This is another in a series of reviews from a long weekend visit my husband and I had to Manhattan at the end of July.
We went to Cafe Boulud on a Saturday night at 8:00 pm. We had really been back and forth about where to go for our Saturday night dinner, and considered Daniel, The Modern, Hearth, Prune and others (I know, a pretty diverse list). Ultimately, for this visit we chose Cafe Boulud and we were not disappointed.
We were seated side by side at the banquette along one wall, allowing us to look out into the room, which I always enjoy. There was a pretty diverse crowd as far as age range as well as attire, which is good to see. Our waiter for the evening was fine and informative although perhaps a little "professionally detached". Our back waiter and the sommelier, however, really helped make the meal more personal.
We ordered from the menu, making our own 4 course meal.
To start, my husband had the charred octopus salad and I had the Thai Lobster salad. I really enjoyed my dish, which had a nice amount of lobster and nice Thai flavors with mango, green papaya and coconut (not a spicy dish). My husband thought his dish was perfectly cooked and tasted fantastic although was originally surprised at the large size of the octopus tentacles.
We decided to insert a pasta course since there were a couple of dishes that really sounded good to us. We added the appetizer portion to our meal. My husband had the Jersey Corn Agnolotti that had zucchini, mushroom, pecorino and onion broth. He was kind enough to share a little with me so I can say that it was very fresh and had fabulous flavor. I had the house made chitarra pasta with roasted tomato sauce with aged parmesan. As much as I liked my husband's pasta, this was even better. We had been to Scarpetta two nights before and had their spaghetti with tomato and basil, but to me, this was even better!
For our main course, my husband had the Vermont Lamb special, which included some loin meat and leg meat. It was perfectly cooked and he very much enjoyed it (we were a little surprised that the waiter asked if he wanted it cooked medium, when medium rare might be more usual and is how my husband requested it.) I had the special fish, which was a halibut with gnocchi a la parisienne and fennel and tomato. The fish was spectacular and I'd have to say the portion was very generous.
For desert, my husband had the strawberry tartelette with marscapone mousse, basil foam and strawberry ice cream. It was nice and fresh and the strawberry ice cream was really tasty. I had the bittersweet brownie with pistachio cream, dark chocolate mousse and goat's milk sorbet. It was fabulous and next time, I'd have a whole bowl of the goat's milk sorbet.
My husband is in the wine business and loves to look at the wine list (usually leaving me to amuse myself with people watching). This time, he had looked at the wine list on line so that he had a head start with the wines he might want. The sommelier helped him narrow them down based on the foods we were having as well as what he thought was really showing well right now.
And, of course, you can't forget the warm madelines that they bring at the end of the evening. So light and flavorful!
Overall, we had a very comfortable experience with good service and good food. I think it was a good choice for us among the Daniel Boulud restaurants and a good Saturday evening in Manhattan.