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Anyone been to bar boulud?

curious to hear the initial reviews...

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  1. I had the same question....

    1. I haven't been yet, but someone I know and whose opinion I totally trust told me he was there during "friends and family," and the charcuterie is fabulous.

      1. Went there last night. Beautiful space. The downstairs is only for private parties, so I did not get a look at it. The problem is that there is no waiting area. The bar area is for diners, so people are just lingering by the front door. The menu is surprisingly very well-priced. Had the grand-mere pate which was fabulous. Also had the steak frites. The steak was served luke-warm, but the frites were amazing. The worst part of the restaurant was the service. Took way too long in between courses. But overall, nice spot especially for the area. But I definitely won't be running back so fast...

        7 Replies
        1. re: haa

          Just made a reservation for the 1st weekend in February so I will attempt a report.

          1. re: idia

            BB does take reservations. In fact, eater has been doing a "resyfeed" each day since it opened. Tue., Wed., and yesterday, one or two tables were available either early or late. Today, fully booked.

            1. re: RGR

              Yep, I got an opentable reservation for the first weekend in February early in the evening...

              1. re: David W

                Looks like I'll see you there David!

                1. re: idia

                  Just look for the middle-aged, bearded, disheveled guy with a woman who's too good for him....
                  By the way, they have a website, which is still in formation but is up and running:

              2. re: RGR

                I called about lunch btw - they don't start serving lunch until the 23rd.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  We'll be there early Friday the 1st so we can catch a movie.

          2. was there last week. the decor is bright and modern. loved the light shade of wood they used for the tables and bar. the vibe is sleek, casual, yet classy and expensive but the menu was very fairly priced. most of the charcuterie fell in the low teens and the appetizers under $20. entrees hovered around mid $20's and everything was under $30.

            as for the food... that was the best part. the charcruterie was amazing. pate grandmere was my favorite as well as the boudin blanc. everything we had was excellent and nothing i've had before could compare. the skate was the big winner in the entree section. cooked perfectly with sauteed spinach and wild mushrooms.

            the service was pretty good for a restaurant that's been open only a week. all the staff were friendly but you can tell they were new. not as smooth as daniel or db bistro even but still trying very hard to please and that's all you can ask for at.

            i think this place is a winner. i'll go back as often as i can to try the rest of the items on the menu. i highly recommend it. the last time i raved about a new restaurant this much was momofuku ssam bar as soon as they started doing the late-night menu...

            1 Reply
            1. re: halo

              I am pumped after this up review. Can't wait! Thanks.

            2. Daniel Boulud's new dinning spot opened the first full week in January. Located directly across the street from Lincoln Center, the location alone means it is and will be a popular place, particularly considering the lack of fine dinning competition in the neighborhood.

              This cafe/bistro is in fact not a bar. Currently the front desk will not permit guests to congregate around the so called bar - a strange edict if there ever was one. With the place overflowing with people wanting to taste Daniel's Lyon-style menu, the entrance area including the front seating area has become as crowded as a subway platform at 5:30 pm. And without a drink in hand the waiting crowd became unruly rather rapidly. Clearly the front desk (while quite professional) is currently overwhelmed and quite frazzled. They need to find a quick fix, or it will fix itself as people tire of this inadequate arrangement.

              Part of the current problem appears to be overbooking, waiters struggling with getting checks to customers and credit card receipts back to customers, and the slow clearing and re-setting of tables. Undoubtedly an opening week problem that is hopefully to improve.

              The menu does not disappoint in providing a rather long list of traditional French cafe/bistro fare with a heavy Lyon regional focus. Prices are rather high for what is generally considered simple food and even with the Euro at 1.50 to the US Dollar, one could probably eat the same meal for less in France.

              The food itself is fine - nothing spectacular as one has come to expect at Daniel's dinning places. Nothing is really off, but then again nothing seemed to blow us away. The list of pates is interesting and the pates are quite well made. The classic escargots are fine, but nothing out of the ordinary. The "coq a vin" was also acceptable, but we have had better. The "boudin blanc" - a real test of the French Bistro- was moist and tasty, but the singular sausage on a large plate with minimal accompaniments looked lonesome and quite inadequate as a $27 main course.

              The wine list is focused on French moderately priced and middle of the road wines. Like the food, nothing unpleasing but nothing spectacular in selection or pricing.

              We passed on desert as the waiting customers began overwhelming the seating area in front assigned to "twos", and it became uncomfortable to remain seated while hungry people stood hovering over our table waiting to be seated.

              Reviewing any dinning place during the first week is always tricky. Even the best places struggle getting out of the starting blocks. However, a place with Boulud in its name that struggles as badly as Bar Boulud did on our first visit is unexpected.

              1. I was there last night with two other people. Long story short: it was tremendous. The front staff was frazzled, and we had to wait 20 minutes for our table in the (pretty but awkward) space, but once we were seated, the magic began. There's a very interesting, and surprisingly affordable (many bottles under $40) wine list. Service was friendly and very competent, though you can sense they are still working out the kinks. But the food! We were told that Daniel himself was in the kitchen cooking, and it shows. We really liked the charcuterie (not Daniel's domaine, but excellent), especially a spiced lamb and the crisp pork belly and the hot gougeres brought to the table.

                But I think it was the entrees that absolutely shone. The food may seem simple, but that's deceptive; there was a depth of flavor that only a master could obtain. Coq au vin was absolutely transcendent, deep and rich and a very generous plate of food. Steak was beefy and tender, and the skate! The skate was perfect. This is "simple" and "homey" food as prepared by one of the best, and thus not simple at all. There's a surprisingly long dessert list. The mocha tart, when it arrived, was a letdown in appearance, a small flat wedge. Then I tasted it. Fantastic. We also had a chocolate ice cream thing with chocolate hazelnut ice cream, a sort of ultralight chocolate mousse and a mound of paillete feuilletine (heaven) at the bottom. I didn't mean to eat it all but I did.

                Overall, fantastic. I don't love the space, and there are still kinks (many wines haven't yet arrived) but the food is superb -- and affordable.

                1. I went there about 2 weeks ago with two other couples. The space is very nice and the bar seemed interesting, although I didn't eat or drink there. I thought the charcouterie plate was very good (even head cheese). The skate entree was excellent. Service was horrible. They did not chill the white wine, they brought out the entrees while we were still on the appetizers and we continually were waiting for something. For that price, I would not return.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Boss77

                    I really hope they work out their service issues. I wonder if sitting at the bar, as we did by default, is actually currently a better option .... Thanks for the report.

                  2. I went there last Thursday when I was in town and loved it. I ate the steak tartare and it was excellent. I am difficult when it comes to tartare but this one passed my test! I had their pommes frites with it, it sounds less fattening then when you say french fries, and they also were excellent.
                    I had 2 glasses of wine, a Cotes du Rhone and a Chianti if I remember correctly, and both were excellent. The french wine was 9$ a glass and excellent.
                    The waitress was very nice and efficient but she did not know a lot about wines and food. A customer asked her about a Sauternes and she did not even know that it was a wine. Daniel Boulud should go over to one of his competitors, l'Artisanal, because their waiters are well trained. I also went there and had a very pleasant dinner.