It's been some time since my last meal at Boulud Sud (www.bouludsud.com)near Lincoln Center, so I decided to try their pre-theater prix fixe dinner at $60 last night prior to attending the opera.
I had a 515pm reservation, and the opera was at 730pm, but my plans were messed up by a wrong choice of subways and a late start from my downtown hotel. I was about 25minutes late, but no worries, they had me seated, served and out still within 80 minutes.
The décor is still simple with one large room that can get noisy, especially pre-theater at Lincoln Center, and I wish they would take the paper sheets off the table as it really lessens the class of what I still consider a fine dining establishment.
I started with the OCTOPUS À LA PLANCHA with Marcona Almonds, Arugula, Jerez Vinegar which was a delicious warm appetizer loaded with tender tentacles and lots of arugula to really fill you up. There was a hummus like paste at the bottom and I sadly did not find out what it was. Speaking of hummus, delicious bread and focaccia arrived before this with oil poured onto a plate of spices tableside as well as a little bowl of spread made from chickpea, Aleppo peppers and some other ingredients that I missed, but was superb.
I ordered a glass of wine and was quite intrigued with the Kabaj from Ravan in Slovenia made from Goriska Brda 2012. The floral nose belied the wines minerality and earthiness and while it had essences of lemon zest, there was no hint of citrus on the palate at all; a superb dry and fascinating choice for sure.
My main course of SEARED DAY BOAT SCALLOPS with Heirloom Beans, Piopini Mushroom, Smoked Ham Broth consisted of two huge sea scallops perfectly seared and cooked, but alas a bit too salty for even my tastes. The aromatic and tasty broth and potato puree helped to lessen the effect and the veggies and beans were truly spectacular.
The 3 course meal includes dessert and I chose the RED WINE SPICED PEAR, Almond Frangipane, Gorgonzola, Vanilla-Black Pepper Gelato which my server said was also with blood orange. There were so many flavors in this little tart with pear and almond cream (foto on FB), I was having a lot of fun mixing the different elements and seeing the various flavor combos. The spices were evident as I had a small piece of bay leaf in it!
Service here was pretty good, but can get spotty with the big pre-opera/concert/ballet crowds, but about 4 minutes after I had left and walked into the Boulud Epicerie next door to just browse for 2 minutes, my server came running down the street after me with my VISA card that I had left behind. Now that's service.