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Oct 17, 2008 08:35 PM

Cafe Boulud or The Modern for Saturday night dinner?

Hi. We are taking two well- traveled couples, from the West Coast, out for dinner on a Sat. night, and are considering these restaurants....I have eaten at both, but not for a few years at Cafe Boulud. Just recently ate at The Modern. Good, but....seem to remember the food better at Boulud, but so long ago.....Any opinions most welcome. Thanks.

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  1. Cafe Boulud's executive chef, Gavin Kaysem, took command of the kitchen last December. In June, he won the James Beard Award for Best Rising Chef. We have had lunch there twice since his arrival, and I found his food to be superb.

    1. Nyum, you won't go wrong with either. Bar Boulud is better known for its charcouterie, so if you want to eat tapas-style, this is a better place to go. The mains are pretty good as well, but not as good as the mains at the Modern Dining Room, IMO. If you go to BB, try to get a booth; the small tables out front are annoying small if you order a bunch of small plates like we usually do.

      (If you're choosing between the Modern Bar Room, which I think is not nearly as good as the Dining Room, and Bar Boulud, I'd go with the latter.)

      8 Replies
      1. re: cimui


        Just want to point out that Nyum was asking about *Cafe* Boulud, not Bar Boulud.

        1. re: RGR

          touche ;) thanks -- i was being spacey.

          1. re: cimui

            Nevertheless, the suggestion of Bar Boulud is a good one, esp. if you like charcouterie.

            1. re: a_and_w

              Nyum's original post focuses on restaurants which are more upscale than Bar Boulud. While we enjoyed our meal there, Bar Boulud's food is not on the same level as the more sophisticated cuisine at Cafe Boulud. Also, it doesn't have the polished service and understated elegant ambiance of C.B.

              1. re: RGR

                I agree with you that BB is less sophisticated than CB. But I also agree with cimui that, if Nyum is considering the Bar Room at the Modern, BB might be a better choice, esp. if he/she is into charcouterie.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  Since I haven't been to either The Modern's dining room or Bar Room, I can't make any comparisons.

                  However, keep in mind that cimui *mistakenly* discussed Bar Boulud instead of Cafe Boulud. Therefore, when she wrote this:

                  "(If you're choosing between the Modern Bar Room, which I think is not nearly as good as the Dining Room, and Bar Boulud, I'd go with the latter.)"

                  I presume she meant that *Cafe Boulud* was the better option.

                  1. re: RGR

                    Since cimui referred expressly to the charcouterie, I presume she meant what she said and simply misunderstood the question. But maybe I'm mistaken...

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      Hi a_and_w and RGR, sorry for all the confusion I caused! I did, in fact, mean Bar Boulud, though I like Cafe Boulud a great deal, too (just haven't eaten there recently).


                      OP, I hope you had a good meal wherever you went.

      2. I am going to Cafe Boulud this Saturday for lunch and would love some recommendations if anyone has been there recently. Thanks!

        1. I personally like Cafe Boulud more than The Modern. For some reason The Modern (both the dining room and the bar room) never quite deliver enough to be my favorite. I love EMP and Gramercy Tavern, but never quite like The Modern the same way.

          If I am in that area, I would rather walk a few blocks and go to Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel instead.

          1. Hi, all. THANKS for your replies. Very kind. Good to hear the new chef at Cafe Boulud is so great.....We decided to go to Cafe Boulud and shall let you all know how it plays out.

            I have thought about our meal at the Modern and think it was too rich and had too much of a sweet element in too many of the dishes.That's just my taste, and my husband's. The dining experience was very pleasant, but food not up to expectations.
            Shall try Bar Boulud sometime in future. Thanks for the recommendations