rules-of-thumb only go so far!
"I'm calling to make my reservation today!"
as friends of Boulud, I'd be interested in hearing if your VIP meal goes better than mine did (I'm not being ironic...you guys have no reason NOT to enjoy the best meal possible)!
As for the wine, I answered about by-the-glass in the other thread. But re: bottles, stats from the restaurant's site aside, I flipped the pages of the list for a good long while. And found it nearly impossible to find a good bottle under $40-50 (I may have missed a few errant sleepers, but it was a daunting task). But...I'm repeating myself!