Fine French food set in a relaxed bistro like environment with an emphasis on charcuterie including his famous pates, terrines and sausages. Indeed, we started our meal with a shared charcuterie board where both the rabbit terrine (pulled rabbit, carrot, courgette and herbs) and lamb pate (slow cooked spiced leg of lamb, aubergine and seet potato) were of exceptional quality, amongst the best we've ever tasted.
A trip to a Boulud restaurant wouldn't be complete without a famous sausage. We chose a Boudin blanc to share - a white pork sausage without the blood. This was served with a white truffle mash, cooked apple and a reduction. The sausage had an almost pate like texture and a fork combining all components of the dish balanced perfectly and again provided for a first class dish.
Following this, we received a small bonus. Having seen calves head on the menu posted at the front door but not on the table menu, a casual enquiry led to the staff treating us to a tasting sample of the terrine. Huge texture and huge taste, it's definitely worth giving this a go for calves head newbies like us.
Fot the starters - yes everything till now was a pre-starter - we ordered a Petite Aioli that was a beautifully presented plate of shrimp, muscles, clams and olive oil poached cod together with quali egg, dipping veg and breadsticks. My starter was the warm white and green asparagus with crispy egg which was a visual as well as a gustatory treat. All the ingredients were super fresh, super tasty and cooked to perfection. The crispy egg cut into just oozed over the asparagus and added a new dimension to a classic dish.
For the mains, we ordered a Yankee burger and a Coq au Vin. We should add at this point that Boulud is famous for his burgers and in particular, his short rib burgers. This particular signature dish was not on the menu today but the Yankee burger nevertheless was a first class burger albeit it could have been a little warmer. The real event here though was the coq au vin. Imagine the deepest, darkest red wine sauce reduction. Imagine the tastiest french trimmed chicken cooked to perfection. Imagine supersize bacon lardons. Now we're getting close to what was on the plate in front of me. It was the best coq au vin I've ever tasted and again, took the dish to a new level. I just wanted to keep eating it more and more despite how much food I had already eaten, it was just so tasty. It was coq au vin perfection.
We shared a desert, the Coupe Peppermint which enjoyed its own moment of theatre as the a hot chocolate sauce poured over a thin chocalte lid sees the lid disolve away revealing your peppermint yum beneath. Washed down with an Austrian Trockenbeerenauslese it was a great way to end the meal.
We love this place and have been back a few times since writing this. If you want to see pictures you can find them on our blog.