20 W 64th St (b/w Central Park & Broadway)
Manhattan, NY 10023
Across from the twinkling lights of the Lincoln Center, the newest addition to the Daniel Boulud empire, Boulud Sud, is the masterful reinterpretation of the cuisine of the Côte d’azur – rich in the fruits of the sea and fruits of the sun. Adam Platt from NYMag did a wonderful review, so I will refrain from being too repetitious.
While mulling over the menu and wine list, our server brought a nice plate of focaccia and Moroccan flat bread, along with a shallow dish of rosemary infused olive oil for our tasting. I thought the flat bread was delicious – slightly crispy on the outside, and very tender inside. Super addictive, and I just kept eating as I read through the menu.
We started off by sharing a Ratatouille et Oeuf Moullet, which had been highly recommended in the vast blogosphere. I gave a preview of that dish here, when I tried to recreate it at home. I thought it was perfection. I’ve never really liked ratatouille until I had Sud’s version. The vegetables aren’t all soggy and mushy, but retain individual levels of tenderness. The added garlic bread crumbs (more like crutons) add nice texture, and the sunny side up quail egg adds a richness that only a soft yolk can do.
I ordered the zataar baked cod with mussels. Cod was the perfect medium for the fragrant zataar spices. The fish was moist, flaky, light and buttery. When dipped in the broth – divine.
David ordered the Niman ranch lamb loin with eggplant and lavash. From what I can remember, it was tender and delicious, though David did complain about the small portion size.
For dessert, I surprised myself by ordering the Vincotto Fig Tart. I usually don’t love goat cheese (or any type of cheese), but it felt sooo right paired with the sweet fig in this tart. The pastry was crispy, the cheese was rich and slightly salted, the fig was warm, and the salted caramel ice cream was such a complementing flavor. There was also a wine reduction or glaze and champagne grapes to adorn the plate. The grapes were beautiful bursts of flavor, and the overall dish left this lovely velvety feel on your palate. I was in love! I am definitely going to try to recreate these flavors at home.
After dinner, we walked around the corner to the Epicerie Boulud, where we browsed the rows of European goods (of particular interest was Fallott mustard!), cheeses, oysters on the half shell, sandwiches, pastries, and most importantly – gelato! We ordered a dish with the Spekuloos and Coffee, and it was presented with spekuloos biscuits and a flaky gavotte (crepe-like) cookie. The flavors were bold, and the ice cream silky and delicious. Despite the cold, we devoured the dreamy gelato while strolling under the gleaming lights of the Lincoln. A successful jaunt on a Sunday night. We’ll definitely be back.