One of the best restaurants near Lincoln Center (and indeed, probably one of the top restaurants in New York City) is Boulud Sud, the latest creation of Chef Daniel Boulud. Chef Boulud’s New York restaurants have four Michelin stars among them — Daniel has three, and Cafe Boulud has one. In the Lincoln Center area, Bar Boulud shares a corner with Epicerie Boulud, and the relatively new Boulud Sud, a restaurant that serves “vibrant Mediterranean cuisine”.
I went to Boulud Sud for lunch (check out the lunch menu) recently and after some very good bread and olive oil with a bit of garlic, had the vidalia onion veloute.
I was a little surprised; I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so green (maybe that was the garlic pesto). The soup was served with a cracker-y “breadstick” which went very well with the soup. The soup had a good onion flavor, though the garlic didn’t come through as much as I’d thought it might. (My sister started with the fattoush salad, which is pictured below. I thought it was fine, but not particularly interesting.)
My main course was the ratatouille “and oeuf mollet”. This was basically ratatouille with an barely cooked egg on top. (Again, vaguely reminiscent of what Chef Santos had done at the City Grit dinner.)
The ratatouille was very good, and quite hearty. I thought it was a little unusual for a mid-to-late-spring entree, maybe because it was an unseasonably warm day, but otherwise I liked it. It went well with the chickpea sticks (served with a spicy ketchup), although the chickpea stciks were a little (just a little) on the bland side. The only thing I didn’t quite was the egg — I’m generally not a fan of undercooked eggs, particularly undercooked yolks. There was nothing wrong with it; this is just a personal preference of mine, so take that for its worth.
I thought I’d mix it up and get cheese instead of dessert. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea. Nothing wrong with the cheese selection, but I would have much preferred the hazelnut chocolate entremet, which my sister got. The main chocolate piece tasted like a very rich chocolate bar, and the ice cream and hazelnuts were great complements. I should start trusting my instinct and not going for the cheese instead of dessert!
All in all Boulud Sud was a nice experience. Whether because of the Mediterranean focus or because of a conscious attempt to be vegetarian friendly, I don’t know, but at any rate the restaurant had several vegetarian options, even on the more limited prix fixe menu. The environment was nice and relatively casual, but the food wasn’t “substandard” in any sense. I certainly think it can hold its own against some of the other one-starred restaurants, and it surely deserves its two stars from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/dining/reviews/boulud-sud-nyc-restaurant-review.html). To that I’ll add my own three and a half stars.
PS: Kudos to my then-six-month-old daughter, who came along to Boulud Sud and behaved perfectly!
Boulud Sud’s lunch menu is below. (Return to the body of the post.)