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The pits. Cafe Boulud is the pits. There is simply no other word. We'd had a very good meal at Boulud in another city, so we were looking forward to dinner eagerly. But my recent dinner was one of the worst fancy restaurant meals I've had in a long time. Maybe ever. It certainly was my biggest waste of $200 ever in a restaurant.
It didn't start well when we arrived early and went to bar. The waitress took our order and we waited 20 minutes. Nothing. Eventually, the waitress came back and said that they'd run out of the wine we ordered. By that time, we were ready to go up to our table, anyway.
We started with some charcuterie. It was ice cold and looked like spam but didn't taste as good. How about some nice pickles with the charcuterie? There were three that were so tiny you barely noticed them on the plate.
Next, main courses. The duck confit was duck alright, but it certainly was not duck confit. It was just some so-so roasted duck with no particular flavor. I made the mistake of asking the waiter for a recommendation. He said the pork was the best dish. I went along. It was 95% fat. Maybe the French like this sort of thing, but I barely touched it. For good measure, the wine markups were among the highest that I've seen.
Oh yeah, the restaurant was real pretty. I guess the multimillions spent on décor is what you are paying for because it certainly wasn't the food.
Since I usually get my fancy dinners paid for, I can write off bad meals to experience. This is the second one I've paid for in the last three years. The first was almost as bad as Cafe Boulud. Fooled again. From now on I'll stick to small ethnic places. The food is usually much better and a mistake doesn't cost you $200. I can live without eating in a palace and a French waiter who suggests that I order the fat.