MUCH of what you need to know about the direction of fine dining these days is distilled in Bar Boulud, where one of the most accomplished French traditionalists on this side of the Atlantic stages a production whose weakest facet is the conventional three-course dinner.
It’s not just white tablecloths that have fallen by the wayside at Bar Boulud, which extends the chef Daniel Boulud’s trajectory toward ever-more-casual restaurants, mirroring the culture around him. Gone, too, is the notion that sitting at a proper table and ordering a proper sequence of dishes is the way you want to eat.
Bar Boulud, Daniel Boulud’s casual bistro located across from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, serves seasonal French fare and an impressive selection of traditional terrines and pâtés. The restaurant’s James Beard Award nominated wine program spotlights Burgundy and the Rhóne Valley. The main dining room, with its cutting edge contemporary design, includes seating at a glass encased charcuterie bar and at cozy booths flanking the wine cave-esque space. Weather permitting, dine on Bar Boulud’s outdoor terrace, situated along Broadway’s ‘Restaurant Row’.
As for the food, you’ll find a long list of pates and terrines, but otherwise, it’s a pretty straightforward bistro. Pay attention to the specials, and the fish selections are spectacular. Salads and starters are tasty, and the wine list is well priced and full of lesser known varietals that will have you taking notes and chasing down bottles online.
The wine cellar at Bar Boulud is dedicated to great wines of the Rhône Valley and Burgundy, Daniel Boulud’s favorite wine making regions and those neighboring his native city of Lyon, France. The restaurant offers wines from outside of France that are considered the cousins of our Burgundy and Rhône favorites. These are made from Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache. Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne from such new world regions as California, Oregon, New Zealand. Australia, Chile and beyond. Approximately 500 selections.
Bar Boulud’s first-class charcuterie and stellar wine list make it an idyllic prelude to any Lincoln Center show. Sit at the communal table with a hefty pour of a rare wine (ask about specials), and gaze at the tunnel-like dining room, crafted to mimic a barrel and clothed with Vik Muniz photographs of abstract wine spills. The wine-centric motif is as clear as the glassware.
Bar Boulud offers three private dining rooms available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktail events. The three rooms, adjacent to our wine cellar, can be reserved individually or in combination with a central bar and reception area.
The restaurant’s three private dining rooms – Caviste, Vigneron and Sommelier – are available for social and business entertaining. Adjacent to the restaurant’s lower level wine cellar, each room’s décor celebrates the culture and history of wine making. Reserve the rooms individually or in combination with a central reception and bar area.
Rectangular table for up to 16 guests seated
210 square feet, 21 ft x 10 ft
Rectangular table for up to 20 guests seated
350 square feet, 25 ft x 14 ft
Accommodates up to 40 guests seated or
up to 65 guests for standing receptions
558 square feet, 18 ft x 31 ft
Some people prefer Bar Boulud during the day, when it serves an amazing Croque Monsieur and a fantastic Croque Madame, so cheesy and luscious they seem to be experiencing delusions of quiche grandeur.