In an effort to make our way through The Platt 101, New York Magazine’s list of Best Restaurants in New York (2012 edition), we made a New Years Day reservation at Boulud Sud. This was my fifth restaurant in the Daniel Boulud empire (having been to DB Bistro, Cafe Boulud, Bar Boulud, and Daniel), and I can’t help but love each and every place.
Walking in, the space is very modern and bright with an open, bustling kitchen that somehow managed to operate quietly.
Boulud Sud focuses on Mediterranean flavors. Both the bread and oil hinted at this, and I had to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t fill up on it, even though it was quite delish.
I ordered a cocktail: The Spiked Apple, which came with Glenkinchie 12 year old scotch, spiced apple cider, allspice dram, and lemon juice. It was served in a giant, hollow, round ice cube and was absolutely delicious.
We went with the three course prix fixe for $44. Mike started with the octopus appetizer that came with ictrus pieces, marcona almonds, arugula, and vinegar. It was quite delicious, but it couldn’t compete with the octopus at Kefi (though what could?)
I started with the soup, which I think was sunchoke (the menu posted online is different from what we had)
It came with croquettes that were light, yet crunchy, and went very well with the soup.
While awaiting our next course, Mike looked at me through his glass and I cracked up. The glass made it so he had a little face inside the glass. I just love this picture.
Mike went with the lemon-saffron linguini with razor clams and shaved bottarga (fish roe). This was bursting with flavor and typically wouldn’t be something either Mike nor I would order. But it was very enjoyable.
I got the chestnut ravioli with celeriac, black trumpet mushrooms, and castelmagno (an Italian cheese). I really enjoyed this. I wish it had more chestnut flavor (I always want more chestnut flavor) but the raviolis were delicate and had great flavor. They were also cooked perfectly.
And it was super pretty.
Mike and I can’t pass up an opportunity to order brussels sprouts (I’m still pissed off that I spent over 20 years of my life without brussels sprouts). These were very similar to the ones we make with pancetta, and the roasted hazelnuts added a great smoky flavor and crunch. (But I still like ours better…)
I was actually most excited about Boulud Sud because of all of the wonderful things I heard about the dessert (in fact, just found out that Ghaya Oliveira was nominated for a 2102 James Beard Award for Best Pastry Chef). Mike got the Fromage Blanc Tart with plums compote and lemon sorbet. It was like a light, flavor-filled cheesecake. Delish.
I got the dessert that was recommended by everyone on Foursquare and photographed on every food blog: The grapefruit givre (with sesame halva, rose loukoum, and grapefruit sorbet). It was just as beautiful as everyone said.
The strings on top was the halva and then below was something that resembled heated sugar (like a creme brulee top).
As you dug into it, it was layer upon layer of treats in a frozen grapefruit. It was unlike anything I have ever had (and something I would probably not have ordered for myself had it not been so highly recommended) and it was stupendous.
Overall, our meal was spotless, service was great, and we had some really unique and fun dishes. I was totally full and felt like I had eaten at one of the better restaurants in NYC for $44. I call that a good value! Go and get that grapefruit thing… you won’t be disappointed.
Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10