Cafe Boulud with Shaun

As an introduction to fine dining and the world of celebrity chefs to my friend Shaun who was in town to visit me, I brought him to Cafe Boulud. Was my first time there too. Was pretty excited. Made the reservation weeks in advance. 😛

So the best part about cafe boulud is that they have a prix fixe menu. That’s right, people. You dont have to wait till restaurant week to try these amazing restaurants. Many restaurants around the city have prix fixe menu throughout the year with great quality food.

And Daniel Boulud’s cafe boulud is no exception. I was sad I wasn’t allowed to sit inside because I was wearing shorts but seriously… it was so freaking hot outside. Wearing pants would have killed me. Especially since i rode my bike there.

The menu looked so amazing, I wanted everything. Too bad there was only 2 of us. 3 would have been a perfect number to try everything on the menu.

Alright starters. I got the heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. The best part. The arugula pesto. Oh my… the flavor… with the fresh sweet firm tomatoes… Apparently Shaun never had tomatoes in his life. I was like YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. and he was like “but tomatoes are disgusting!”. And im like nothing in this restaurant is disgusting. They could serve us mud and it would be the best tasting mud in the world. As long as it was sanitary. So he tried it. And he converted. Amen.

He got grilled prawns. Obviously good. I wish there was more charred flavor. But it will still cook. Perfectly cooked.

So the main course. This was a dilemma because I seriously wanted everything on the menu. There was the mushroom raviolini. Im a sucker for ravioli. Ever since Mario Batali got me hooked on his butternut squash ravioli, I have been an addict of those things. I would buy packets of them at trader joes.

There was the duck sausage. Every time i do fine dining and see the word duck, I usually dont even bother considering the other dishes and just get that. The french are well known for creating amazing dishes with duck. Its the way they make love with that bird that turns it into yumalicious divine experience.

Blackened Sea Bream

But… I ended up getting the blackened sea bream. I thought I ever had fish for some time and wasn’t really feeling like eating meat, especially after our peter luger meal. So I was like let’s see how it goes. Man oh man I did not regret it at all. Surprisingly, Boulud brought in some south east asian influence into this dish. The blackened sea bream was bursting with flavors and the rice went so damn well with it. The intense spicy seasoning with the fresh mild flavor of the fish was a perfect combination and I dont think I ever had fish cooked so well in my life in terms of texture. I have to say this beat Emeril’s fish in his NOLA restaurant hands down. Cheaper too. 😛

Mushroom Raviollini

Raviolini was not too bad. I would say its not mind blowing. I mean its pasta. Don’t expect the french to do a kickass job at it I guess. 😛

Then dessert! I got the mocha tart which wasn’t too bad. Not a big fan. Was kinda meh to me. Good chocolate coffee flavor with the raspberries but i think overall, It was just too meh. Perhaps its the texture of the pastry. I thought it didn’t feel right. Shaun got the panna cotta which was absolutely delightful and delicious. (Ok i forgot how to spell delicious for a while..) Light, fruity, creamy, fulfilling. and the gelato. Yum.

To end off the meal, they even gave us a basket of mini madeleine which are one of my favorite baked goods and they were awesome! Just the right amount of sweetness with a hint of lemon. Just the way i like it. Highly approve.

Fresh Madeleine

I have to say Boulud might have overtaken Jean George as my favorite fine dining without blowing your wallet spot. I didn’t even have to open a bottle of wine to enjoy my meal here. I can only imagine if I did. Will I be back here? Definitely. Once Boulud changes the prix fixe menu. Be sure that i will have a reservation on opentable.

Did I mention they have really good host and hostess as well? Very well trained. French speaking. Very polite. Made the atmosphere casual yet professional at the same time. Highly approve.

Cafe Boulud gets 4.5 stars for missing the mark on dessert for me. But everything else was perfect and an experience. A close 5 stars to be honest. But im trying to be more strict with my stars. 😛

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Cafe Boulud
20 E 76th St (Between 5th and Madison Ave)
(212) 772-2600
www.danielnyc.com/cafebouludnyc.html 

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