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Boulud in Toronto?

i honestly don't have the patience to deceipher the gossip code of the National Post, but if I understood it properly, boulud will be at the helm of the new Four Seasons. I don't wish to engage in the T.O vs. Va debate, but will he succeed in Toronto when he didn't in Vancouver? I really enjoyed the meals I had of his in NYC, and am having a blast with one of his cookbooks, so I certainly hope so!

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  1. Daniel is my favourite NYC restaurant. If Boulud is coming to town, that would be GREAT!!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Sadly I've been to three different incarnations of Boulud in NYC and NONE of them even make my New York Top 10 (OK maybe Daniel might just creep in).
      Looking at different cities, only Robuchon (for me) has manged to operate in more than one and have excellent quality - there could be more, where I haven't tried multiple cities with same chef.
      So I guess I'll be saving my money!

      1. re: estufarian

        You'll be able to put the savings towards some Michelin tires!

        1. re: estufarian

          Boulud happened to be in the kitchen when I ate at Daniel! The tasting menu was truly amazing!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            He was there when I visited too.
            Except he was touring the dining room much of the time.
            For me, the experience started well, then went downhill fast - both service and food.

      2. I am pretty sure this has been posted on here before but then it got moved (to Food Media and News) or locked (i.e. regarding Boulud, not this specific article that I imagine is more recent).

        1. it's quite possible. I just received an invitation to the Four Seasons Residences presentation gallery. Here's the wording of the announcement:

          Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
          Join Four Seasons as We Welcome Another
          Culinary Great to the Toronto Stage.

          Meet the Chef Behind the Restaurant and Bar
          for the New Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tatai

            Marketing manager of Michelin Guide North American operation once informed me that when all the high end hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Trump Tower and Shangri-La are open and Michelin star quality restaurants start occupying some of the spots then a Michelin guide for Toronto and surrounding areas plus Quebec will be waiting in the wings!! Lets hope so!!

            1. Amazing! So excited that he's coming to Toronto. The more the better really. 2012 is going to be a big year in Toronto dining.

              2 Replies
              1. re: miketoronto

                It's exciting yes, but I'm also a bit apprehensive. The pie that is Toronto isn't big enough to support all these middle to upper tier spots. Places will be closing in light of all this new competition, survival of the fittest.....

                County General
                La Societe
                Bonacini downtown expansion

                coming up

                The Grove (Ben Heaton)
                Bestellen (Rob Rossi)

                I'm sure I'm forgetting quite a few.

                1. re: aser

                  your definition of middle and upper tier is weired to me...more local joints with some wanna be scene places...no where any kind of michelin star system

              2. Word on the street is that Daniel will be coming, but not to open a high end resto. Just a Bakery and casual spot.


                17 Replies
                1. re: Matt416

                  what street is that word coming from?

                  bakery and casual spot seems more in tune with the times, and a lower risk venture. BUT, wonder how that fits the four seasons backdrop.

                  definitely interesting for a top-end guy to come to our fair city, but i've not been terribly wowed by his NYC restaurants.

                  1. re: Matt416

                    I'll settle for a DBGB bistro and bar or a Cafe Boulud!!
                    Likewise, if Keller decides to come to town, dosen't have to be a Per Se clone, a more casual Bouchon will be fine!!!

                      1. re: erly

                        Different style of cooking!
                        Love Boulud for more classic and traditional French approach. Keller on the other hand for more modern nouveau 'Californian'!.

                      2. re: Charles Yu

                        I agree bring on any form of Boulud restaurant! I want as many international, michelin starred chefs in our city as possible. It will only raise the city's profile and increase the competition and standards of our fine dining scene. I have no complaints with our city as is but the more the merrier (as a consumer).

                        Despite the fact that I was disappointed with Per Se (nothing wrong with the food, but not much that was spectacular) I'm sure others in our city would love it! Yasuda on the other hand; fantastic!

                        1. re: Apprentice

                          Might as well add Rick Bayless for some great Mexican and Mario Batali for some great Italian??!!
                          However, why bother looking across the border when I'll settle for a Vij's Indian outpost in Toronto!!!
                          Lastly, having a good sushi chef like Yasuda san is great. But Toronto, compare to NYC, simply lacks the availability of really diversify and exotic seafood ingredients for the neta components of great sushi!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            +1 for Vij's outpost. Toronto has a large and vibrant Indian population and no truly excellent Indian restaurants (granted, Vij's dishes are not all traditional Indian, but they hew close enough to key ingredients, spices and techniques). There is unquestionably a market in Toronto for such a restaurant.

                            As for neta, the top NYC establishments fly most of it in from Japan so "availability" is really just a function of ability to pay which, granted, NYC diners are both more able and inclined than Toronto folk. I think there is room in Toronto for one top sushi chef who imports many of his/her ingredients (interesting aside: I don't know of one top female sushi master), though places like Hiro would certainly suffer.

                            1. re: vidkid

                              Folks, speculation on what Toronto could use or wishlists of chefs that we hope might come here are really off-topic for Chowhound. We try to keep the focus on food you can actually eat now (or at least in the near future), rather than on daydreams of what might be. We'd ask that you please let this sub-thread go.

                              If anyone has concrete information on the potential Boulud opening, please go ahead and add it.

                              1. re: vidkid

                                Re your aside vidkid - I believe I read once the it is hard for women in sushi as there is a myth that their hands are too warm to hand the fish/rice well. I feel like I'm mis parapharsing this so I will see if I can find the real reference.

                            2. re: Apprentice

                              I'd just like to repeat a point I tried to make above.
                              I've been VERY disappointed with EVERY (except Robuchon) attempt by a chef to operate in more than one city simultaneously.
                              A few have managed it same city - but just transplanting the 'name' doesn't guarantee (rarely does) a similar dining experience.

                              1. re: estufarian

                                You're right estufarian. Even though Vij has two restaurants, they're next door to each other and Vikram often hits Rangoli at lunch at Vij's at dinner so there's terrific quality control. Opening a Toronto outpost would stretch him too thinly (though I wish he would export his frozen curries to Toronto - they're better than much of what you can get in a restaurant here). I suppose I'm just lamenting the unfortunate higher-end Indian dining market we currently have in Toronto. Defies logic.

                                I might add Alain Ducasse to your one-entry list of successful multi-city chefs. My meals at the Plaza Athenee in Paris and Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo are among the very best meals of my life. I've never tried his London, NYC or Tokyo outposts but from what I've heard, they're very good, but not at his peak performance (despite the Michelin stars).

                                1. re: vidkid

                                  Vij's frozen curries are available in Toronto -- at All the Best Fine Foods on Yonge. Hefty price tag, though.

                                  1. re: Tatai

                                    they're also served at chowhounders' fav, Allen's.

                                    1. re: Tatai

                                      Just out of curiosity, how hefty is hefty??! I brought back some from Vancouver in March. Can't remember exactly the price but I think the Lamb Curry is around $11??!!

                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        I have a 300g (10.6 oz) package of Curried Kale & Potatoes in my freezer. $12.75!

                                        1. re: Tatai

                                          Wow!! I recall seeing almost all ' vegetable' dishes under $10!! Guess must be mark up by All the Best?!

                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                            And shipping costs from Vancouver to Toronto.

                          2. I see the menus are now online: http://www.fourseasons.com/toronto/di...
                            and they are now accepting reservations on Open Table.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: caviartothegeneral

                              incredible! i snagged a reservation for tuesday! can't wait

                              1. re: brushfire

                                Im going on monday- will report back. We are regulars in Palm Beach, and while its never been phenomenal ,we have always enjoyed our meals.


                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                  Will be interested to see how the duck confit hash compares to the baked eggs with duck confit and potatoes at Maison Boulud in Montreal. Enjoyed the Maison Boulud version this summer. The prices on the breakfast menu at Cafe Boulud are similar to the prices on the breakfast menu at Maison Boulud.



                                  Lunch: http://www.fourseasons.com/content/da...





                                  1. re: prima

                                    Just went on Saturday night... not bad... Boulud was still there checking things out

                                    1. re: Pigurd

                                      He was 'still' there. I understand he won't be there much at all, but just checking up on things every once in a while, which is no replacement for being there to make sure the quality matches the restaurant that has your name on it. I love eating at Four Seasons restaurants and have in many around the world, but I'm not sure that the quality is going to be anything even more spectacular just because his name is on it. I'm looking forward to the reviews...

                                      1. re: Flexitarian

                                        Like any celeb chef with more than one venue, it's physically impossible to do better than that. Diners should know that going in. Even Keller with his closed-circuit hook-up between TFL and Per Se is hardly a substitute. Bottom line, once a chef opens their second joint, things can only go down from there. And if they maintain quality or go up, it's because they hired on a talented and enterprising upstart who took over, and will soon have a place of their own -- not because of the original celeb chef.