While in NYC last week I took some dear clients to lunch and decided on DB Moderne (55 W 44th St -http://www.dbbistro.com/nyc/) where Chef Daniel Boulud expanded his empire years ago to include this relaxed yet classy dining spot. It is the perfect place for a big or small lunch and one can enjoy the relaxed scene for an hour or even two or more as we did.
There are a la carte menus and a Menu du Marche prix fixe of $32 for two courses or $40 for three, which is a deal these days for this spot. We were treated to a glass of Pere Gimonnet Selection Belles Annees 1er Cru Champagne which was indeed nice (priced at $26/glass!) and then we went on to one of my favorite winemakers YVES CUILLERON from the Rhone Valley and his Saint-Pery "Les Potiers" 2011 a truly amazing wine that we adored so much we had a second bottle!
Tuna Tartare and chives was a nice amuse, but nothing that would bowl you over. The entrees and main courses however were truly spectacular starting with the ESCARGOTS Fricassee "Olivier Muller" named for the first executive chef of DB Moderne and still served as a special from time to time. The Escargots were sautéed to perfection in a divine sauce of parsley with hazelnuts and adorned with spaetzle making this quite a rich and heavy dish. The parsley sauce was rich and gutsy and several "Chicken Oysters" as they are called adorned the dish for extra spice. These were small oyster-size pieces of chicken breast seasoned and then breaded. I think they were baked and not fried, but whatever, they were amazing! The simple db Market Salad with cardoons, citrus and barigoule vinaigrette and ButterNut Squash Soup were also welcomed.
Some of us thought of the Original DB BURGER made with sirloin, braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle on parmesan bun with frites, but we resisted and chose the superb and meaty MAINE LOBSTER SALAD with Fried Artichokes, Grapefruit and Mascarpone. The COQ AU VIN was dressed with Bacon, Pearl Onions & Potato Confit. I opted for the DAURADE, a gorgeous piece of Dorado with Coco Beans, Celery and Oxtail Vinaigrette.
When it came time for dessert we were quite full and chose to share one Asiette de Fromage amongst the five of us:
The cheeses came with both Walnut Raisin and Whole Wheat breads as well as Organic Honey from NY, Pear Pate a fruit, Apple Butter and Pecans.
The Fromage de Brebis was HUDSON FLOWER from Old Chatham, NY - sheep farm we have always loved -it had a very herby flavor and was superb
FOURME d'AMBERT from Auvergne, France is a mild sweetish blue that is rich and creamy and divine
St. NECTAIRE also from Auvergne has always been a special favorite of mine-but in the USA it comes pasturized and looses some of its ooziness
VELLA DRY JACK from Sonoma is a caramelly pecorino style cheese that our son would have adored
TOMME de CHVRE AYDIUS was the lone goat herby from the Pyrenees and just simply perfect.
This was indeed a worthy cheese plate and sent us home quite delighted especially after a plate of yummy homemade Madeleines arrived which we gobbled up.
I must mention that since this is indeed a busy business neighborhood when I sat down alone at just before noon waiting for my guests there was a woman at the next table with a Bluetooth earpiece on speaking on her mobile phone so loudly that I thought she would never shut up. Luckily the call ended about 10 minutes later just as my guests arrived! This is so rude.
Luckily I did not need to ask our superb servers to quiet her down!