Daniel Boulud on his favorite cheap eats in New York
By KATY MCLAUGHLIN
December 10, 2005; Page P2
Daniel Boulud, chef and owner of restaurants including Manhattan's haute-cuisine Daniel and DB Bistro Moderne (home of a $69 hamburger stuffed with foie gras and fresh truffles), doesn't do downscale. But when he's off the job, the French chef lays off the caviar. "Not that I live on junk food, but I like cheap eats," he says. In Paris, he goes for the bistro scene -- the "best and cheapest" of which is Le Comptoir in the Latin Quarter, where the chef's choice of five courses costs about $47. As holiday visitors from around the country sweep into New York, where fine-dining costs can be exorbitant, we asked him to pick some places where people can stay on budget but still get great, authentic food.
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269 W. 23rd St., 646-486-4441
The restaurant "has hot dogs from all over the world. They have the Great Dane, exactly what they have in Denmark [$3.50]. They are a little slim and long, with sweet relish, chopped crispy onions and Danish mustard."
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9 Pell Street, 212-233-8888
24 W. 56th St., 212-333-3868
The crab and pork soup dumplings (which contain savory broth as well as stuffing) have a "very good crab stock; the crab flavor is almost refined as French cuisine. These are some of the best," even counting restaurants in Hong Kong and Beijing. At Pell Street in Chinatown, $6.25 for eight dumplings; at 56th Street, $8.25 for six dumplings.
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25 E. 73rd St., 212-650-9880
It has "a very interesting tiramisu. They serve the biscuit, the coffee," and the mascarpone cream, "and you make your own little mix" ($14 for two people). The panini are also good: "I like the mortadella panini, with a little mustard" ($6.50).
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Daisy May's Barbecue U.S.A.
623 11th Ave., 212-977-1500
Mostly takeout and delivery, with some limited seating. Mr. Boulud's former protégé, Adam Perry Lang, who worked at Daniel as a line cook, owns the place. "I was very proud to see a chef who found his muse -- that's important." Mr. Boulud likes the ribs ($9.50), the greens ($7 for a medium creamed spinach) and cornbread ($2).
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295 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, 718-230-0221
"For me, a good pizza is a blend of a crispy and lightly chewy crust, wide and thinner rather than shorter and thicker. I like the clam pizza," he says, calling it "briny, garlicky, herbal, with a bit of olive oil" ($15).