Monday, April 23, 2012

NYC's BOULUDSUD -Boulud is popping up all over (4-20-12)

I arrived in NY and headed to the less than one year old BOULUD SUD just across from Lincoln Center (( at 20 W 64th St, next door to Bar Boulud and Epicerie Boulud! They offer a $55 prix-fixe 3 course pre-theater menu and at about 7pm go ala's a god move as at 6pm the place was full with pre-opera patrons like me. It's a big open room with huge bar in the front and lots of blond wood, light tones and a very relaxed feel. The tables are too close (well, it's NYC) and I hated the women across who never shut up on her cell fone! She was tall, with huge hoop earring, 5inch platforms and clearly needed to be HEARD! The kitchen is kind of open on one side, although you really can't see much. The staff is friendly and helpful and my server Maurine (from the Congo via France) was a gem. She said the $3 supplement for the OCTOPUS a LA PLANCHA was worth it and it was. It comes with an amazing MARCONA Almond Puree (think hummus from almonds), wilted Arugula and Jerez Vinegar. Maurine suggested a very refreshing ARGYROS Estate "Atlantis" '11 from Santorini in Greece which was the perfect pairing with the vinegar that was at the bottom of the dish. Have you noticed a there, BOULUD SUD, refers to the south of Europe and all the dishes are Mediterranean, from south Europe or North Africa! Bread was pita (ok), soft flatbread (Perfect) and Foccaccia with a Red Pepper Puree as well as Oil with Herbs. I wanted fish, but the scallops and branzino entrees were both fennel intense so I went to the KOFTE Spiced LAMB with Crushed Chickpeas, Baby Gem Lettuce (several tiny leaves wilted under the dish), Garlic Cumin Yogurt. It came medium rare as requested and was one of the best tasting lamb dishes I have had in years. A slight crust of spice and the puree with little pieces of eggplant as well. Maurine suggested a DOMAINE MAUME 2009 Burgundy which she said was bigger because it came from Gevry Chambertin (she knew it well) and proffered a taste before pouring a glass. She also let me taste the the way, she comped all the wine at the end anyway--Boy, did she get a huge tip. The dining room was now full and quite noisy. I ordered my BLANC MANGER PICKLY PEAR with Almond Croquant and Coriander Pineapple Sorbet which was as refreshing and light as could be--think light Israeli trifle with sorbet.....I know it's hard. The prickly pear was perfect and the cream was light as well. The coffee cups are too small, but there are refills. I saw cheese next to me and decided to return after the four hours later, I reappeared and sat down again for some more wine and cheese and was the perfect late night treat.