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May 22, 2008 05:45 AM

Eleven Madison park vs. Bar Baloud

Eleven Madison park vs. Bar Baloud
Continuing the hunt for the perfect birthday spot for myself, 2 foodies, my husbands a chef
Or if you have a better suggestion, this price range is acceptable; we enjoy new American mostly but open for whatever. I have ruled out Compass via and earlier vote.

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  1. If you are looking for a restaurant for a birthday, actually for any special occasion, I highly recommend Eleven Madison Park. Bar Boloud is much more "casual" and I think it too boisterous for a nice quiet affair. EMP is the total package, atmosphere, service, and FOOD. If your husband had his heart set on a Boloud restaurant you can never go wrong with Daniel.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      Eleven Madison Park hands down. BB is nice, but not in the same league as EMP. If anything, comparing Daniel to EMP would be more appropriate.

      EMPs menu is a bit more forward and progressive, so that'd would satisfy your foodie friends. BB is Daniel's "seasonal ingredients restaurant".

      The first and only time I had foie gras ice cream was at EMP

      1. re: attractivekid

        Bar Boulud's focus is on "seasonal" ingredients? I thought the focus was more on charcuterie, etc. - terrines, pates, cheese, etc. and "classic French bistro fare". I enjoyed my lunch at the bar there, but agree with other posters that EMP is a much better choice for this occasion.

        1. re: MMRuth

          you're right, i'm getting mixed up with Cafe Boulud

    2. I have not yet been to Bar Bouloud, but I think you are sort of comparing apples and oranges here. Eleven Madison Park would be better compared to Cafe Boulud, or at least, DB Bistro. I don't think you can go wrong with Eleven Madison and you will certainly find on these boards that you won't get many naysayers.

      6 Replies
      1. re: offthebeatenpath1

        I had been to both Cafe Boulud and DB Bistro, but not Bar Boulud yet.
        EMP was wonderful last night, a truely memorable experience, thanks for all of your suggestions.

        1. re: Asumnuthin

          I have reservations to go to EMP next month. which menu did you do? any comments on specific dishes? how was the service?

          1. re: phr208

            The service has always been fantastic. If you drink wine I would highly recommend doing the wine pairings regardless of what you do menu wise, i.e. tasting or not. And if you like fish you have got to try the Halibut dish, it is out of this World good.

            1. re: phr208


              If it is within you budget, I recommend the Gourmand tasting dinner. However, if you prefer to stick with the prix-fixe, do not miss the incredible duck for two, a signature dish. Chef Humm's foie gras creations are always out of this world, and for dessert, the Bittersweet Chocolate Symphony is a mind blower.

              As Spiritchaser said, service is always cordial and polished. I also agree with him about doing wine pairings. I don't drink, but my husband does, and the sommelier, John Regan, is absolutely masterful at choosing exactly the right wine to match a particular dish.

              1. re: RGR

                I think we're leaning towards the Gourmand. It will be a special occasion, and I'm actually leaving NYC to go to medical school abroad, so this will be like our "last supper." I don't think we'll be doing the wine pairings though. Wine tends to fill me up quite a bit, and I definitely don't think I'll be able to handle all that food along with all that wine. But hopefully the sommelier will be able to suggest glasses of white and red that aren't TOO expensive.

                I think you mentioned before that one of your dining partners got a fruit course instead of the cheese course. What exactly did the fruit course entail? My boyfriend doesn't like cheese, so I've already asked them if they could substitute that for something else, and they said they can give a fruit course instead.

                1. re: phr208


                  Yes, they provided a plate of fruits for my daughter's husband when the rest of us were having cheese. But I was not sitting near enough to him -- there were 8 of us -- so I can't tell you which fruits they were. I presume they would be seasonal. Btw, we were not doing the Gourmand. We added the cheese course to the prix-fixe.

                  You can do as many or as few pairings with the Gourmand as you see fit. If you prefer not to drink any wine at all, that's perfectly acceptable. As far as wine costs are concerned, do not hesitate to discuss prices that you will feel comfortable with, and I'm sure they will do their best to meet them.

                  Good luck with your medical school studies!