Another Boulud Marvel

Another Boulud Marvel

Being invited out for lunch at one of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants is always a treat…despite chaotic deadlines and endless meetings in the office, every editor manages to sneak away for such an invite, and I admit I was looking forward to experiencing the newest jewel in Boulud’s restaurant crown, Boulud Sud. The restaurant is housed on 64th street, around the corner from Bar Boulud and Epicerie Boulud, two other Daniel notables. Strolling into the elegant space, that first thing that struck me was the fact that the music playing was at exactly the right decibel level. Is it just me, or does it seem that every “hot” new eatery is playing their house music at such excruciating volumes and with such a bass overdrive that you walk out of dinner with a sore throat from shouting across the table to your companion. But at Boulud Sud, the lovely, muted jazz seemed meticulously harmonious with the inviting space: taupe carpeting, sheer white fluttering curtains, soft grey and green striped banquettes, an open kitchen, and handsome gold cabinetry, all adding to the airy appeal. And then, of course, there is the food. The “Sud” in Boulud Sud, I learned meant south..,not just the south of France, but the Mediterranean in general: Greek, Turkish, Tunisian tastes are all offered on the menu in the most innovative ways. An octopus salad, so tender and well flavored, embellished with a Spanish almond cream was a palate-exclaimer; a straightforward Greek salad had exactly the right amount of chunky feta cheese, no overkill (as there often is with this dish). For main courses, a lamb burger is presented on a black slate with sweet potato fries, shaped as flower petals, and a fish daurade, served with skin on and similar in texture to a trout, is sharp and satisfying, cushioned with a Romsesco sauce and arugula. While the starters and main courses were wonderful, dessert must be discussed, because there is one dessert that deserves accolades for one of the most creative presentations ….well, ever. A “grapefruit givré” comes as a carved out frozen grapefruit; inside is a creamy grapefruit sorbet concoction studded with grapefruit chunks, but here is the kicker: in order to get to the insides, you must break the outside shell, consisting of sesame and caramelized sugar, which seals the grapefruit at the top. That would sound easy if it were not for long, delicate strings of Turkish toffee halavah that cascades off the top like candied spaghetti, making it that more complicated (and delicious) to scoop everything into your mouth at once. Trust me: this high-maintenance dessert is worthy of all the effort. The combination of textures—chewy, creamy, velvety and chunky—and flavors—fruity and sugary—will transform your taste buds forever. Daniel, oh Daniel, you’ve done it again.

» Boulud Sud, 20 W. 64th st., 212.595.1313.