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Bar Boulud

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Another Triumph for Dovetail; Another Disappointment for Bar Boulud

Citing cleverness, finesse and his own “hugely positive” experiences eating there, Frank Bruni gives Dovetail three stars to go along with Adam Platt’s. [NYT] Related: This Dove Flies Poor Bar Boulud, on the other hand, continues to get pilloried. Randall Lane gives it only three stars (of six), and no doubt it would be a lot worse if not for the world-class charcuterie. [TONY] Related: Daniel Disappoints Restaurant Girl, too, got her licks in on BB, giving it two stars (of four) for Syrah-heavy sauces, unreliable service, and mishandled snails and tartare. This has got to be killing Boulud. [NYDN]

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Bubbles in Your Vodka a Good Thing on the Upper East Side; House-Made Charcuterie Hits Cobble Hill

Chinatown: A stellar Chinese dessert discovery: “[F]laky green pastries that resembled caterpillars” flavored with durian fruit “came to the table piping hot filled with a bright yellow pudding.” Find them at Chatham Square (6 Chatham Square). [Gothamist] Clinton Hill: The food at Restaurant New Orleans is good, but the entire operation seems completely haphazard. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: The Red Deli at 264 Clinton Street near Verandah Place opens this week with “house-made charcuterie along with grab-and-go items like fried chicken.” [TONY] Dumbo: The D Space offering an Indian buffet is actually called Marrakesh Express, and the food is worth a try. [Dumbo NYC] Nolita: This list of spots to drink up free or cheap wine includes Le Jardin Bistro, where on Monday and Tuesday nights $12 adds all-you-can drink Bordeaux to your dinner. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: A new sparkling vodka called Camitz is for sale at Sherry-Lehmann, Astor Wines, and, in the near future, at Morrell’s, but you can try it in a cocktail at Park Avenue Winter among a few other restaurants around town. [Strong Buzz]

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Le Cirque Back in the Three-Star Club; It’s La Belle Epoque Again at Adour

Who says Frank Bruni has no heart? After demoting Le Cirque last year, Bruni restores the third star, courtesy largely to new chef Christophe Bellanca’s masterly handling of ultraluxe ingredients and, of course, the Maccioni family’s trademark feudal service. [NYT] Maybe you don’t consider the salmon at Dovetail “a religious experience,” the way Restaurant Girl does, but everyone seems to agree with Adam Platt that it’s a very fine restaurant and outrageously good for the Upper West Side. [NYDN] Related: This Dove Flies Ryan Sutton has filed the first review of Adour, and he makes it sound, at least to anachronistically minded readers, truly awesome. Did you know Adour is serving lobster thermidor? Lobster thermidor! In this day and age! Sutton is also impressed by the virtual wine list, as most other visitors have been. [Bloomberg]

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TV Hostess Kelly Choi Likes Her Sandwiches With Mayo and Mustard

If you haven’t seen Kelly Choi sporting a trench coat on her show Secrets of New York, you’ve probably seen her donning skimpier attire as the host of New York Eats. She also just appeared as a judge on Iron Chef and will soon team with a liquor sponsor to publish The 25 Most Delicious Dishes in New York. What’s one of them? The moussaka at Pylos. “I’m crazy about Greek and Middle Eastern food,” Choi tells us. She doesn’t have the extravagant expense account you’d expect, and she isn’t often hungry for complimentary desserts — but still, the former Ford model managed to put away quite a bit this week.

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Bar Boulud's Wine-Tasting Table, Chop Suey's Dining Room Both Half-Full

Spot Check
The first time we dropped in on a batch of new restaurants to take head counts, we hit the East Side. Then we threw it over to the West Side. Last Friday we took it uptown to see what’s doing above 42nd Street. It wasn’t easy hitting half a dozen spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., but luckily we were navigating familiar territory — Mermaid Inn? Magnolia Bakery? Blue Ribbon Sushi? Zak Pelaccio’s new spot? It’s like we never left downtown.

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Gavin Kaysen Tests His Menu at Café Boulud; Williamsburg's Pampa Still a Mystery

Astoria: Time Café is said to serve a solid brunch. The fries look a bit pale, but after a few "terrific" mimosas, they'll probably hit the spot anyway. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: The culinary study center the area desperately needs opens today. [Restaurant Girl] Flatiron: On Monday, January 28, 4-Foodies is hosting an Italian Favorites tasting at Lunetta. [4foodies] Upper East Side: Bar Boulud's success hasn't hurt Café Boulud, where chef Gavin Kaysen is currently testing his new menu; the latter DB spot still attracts eye candy like former Giants star Tiki Barber. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine] Williamsburg: A sleek new building on Graham Avenue will soon be home to a restaurant called Pampa, but no one really knows what the place will be like. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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Free Dewar's (and Debate) on the LES Tonight; Bar Boulud Answers Bruni's Calls

Astoria: Angelo & Son’s Bakery gets a modern renovation: green and red backlighting for their sign. [Joey in Astoria] Brooklyn Heights: The co-founder of La Bouillabaisse on Atlantic Avenue in the nineties has opened a wine bar on the corner of Henry and Cranberry streets. Food like oysters and mini Kobe burgers will also be on the menu. [Brooklyn Eagle via Brooklyn Heights Blog] Lower East Side: Rayuela serves an interesting cocktail called Rye which combines "guava, lemon, agave nectar, mint leaves, Michter’s Straight Rye, Becherovka," and it’s not even one of Junior Merino’s signature cocktails. [Down by the Hipster] Tonight at the Slipper Room, there’s a free yuppie-versus-hippie debate featuring Max Silvestri and Lang Fisher, and it’s sponsored by Dewar’s. [Brooklyn Vegan] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Brooklyn & Slim bar has transformed into Step Too Cafe, but it doesn’t look like much has changed. [Across the Park] Union Square Park: Luna Park has been demolished in preparation for the area’s overhaul. [Eater] Upper East Side: Bruni calls Bar Boulud and reaches a human! It sounds like DB put some backup personnel on the lines. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

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Danny Meyer Might Fix Up Union Square Park; Welcome to ‘Mexhattan’

Danny Meyer and the Union Square Partnership are planning to renovate the north end of Union Square Park, including a transformation of the decaying pavilion into a windowless restaurant space. [NYO] Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s newest baby, will start serving up rustic Italian with Greek influences in midtown next month. Marc Forgione, most recently the corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, is planning an American restaurant for a spring opening. [NYT] Forget about bringing your junior gastronomes to the finest restaurant Disney World has to offer: Victoria & Albert’s has banned all kids under the age of 10. [NYP]

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Will Bar Boulud's Tasting Table Be the New Oenophile Pickup Spot?

As Bar Boulud recovers from its private blowout last night and readies for its January 8 opening, they’ll be taking extra care to wipe down the fifteen-seat “tasting table in the round” — soon to be the site of many a “wine orgy,” if you believe the restaurant rep. Made of white oak (to give it that new-wine-barrel smell), the table is fourteen feet in diameter, built by Aveum of Mexico City, and designed by Thomas Schlesser. The table is modeled after eighteenth- and nineteenth-century negotiation negociant tables where businessmen served drinks to potential clients.

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Caviar and Vodka Warming Hearts in Midtown; Danal Not Down for Long in the East Village

Astoria: The guacamole at Luna de Juarez is prepared tableside. [Joey in Astoria] Central Park: Someone may take over the Tavern on the Green someday, but they won't be calling it Tavern on the Green. That name belongs to owner Jennifer LeRoy. [Insatiable Critic] East Village: From a tipster comment on yesterday’s nabe watch: Danal is reopening on January 10 in a new Fifth Avenue space just south of 13th Street. [Grub Street] Lincoln Center: Bruni gives Rosa Mexicano thumbs up for its kid-friendly service and adult-friendly fare. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Lower East Side: Móle might make some of the tastiest tamales in town. [Gothamist] Midtown East: Reservations are required for Gastronomica editor, Russian professor, and cookbook author Darra Goldstein’s sustainable-caviar and vodka tasting next Wednesday in the Williams Club at 24 East 39th Street. [Williams Club] Nolita: Ceci-Cela on Spring Street will bake you a buttery galette des rois with only one day's notice … [Snack] Tribeca: … while Ceci-Cela on Chambers has officially closed after rising rents compelled the bakery to give up its lease. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Rome expat Enrico Proietti (Baraonda, Per Lei, and Bella Blue) is opening a fourth Italian restaurant, which he’s named Ciaobella in commemoration of his first, long-closed, New York venture. [NYS] Upper West Side: Not only does DB source great charcuterie for Bar Boulud, the chef also knows how to throw a party. [Eater]

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Charcuterie Continues to Wow on the UWS; Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate Go Together in the East Village

Chelsea: Cain’s Website is already “pimping” a London opening. [Down by the Hipster] East Village: Jimmy’s No. 43 is hosting a cheese, beer, and chocolate pairing on January 22. Luckily, cheese before beer, you're in the clear. [Gridskipper] Danal on 10th Street has given up the ghost. [Zagat] Hell’s Kitchen: Tasting World is hosting its first Wine Essentials course of 2008 on January 17. [Tasting World] Midwood: The Amateur Gourmet’s "Best Place I Should’ve Been To Already and Where I Should’ve Already Gone Back To" for 2007: Di Fara Pizza. There are surely too many out there who can relate. Upper West Side: Ed Levine is as wowed by Sylvain Gasdon’s charcuterie at Bar Boulud as we were. [Ed Levine’s New York Eats via Eater] West Village: David Page and Barbara Shinn have left Home to focus on their North Fork winery and have taken the wine-sensitive heart of the restaurant with them. [Eater]

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Bar Boulud Opens, and It’s No Mere Wine Bar

We just returned from a first look at Bar Boulud, and our immediate reaction: dumbstruck awe. Here we thought the place was supposed to be a wine bar! In fact, it’s a full-scale restaurant with three private dining rooms, a huge kitchen, a separate charcuterie kitchen, and enough dried sausages and glistening terrines on display to get any gourmand hot and bothered. Even the design elements are special: The place is a wine shrine, with a vaulted ceiling (to suggest wine cellars), limestone floors (likewise), and white oak tables (an allusion to wine barrels). Along the walls is a series of framed photographs of wine stains made by Daniel Boulud and artist Vik Muniz. They look like red suns floating, Rothko-like, on their white backgrounds, and are slightly hypnotic. But so are the pork products!

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Bar Boulud Opening Early for New Year's Eve

isn’t slated to open until January, but legendary good-time guy Daniel Boulud has decided to move up the place’s christening a little bit — to New Year’s Eve. The first night of Bar Boulud will be the site of two seatings: one at 5:30, consisting of three courses of charcuterie-heavy classic French bistro fare for $80, and a second, more festive “gala,” starting at 9, with four courses for $150, including a midnight Champagne toast with D.J. and dancing. That is, if eating the likes of hare terrine, warm saucisson aux lentils, and civet de lapin, and drinking inordinate amounts of red wine doesn’t take the starch out of you. (The menu isn't set yet, but Boulud's publicist says these are the type of dishes likely to be on it.) The man himself promises to swing by sometime after midnight to greet his debut crowd, which suggests to us that he’ll be leading the conga line sometime before dawn. Try calling the reservation line on Monday: 212-595-0303. Related: Exclusive: Feast Your Eyes on Bar Boulud, Coming in November

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Another Look at Bar Boulud

David Bouley is expanding his Tribeca empire with “an upscale Japanese-themed restaurant called Brushstrokes” which will take over the soon-to-be-former Delphi space. [NYS] Gael Greene was on hand for last night’s first taste of Bar Boulud even though the opening has been pushed back a month or so. [Food Writer’s Diary/Nation's Restaurant News] Related: Exclusive: Feast Your Eyes on Bar Boulud, Coming in November The next Next Iron Chef challenge is “cooking gourmet airline food with all the constraints of airline galleys. Holy smokes. It’s the exact same challenge as Top Chef.” [Serious Eats]

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Come Summer, a New Look for Daniel

Daniel, arguably the grandest of the city’s top dining rooms is planning a rehab, though it won’t be until the summer. Though neither the restaurant nor its patrons are dissatisfied with the current room (and why would they be? It looks like the gateway to the afterlife, circa 1895!), the renovation will keep the place fresh. “Upper East Side ladies get their face-lifts before they’re needed,” spokeswoman Georgette Farkas tells us. “It's something we’ve been thinking about. But Daniel doesn’t want to do anything too revolutionary.” Farkas wouldn’t name names, but a source close to the restaurant says designer Adam Tihany, who did Le Cirque 3.0 and Osteria del Circo, is topping the short list of candidates. In the meantime, the Daniel empire has plenty to keep it busy: Bar Boulud is still slated for a December opening; Maison Boulud, in Bejing, will open in March; and Boulud’s downtown burger bar is, sadly, still unnamed. Related: Exclusive: Feast Your Eyes on Bar Boulud, Coming in November

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Exclusive: Chemel Leaves Café Boulud and NYC; Head Chef Named at Bar Boulud

Bertrand Chemel
Bertrand Chemel, the chef recently praised in Frank Bruni’s three-star review of Café Boulud for deftly filling Andrew Carmellini’s shoes, is leaving the restaurant in mid-December. A source says he made his announcement three days after the Times rave and will be starting his own restaurant in the Washington D.C. area. Boulud spokesperson Georgette Farkas confirms, “Bertrand is spreading his wings. He’s made an amazing contribution. Daniel has chosen a new chef, but he’s not prepared to announce it.” Daniel is, however, ready to name the head chef at his soon-to-open Bar Boulud, and that will be Damien Sansonetti, a sous-chef at Daniel for almost five years. So did media outlets jump the gun when they said Ed Cotton would be exec chef there? “He was someone Daniel had considered but decided it wasn’t his choice,” Farkas tells us. Not that Daniel left him in the cold — we hear he’s the one who scored Cotton the interview at Veritas, his new home. Reading Fortunes in a Bowl of Pasta [NYT]

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Grant Achatz Getting Better; Bourdain Spreads Blood and Holiday Cheer

Grant Achatz writes Ruhlman that the tumor on the great chef's tongue has been diminished by about 75 percent, thanks to aggressive chemo. [Ruhlman]. In his upcoming No Reservations holiday special, Tony Bourdain cooks a Thanksgiving dinner with L.A. rockers Queens of the Stone Age and spends "a fair amount of time spraying stage blood onto [his] niece and nephew’s face." [The Grinder/Chow] Rickshaw Dumpling has officially opened. [Eater]

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Exclusive: Feast Your Eyes on Bar Boulud, Coming in November

Bar Boulud
Daniel Boulud’s burger bar is in the prelim stages — the lease was just signed, and it’s still without a name — but lucky for those who crave visual stimulation, his uptown wine bar and bistro Bar Boulud, opening in November at 1900 Broadway (at 64th Street), is a little further along. Thomas Schlesser has already designed the wine cellar’s barrel-vaulted ceiling and doughnut-shaped tasting table and is preparing to line the walls with vineyardlike gravel. And that’s just the start of it. We’ve acquired an exclusive PDF of Bar Boulud’s design scheme, featuring renderings of the main room, floor plans, even upholstery samples. We look forward to pocketing the glass holders. Bar Boulud Renderings [PDF] Earlier: Daniel Boulud's Downtown Burger Finally Signs the Lease

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