Thursday, May 29, 2008

We'll take Manhattan....

Oh moving. You take up all of my time and leave me no time to blog about the nice meals that I eat/make. I just know that you're all out there thinking "Hey, didn't Lena go to Bar Boulud recently? I kinda wanted to know how that was." Well the wait is over, my friends. I am taking a break from packing/moving/painting to tell you all about it.

My mom and I ventured up to Lincoln Center last Sunday night. I've told you before about how I feel strange on the Upper West Side, like I'm in a movie about New York (see here). Well, that night was no exception. As the hostess leads us to our table in the back, we walk right by none other than Woody Allen and Soon-yi (at least I assumed it was Soon-yi. I can't recognize her by her looks, but it seems safe to assume that Woody doesn't have a new Asian child-bride). It just doesn't get more New York than Woody Allen (at least for me - I've seen Annie Hall at least ten times). To me, this boded well for the restaurant.

We started off with some "charcuterie gilles verot" which apparently means "cold pressed meat" in English. I guess I should have drawn that conclusion from seeing all the terrines and foie gras under it, but what can I say? I'm a little slow sometimes. We chose one made of beef cheek and got some beets with horseradish to go along with it. Here it is.

It reminded me of leftover corned beef, with some spicy mustard and tiny pickles. I could have used way more mustard. It was alright, but I think cold pressed meat is not my favorite dish to order. I'll know for the future. The beets were very good though.

We moved on to a "Frisée Lyonnaise" which had chicory, chicken liver, poached eggs, lardons, and a big sourdough crouton. I liked it quite a bit. I love chicken livers when someone who isn't me cooks them. The egg yolk was delicious, we mixed it into the salad and it made everything nice and creamy. The lardons were much bigger than I was expecting. I think of lardons like little sticks, these were the size of very large croutons. I wasn't crazy about them, but what can you do. Both my mom and I commented on how well the Frisée worked in the salad. We thought we didn't like Frisée but we were wrong. I was so into the salad, I forgot to take a picture. Whoops.

Then it was on to the main courses. My mom had a traditional Coq Au Vin.

It was good but very heavy. I had the lighter, but super amazing Artic Char. It came with Braised Fennel in an olive oil herb broth.

They actually brought a little cup of broth to the table with my fish and poured it over the plate as they set it down. I liked that. This was probably my favorite dish of the night. Perfectly cooked fish, yummy broth, fresh basil and mint....oh so good.

We ended with a seasonal dish - Rhubarb Tart with Berry Ice Cream.

It was excellent. I love rhubarb. In fact, I bought some yesterday. Maybe I'll make a tart.

Overall, I'd say it was a nice dinner and we certainly enjoyed ourselves, but it's not on the same scale as say, Babbo or Gramercy Tavern. The food got progressively better as the night went on, but it didn't have the overall excellence in either food or service. Go in with moderate expectations, order the Artic Char and a dessert and you'll probably be fine.


Anonymous said...

I thought this restaurant was seriously lacking in vegetarian options. It was very heavy on the meat dishes, which I suppose is customary in French cusine. I did enjoy the ambiance, and of course, the company was excellent. It's especially rewarding to enjoy this kind of a venue with someone who is really into the whole experience, someone who is a food and restaurant critic and who appreciates all the little nuances of such a place! All in all, a perfect last night in NYC with my precious daughter!

Anonymous said...

I just wrote up all my comments and now they won't publish! How frustrating!

Meredith said...

Yeah, I kind of had similar thoughts about Cafe Buloud. It was pretty good, but not really worth the money.

hee hee you're a restaurant critic now. Your mom said so.