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Cafe Boulud Tasting Menu w/ Preg wife...What will they cut? What should I pay?

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My wife and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this week with a dinner at cafe Boulud. We have been impressed with the tasting menu when it was 5 courses, so we thought that we would give the new 7 course a whirl.

Also, my wife is pregnant. This basically means, no raw fish, no raw/deli meat, and no soft cheeses. I called up cafe Boulud today to ask if they could accommodate her, and they replied that they could, but they would not be able to do 7 courses as usual.

So, I know that they used to do a raw fish dish as #1...so we will probably at least miss that course...any others? I remember a soup, pasta, fish, meat, and dessert....I assume that these will all be served.

Also, should I ask for a price reduction if there are going to be fewer than 7 courses? The cost is normally $125, wine pairings $95. What would be appropriate for a 5 course menu? 6 courses?

Any other advice, tips, insights, would be appreciated!
Thanks!

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Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

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  1. It's a bit odd that they can't do 7 courses with your pregnant wife's dietary restrictions.

    If you've made up your mind about Cafe Boulud, I would resolve the price reduction (i.e. prorated per course) before you confirm your reservation. Otherwise, I'd look for another restaurant and save Cafe Boulud for a post-pregnancy anniversary.

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    Cafe Boulud
    20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

    1. hi there!

      gosh, sorry for the un-chowhoundish reply here; also i do NOT mean to presume upon or pry into any of your/your wife's choices and practices during this exciting and eventful time! BUT, as another pregnant lady on this board, i just wanted to pipe up and say that there really isn't anything inherently wrong with eating raw foods -- so long as they come from a reputable source, and are prepared with the regard for safety and hygiene that one would expect from a place like Cafe Boulud. i lived in Japan for years, and over there, my pregnant colleagues were totally fine with eating sashimi and raw beef (provided they came from sound places with good reputations). it was considered healthy!

      for sure, some foods contain substances that are shown to be harmful and unsafe in themselves: alcohol, too much animal-derived vitamin A (i.e. organ meats), mercury (duh), and mould-ripened & unpasteurised (and blue) soft cheeses. so yeah, if there's a lot of foie gras on the menu, that's probably worth removing or substituting.

      but as for that first, raw-fish course, i'd personally consider that safe.....

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      Cafe Boulud
      20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

      1. I wouldn't expect it to cost less, especially if they are altering courses for you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brooklyndude

          They are not altering courses, they are serving fewer courses....I feel like other places of that caliber would accommodate this by substituting courses that are more appropriate for the poster's wife....I would go elsewhere. No sense haggling over what should be a pleasant experience. Though if your reservation is soon it may be difficult.

        2. Kinda surprised they didn't offer to substitute for that first course.

          When my wife and I go for omakase there are often one or two items that she doesn't want to eat. I'll just eat two. If you are set on Boulud and they don't want to bend on the price I'd probably just eat two 1 courses.